Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Born Today October 3: Henry Hull


Character actor from stage and screen Henry Watterson Hull was born on this date in Louisville, Kentucky.  Hull started on the stage and later became a Broadway regular, even managing to create one of Broadway's lasting characters, Jeeter Lester, a character in the novel based play Tobacco Road.  He appeared in his first film in 1917, a World Film/Peerless drama A Square Deal.  Though Hull appeared in quite a few silent films between 1917 and 1925, he was primarily an actor of the stage.  The last silent film that he appeared was The Wrongdoers , starring Lionel Barrymore.  After 1925, he left film work until 1930, when talking films had solidly overtaken silents.  Even then, he appeared in only one short (Matinee Idle (1930)--a short fancy poking fun at Broadway playboy types); he did not resume regular film work until 1934.  After this point he settled into the familiar character actor that would morph into the gravely voiced old man type that he became known for in films and television (he still made many appearances on the stage as well).  Hull (appropriate for this time of year) is best remembered for his role in the Universal Wolf Man/Monsters franchise Werewolf of London in 1935, which coincidentally starred Warner Oland who was also born on Oct. 3rd.  

Hull and Oland together

Hull would also appear in the very last film directed by Tod Browning in 1939; Miracles For Sale.   Between the late 1930's and mid 1940's, he made appearances in several well known films including Boys Town (1938), High Sierra (1941) and Alfred Hitchcock's Lifeboat (1944).  Hull made his television debut in 1949 in the episode The Birthday Party of The Chevrolet Tele-Theater (1949-1950).  As time went on, he became almost totally recognizable from television, and a later career in westerns.  Hull's last role was Briggs in the Marlon Brando, Jane Fonda 1966 picture The Chase.  He retired after this; and when his wife of many years died in 1971, he went to live with his daughter who resided in Cornwall.  He died there at the age 86 on the 8th of March, 1977 following complications from a stroke.  He is buried, along with his wife, in Rockland Cemetery in Sparkill, New York

From Werewolf Of London

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