Charles Halton

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This article is about the American character actor. For the Australian public servant, see Charles Halton (public servant).
Charles Halton
Charles Halton in Nancy Drew... Reporter.jpg
Halton in Nancy Drew... Reporter (1939)
Born (1876-03-16)March 16, 1876
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Died April 16, 1959(1959-04-16) (aged 83)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death
Hepatitis
Occupation Actor
Years active 1901–58
Spouse(s) Lelah Halton

Charles Halton (March 16, 1876 – April 16, 1959) was a stern-faced American character actor who appeared in over 180 films.

Life and Career[edit]

Halton trained at the New York Academy of Dramatic Arts. He made his Broadway debut in 1901, where he appeared in about 35 productions during the next 50 years until 1950. From the 1920s, birdlike Charles Halton's thinning hair, rimless glasses and officious manner were also familiar to generations of moviegoers. Whether playing the neighborhood busybody, a stern government bureaucrat or weaselly attorney, Halton's characters tried to drive the "immoral influences" out of the neighborhood, foreclose on the orphanage, evict the poor widow and her children from their apartment, or any other number of dastardly deeds, all justified usually by "...I'm sorry but that's my job."

Among his notable roles were Mr. Carter, the bank examiner in Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life (1946), the Polnish theatre producer Dobosh in Ernst Lubitsch's To Be or Not to Be (1942) and a county official from Idaho in Alfred Hitchcock's Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941). In Enemy of Women (1944), the story of Joseph Goebbels, Halton played against type as a kindly radio performer of children's stories who is arrested by the Nazis. Although his career slowed down in the 1950s, he also played roles in numerous television series. His 40-year film career ended with High School Confidential (1958), after which he retired.

Halton died on April 16, 1959, from hepatitis related illness. He was 83. His cremated remains were interred in a columbarium of a southern California Forest Lawn cemetery, but it was reported that his family later exhumed his ashes.

Partial filmography[edit]

External links[edit]