Pollard in 1920 ad for a series of comedy short films
9 November 1889
|Died||19 January 1962
Burbank, California, U.S.
Often mistaken as the brother of Australian actress Daphne Pollard, though the two were not related. Harry Pollard was born as Harold Fraser and took the name Pollard as his stage name. In addition, the two both acted with "Pollard's Lilliputian Opera Co." in Australia, which gave stage performances featuring children and performers of small stature. This was a very well known troupe in its time, and many of its performers adopted the surname "Pollard".
Pollard played supporting roles in the early films of Harold Lloyd. The long-faced Pollard sported a Kaiser Wilhelm mustache turned upside-down; this became his trademark. Lloyd's producer, Hal Roach, gave Pollard his own starring series of one- and two-reel shorts. The most famous is 1923's It's a Gift, in which he plays an inventor of many Rube Goldberg-like contraptions, including a car that runs by magnet power.
Pollard left Roach in 1924 and joined the low-budget Weiss Brothers studio in 1926. There he co-starred with Marvin Loback as a poor man's version of Laurel and Hardy, copying that team's plots and gags.
In the 1930s, Pollard played small parts in talking comedies, and was featured as comic relief in "B" westerns. Pollard's silent-comedy credentials guaranteed him work in slapstick revivals. He appeared with other film veterans in Hollywood Cavalcade (1939), The Perils of Pauline (1947), and Man of a Thousand Faces (1957). He also appeared regularly as a supporting player in Columbia Pictures' two-reel comedies of the mid-1940s.
Forsaking his familiar mustache, he landed much steadier work as a bit player. He played incidental roles in scores of Hollywood features and shorts, almost always as a mousy, nondescript fellow, usually with no dialogue. In Wheeler & Woolsey's Cockeyed Cavaliers (1934), he's a drunken doctor. At the end of Miracle on 34th Street (1947), when a squad of bailiffs hauling sacks of mail enters the courtroom, Pollard brings up the rear. In Frank Capra's Pocketful of Miracles (1961), Pollard plays a Broadway beggar. His last film, Twist Around the Clock (1962), shows him wordlessly reacting to a curvaceous woman dancing energetically.
Death and recognition
Snub Pollard died of cancer on 19 January 1962, aged 72, after nearly 50 years in the movie business. His interment was at Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills).
For his contributions to motion pictures, Pollard has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6415½ Hollywood Boulevard.
- Snub Pollard at the Internet Movie Database
- Snub Pollard at Golden Silents
- Snub Pollard at Find a Grave