About Eugene Pallette: American actor (born: 1889 - died: 1954) | Biography, Filmography, Facts, Information, Career, Wiki, Life
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Eugene Pallette
American actor

Eugene Pallette

Eugene Pallette
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American actor
Was Actor Stage actor Film actor
From United States of America
Field Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender male
Birth 8 July 1889, Winfield, Cowley County, Kansas, USA
Death 3 September 1954, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA (aged 65 years)
Star sign Cancer
Spouse: Phyllis Gordon (1912-1920)
Culver Academies
star on Hollywood Walk of Fame  
Eugene Pallette
The details (from wikipedia)


Eugene William Pallette (July 8, 1889 – September 3, 1954) was an American film actor who worked in both the silent and sound eras, performing in more than 240 productions between 1913 and 1946.

After an early career as a slender leading man, Pallette became a stout character actor. He had a deep voice, which some critics have likened to the sound of a croaking frog, and is probably best-remembered for comic character roles such as Alexander Bullock (Carole Lombard's character's father) in My Man Godfrey (1936), Friar Tuck in The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), and his similar role as Fray Felipe in The Mark of Zorro (1940). He also starred in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) and Heaven Can Wait (1943).

Early life and career

He was born in Winfield, Kansas, the son of William Baird Pallette and Elnora "Ella" Jackson. Both of his parents had been actors in their younger years, but by 1889 Pallette's father was an insurance salesman. His sister was Beulah L. Pallette.

Pallette attended Culver Military Academy in Culver, Indiana. He also worked as a jockey, and did a stage act which included three horses. Pallette then began his acting career on the stage in stock company roles, appearing for a period of six years.

Silent pictures

Pallette began his silent film career as an extra and stunt man in 1910 or 1911. His first credited appearance was in the one-reel short western/drama The Fugitive (1913) which was directed by Wallace Reid for Flying "A" Studios at Santa Barbara. The up-and-coming actor was also splitting an apartment with actor Wallace Reid.

Pallette with May Allison in Fair and Warmer (1920)

Quickly advancing to featured status, Pallette was cast in many westerns. He worked with D. W. Griffith on such films as The Birth of a Nation (1915), where he played two parts, one in blackface, and Intolerance (1916). He also played a Chinese role in Tod Browning's The Highbinders. At this time, Pallette had a slim, athletic figure, a far cry from his portly build later in his career. He starred as the slender sword-fighting swashbuckler Aramis in Douglas Fairbanks' 1921 version of The Three Musketeers, one of the great smash hits of the silent era. However, his girth had begun to get stockier, ending his ambitions of becoming a leading man. Discouraged, Pallette left Hollywood for the oil fields of Texas, where he both made and lost a sizable fortune of $140,000 (equivalent to $2,031,306 in 2020) in the same year. Eventually he returned to film work.

Léon Bary, Pallette, Douglas Fairbanks and George Siegmann in The Three Musketeers (1921)

After gaining a great deal of weight, he became one of the screen's most recognizable character actors. In 1927, he signed as a regular for Hal Roach Studios and was a reliable comic foil in several early Laurel and Hardy movies. In later years, Pallette's weight may have topped out at more than 300 pounds (136 kg).

Sound pictures

The advent of the talkies proved to be the second major career boost for Pallette. In 1929 he appeared as "Honey" Wiggin in the 1929 talkie The Virginian. His inimitable rasping gravel voice (described as "half an octave below anyone else in the cast") made him one of Hollywood's most sought-after character actors in the 1930s and 1940s.

The typical Pallette role was gruff, aggravated and down to earth. He played the comically exasperated head of the family (e.g., My Man Godfrey, The Lady Eve, Heaven Can Wait), the cynical backroom sharpy (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington), and the gruff police sergeant in five Philo Vance films including The Kennel Murder Case. Pallette thus appeared in more Philo Vance films than any of the ten actors who played the aristocratic lead role of Vance. Pallette's best-known role may be as Friar Tuck in The Adventures of Robin Hood; he made a similar appearance as Friar Felipe two years later in The Mark of Zorro.

BBC commentator Dana Gioia described Pallette's onscreen appeal:

The mature Pallette character is a creature of provocative contradictions—tough-minded but indulgent, earthy but epicurean, relaxed but excitable. His grit and gravel voice sounds simultaneously tough and comic. ... Pallette uses his girth to create a common touch. Stuffed into a tuxedo that seems perpetually near bursting, he seems more down-to-earth than the stylish high society types who surround him.

