Harry Hayden

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Harry Hayden
Harry Hayden.jpg
Harry Hayden
Born (1882-11-08)8 November 1882
Nova Scotia, Canada
Died 24 July 1955(1955-07-24) (aged 72)
West Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1936-1954
Spouse(s) Lela Bliss (1924–1955 his death) 1 child
Children Don Hayden

Harry Hayden (8 November 1882 – 24 July 1955) was a Canadian film character actor who appeared in more than 250 films between 1936 and 1954.


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][2]

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,[3] a play called Thirsty Soil, which opened in February 1937.[4]

Hayden began appearing in films in 1936, when he was seen in Foolproof, a crime drama short,[5] 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.[6]

Television also provided some opportunities for this ubiquitous actor. Hayden did a handful of episodic television shows from 1951 to 1955, during which time 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.[7] He died in West Los Angeles, California on 24 July 1955, at the age of 72, and is buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.[8] He had one son with actress Lela Bliss, Harry Hayden.

Partial filmography[edit]


External links[edit]