Harry Hayden

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Harry Hayden
Harry Hayden.jpg
Born(1882-11-08)8 November 1882
Nova Scotia, Canada
Died24 July 1955(1955-07-24) (aged 72)
West Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Years active1936–1955
(m. 1924;died 1955)

Harry Hayden (8 November 1882 24 July 1955) was a Canadian-American actor. He was a highly prolific actor, with more than 280 screen credits.



Born in Canada in 1882, Hayden was slight, greying at the temples and wore glasses, and the characters he played were often small-town store proprietors, hotel managers, city attorneys, bankers and minor bureaucrats, frequently officious or snooping. [1]

Hayden worked both onstage and in films, and with his wife, actress Lela Bliss, to whom he was married from 1924 until his death, he ran the Bliss-Hayden miniature theatre in Beverly Hills, whose alumni include Veronica Lake, Doris Day, Debbie Reynolds, and Marilyn Monroe. [1] He directed one production on Broadway, [2] a play called Thirsty Soil, which opened in February 1937. [3]

Hayden began appearing in films in 1936, when he was seen in Foolproof, a crime drama short, [4] and worked consistently and steadily until 1954. At the peak of his career, in the late 1930s and early 1940s, a dozen or two films would be released every year in which Hayden appeared. Often his work went uncredited, but he was notable in Laurel and Hardy's Saps at Sea in 1940 as Mr. Sharp, the horn factory owner, and as Farley Granger's boss in 1951's O. Henry's Full House . [1] In the 1940s, Hayden was part of Preston Sturges' unofficial "stock company" of character actors, appearing in six films written and directed by Sturges. [5]

Television also provided some opportunities for this ubiquitous actor. Hayden did a handful of episodic television shows from 1951 to 1955, in 1952 he played Stephen Wilson, the father of Margie's boyfriend in the episode "Vern's Chums", in "My Little Margie", he also had a recurring role as "Harry Johnson" on The Stu Erwin Show , also known as The Trouble With Father, although he was not credited for this when the show went to syndication. [1]

Hayden appeared in his final film, The Desperado , in 1954. [6] He died in West Los Angeles, California on 24 July 1955, at the age of 72. He had one son with actress Lela Bliss, Harry Hayden.

Partial filmography

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  1. 1 2 3 4 Erickson, Hal Biography (Allmovie) Archived 26 April 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  2. Harry Hayden at IMDb
  3. "Thirsty Soil". IBDB.com. Internet Broadway Database.
  4. "Foolproof". IMDb.com. Internet Movie Database.
  5. Hayden appeared in The Great McGinty , Christmas in July , The Palm Beach Story , Hail the Conquering Hero , The Great Moment and The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend , Sturges' last American film.
  6. "The Desperado". IMDb.com. Internet Movie Database.
  7. Great Movie Musicals on DVD - A Classic Movie Fan's Guide by John Howard Reid - Google search with book preview