Pallette was cast as the father of lead actress Jeanne Crain for the film In the Meantime, Darling (1944). Director Otto Preminger clashed with Pallette and claimed he was "an admirer of Hitler and convinced that Germany would win the war". Pallette refused to sit at the same table with black actor Clarence Muse in a scene set in a kitchen. "You're out of your mind, I won't sit next to a nigger", Pallette hissed at Preminger. Preminger furiously informed Fox studio head Darryl F. Zanuck, who fired Pallette. Although Pallette remains in scenes he already had filmed, the remainder of his role not yet shot was eliminated from the script. However, a 1953 issue of the African-American magazine Jet listed Pallette as being among the attendees of a Hollywood banquet honoring the then "oldest Negro actress in the world," Madame Sul-Te-Wan. For his part, Pallette always maintained that a medical problem with his throat ended his career.

In increasingly ill health by his late fifties, Pallette made fewer and fewer movies, and for lesser studios. His final movie, Suspense, was released in 1946.

Later life

Eugene Pallette's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In 1946, convinced that there was going to be a "world blow-up" by atomic bombs, the hawkish Pallette received considerable publicity when he set up a "mountain fortress" on a 3,500-acre (14 km) ranch near Imnaha, Oregon, as a hideaway from universal catastrophe. The "fortress" reportedly was stocked with a sizable herd of prize cattle, enormous supplies of food, and had its own canning plant and lumber mill.

When the "blow-up" he anticipated failed to materialize after two years, he began disposing of the Oregon ranch and returned to Los Angeles and his movie colony friends. He never appeared in another movie, however.

Eugene Pallette died at age 65 in 1954 from throat cancer at his apartment, 10835 Wilshire Boulevard, in Los Angeles. His wife, Marjorie, and his sister, Beulah Phelps, were at his side. Private funeral services were conducted on Saturday, September 4, 1954, at the Armstrong Family Mortuary. His cremated remains are interred in an unmarked grave behind the monument of his parents at Green Lawn Cemetery in Grenola, Kansas.

He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6702 Hollywood Boulevard for his contribution to motion pictures.


  • The Fugitive (1913, Short) as The Fugitive (film debut)
  • When the Light Fades (1913, Short) as John Robertson
  • The Birth of a Nation (1915) as Union Soldier (uncredited)
  • The Highbinders (1915, Short) as Hop Woo
  • The Story of a Story (1915, Short) as John Penhallow - The Author
  • The Spell of the Poppy (1915, Short) as Manfredi
  • Sunshine Dad (1916) as Alfred Evergreen
  • The Children in the House (1916) as Arthur Vincent
  • Going Straight (1916) as Jimmy Briggs
  • Hell-to-Pay Austin (1916) as Harry Tracey
  • Gretchen the Greenhorn (1916) as Rodgers
  • Intolerance (1916) as Prosper Latour
  • Each to His Kind (1917) as Dick Larimer
  • The Winning of Sally Temple (1917) as Sir John Gorham
  • The Bond Between (1917) as Raoul Vaux
  • The Lonesome Chap (1917) as George Rothwell
  • The Marcellini Millions (1917) as Mr. Murray
  • The World Apart (1917) as Clyde Holt
  • The Heir of the Ages (1917) as Larry Payne
  • The Ghost House (1917) as Spud Foster
  • Madam Who? (1918) as Lieutenant Conroy
  • His Robe of Honor (1918) as Clifford Nordhoff
  • Tarzan of the Apes (1918)
  • A Man's Man (1918) as Capt. Benevido
  • The Turn of a Card (1918) as Eddie Barrett
  • Breakers Ahead (1918) as Jim Hawley
  • Viviette (1918) as Dick Ware
  • No Man's Land (1918) as Sidney Dundas
  • Words and Music by - (1919) as Gene Harris
  • The Amateur Adventuress (1919) as George Goodie
  • Be a Little Sport (1919) as Dick Nevins
  • Fair and Warmer (1919) as Billy Bartlett
  • Alias Jimmy Valentine (1920) as 'Red' Jocelyn
  • Terror Island (1920) as Guy Mourdant
  • Parlor, Bedroom and Bath (1920) as Reggie Irving
  • Twin Beds (1920) (uncredited)
  • Fine Feathers (1921) as Bob Reynolds
  • The Three Musketeers (1921) as Aramis
  • Two Kinds of Women (1922) as Old Carson
  • Without Compromise (1922) as Tommy Ainsworth
  • A Man's Man (1923) as Captain Benevido
  • To the Last Man (1923) as Simm Bruce
  • Hell's Hole (1923) as Pablo
  • North of Hudson Bay (1923) as Peter Dane
  • The Ten Commandments (1923) as Israelite Slave (uncredited)
  • The Wolf Man (1924) as Pierre
  • The Galloping Fish (1924) as Anti-Volstead Esquire (uncredited)
  • Wandering Husbands (1924) as Percy
  • The Cyclone Rider (1924) as Eddie
  • Stupid, But Brave (1924, Short) as Richard Peeling - Banana King
  • The Light of Western Stars (1925) as Stub
  • Ranger of the Big Pines (1925)
  • Wild Horse Mesa (1925) as Melberne Townsman (uncredited)
  • Without Mercy (1925) as Simon Linke
  • The Fighting Edge (1926) as Simpson
  • Rocking Moon (1926) as Side Money
  • Whispering Canyon (1926) as Bill Dancing
  • The Volga Boatman (1926) as Revolutionary (uncredited)
  • Whispering Canyon (1926) as Harvey Hawes
  • Mantrap (1926) as E. Wesson Woodbury
  • You Never Know Women (1926) as Party Guest (uncredited)
  • Desert Valley (1926) as Deputy
  • Should Men Walk Home? (1927, Short) as Detective, Intelligence Bureau
  • Enemies of Society (1927) as Barney Mulholland
  • Fluttering Hearts (1927, Short) as Motorcycle Cop
  • Sugar Daddies (1927, Short) as Hardy Look-alike
  • The Second Hundred Years (1927, Short) as Dinner Host (uncredited)
  • Chicago (1927) as Rodney Casley
  • The Battle of the Century (1927, Short) as Insurance agent (uncredited)
  • Lights of New York (1928) as Gene
  • The Good-Bye Kiss (1928) as The Captain
  • Out of the Ruins (1928) as Volange
  • The Red Mark (1928) as Sergeo
  • His Private Life (1928) as Henri Bérgere
  • The Swell Head (1928, Short)
  • The Canary Murder Case (1929) as Sgt. Ernest Heath
  • The Dummy (1929) as Madison
  • The Studio Murder Mystery (1929) as Detective Lieutenant Dirk
  • The Greene Murder Case (1929) as Sgt. Ernest Heath
  • The Virginian (1929) as 'Honey' Wiggin
  • The Love Parade (1929) as War Minister
  • Pointed Heels (1929) as Joe Carrington
  • The Kibitzer (1930) as Klaus
  • Slightly Scarlet (1930) as Sylvester Corbett
  • Men Are Like That (1930) as Traffic Cop
  • The Benson Murder Case (1930) as Sgt. Ernest Heath
  • Paramount on Parade (1930) as Sergeant Heath (Murder Will Out)
  • The Border Legion (1930) as Bunco Davis
  • Let's Go Native (1930) as Deputy Sheriff 'Careful' Cuthbert
  • The Sea God (1930) as Square Deal McCarthy
  • Follow Thru (1930) as J.C. Effingham
  • The Santa Fe Trail (1930) as Doc Brady
  • Playboy of Paris (1930) as Pierre Bourdin
  • Sea Legs (1930) as Hyacinth Nitouche
  • Fighting Caravans (1931) as Seth
  • It Pays to Advertise (1931) as Cyrus Martin
  • The Stolen Jools (1931, Short) as Reporter #1
  • Gun Smoke (1931) as Stub Wallack
  • Dude Ranch (1931) as Judd/Black Jed
  • Huckleberry Finn (1931) as Duke of Bridgewater
  • Girls About Town (1931) as Benjamin Thomas
  • Shanghai Express (1932) as Sam Salt
  • Dancers in the Dark (1932) as Gus
  • Strangers of the Evening (1932) as Detective Brubacher
  • Thunder Below (1932) as Bill Horner
  • Tom Brown of Culver (1932) as Deaf Diner (uncredited)
  • The Night Mayor (1932) as Hymie Shane
  • Wild Girl (1932) as Yuba Bill
  • The Half-Naked Truth (1932) as Achilles
  • Hell Below (1933) as Mac Dougal - Chief Torpedo Man
  • Made on Broadway (1933) as Mike Terwilliger
  • Storm at Daybreak (1933) as Janos
  • Shanghai Madness (1933) as Lobo Lonergan
  • The Kennel Murder Case (1933) as Detective Heath
  • From Headquarters (1933) as Sgt. Boggs
  • Mr. Skitch (1933) as Cliff Merriweather
  • Cross Country Cruise (1934) as Willy Bronson
  • Caravan (1934) as Gypsy Chief
  • I've Got Your Number (1934) as Joe Flood
  • Strictly Dynamite (1934) as Sourwood
  • Friends of Mr. Sweeney (1934) as Wynn Rixey
  • The Dragon Murder Case (1934) as Sgt. Heath
  • One Exciting Adventure (1934) as Kleinsilber
  • Something Simple (1934, Short) as Conventionaire (uncredited)
  • Bordertown (1935) as Charlie Roark
  • All the King's Horses (1935) as Conrad Q. Conley
  • Baby Face Harrington (1935) as Uncle Henry
  • Black Sheep (1935) as Col. Upton Calhoun Belcher
  • Steamboat Round the Bend (1935) as Sheriff Rufe Jeffers
  • The Ghost Goes West (1935) as Mr. Joe Martin
  • The Golden Arrow (1936) as Mr. Meyers
  • My Man Godfrey (1936) as Alexander Bullock
  • Dishonour Bright (1936) as Busby
  • The Luckiest Girl in the World (1936) as Campbell Duncan
  • Easy to Take (1936) as Dr. Reginald Kraft aka Doc
  • Stowaway (1936) as The Colonel
  • Clarence (1937) as Mr. Wheeler
  • The Crime Nobody Saw (1937) as 'Babe' Lawton
  • She Had to Eat (1937) as Raymond Q. Nash
  • Topper (1937) as Casey
  • One Hundred Men and a Girl (1937) as John R. Frost
  • The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) as Friar Tuck
  • There Goes My Heart (1938) as Mr. Stevens - Editor
  • Wife, Husband and Friend (1939) as Mike Craig
  • Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) as Chick McGann
  • It's a Date (1940) as James Clinton
  • Young Tom Edison (1940) as Mr. Nelson
  • It's a Date (1940) as Gov. Allen
  • Sandy Is a Lady (1940) as P.J. Barnett
  • He Stayed for Breakfast (1940) as Maurice Duval
  • A Little Bit of Heaven (1940) as Herrington
  • The Mark of Zorro (1940) as Fray Felipe
  • Ride, Kelly, Ride (1941) as Duke Martin
  • The Lady Eve (1941) as Mr. Pike
  • The Bride Came C.O.D. (1941) as Lucius K. Winfield
  • World Premiere (1941) as Gregory Martin
  • Unfinished Business (1941) as Elmer
  • Swamp Water (1941) as Sheriff Jeb McKane
  • Appointment for Love (1941) as George Hastings
  • The Male Animal (1942) as Ed Keller
  • Almost Married (1942) as Doctor Dobson
  • Are Husbands Necessary? (1942) as Bunker
  • Lady in a Jam (1942) as Mr. John Billingsley
  • Tales of Manhattan (1942) as Luther
  • The Big Street (1942) as Nicely Nicely Johnson
  • The Forest Rangers (1942) as Howard Huston
  • Silver Queen (1942) as Steve Adams
  • It Ain't Hay (1943) as Gregory Warner
  • Slightly Dangerous (1943) as Durstin
  • Heaven Can Wait (1943) as E.F. Strabel
  • The Kansan (1943) as Tom Waggoner
  • The Gang's All Here (1943) as Andrew Mason Sr.
  • Pin Up Girl (1944) as Barney Briggs
  • Sensations of 1945 (1944) as Gus Crane
  • Step Lively (1944) as Simon Jenkins
  • In the Meantime, Darling (1944) as Henry B. Preston
  • Heavenly Days (1944) as Senator Bigbee
  • Lake Placid Serenade (1944) as Carl Cermak
  • The Cheaters (1945) as James C. Pidgeon
  • Deadline at Dawn (1946) as Man In Crowd (uncredited)
  • In Old Sacramento (1946) as Sheriff Jim Wales
  • Suspense (1946) as Harry Wheeler (final film)
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 23 Nov 2021. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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