8 November 1882|
Nova Scotia, Canada
|Died||24 July 1955
West Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Lela Bliss (1924–1955 his death) 1 child|
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.
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. He directed one production on Broadway, a play called Thirsty Soil, which opened in February 1937.
Hayden began appearing in films in 1936, when he was seen in Foolproof, a crime drama short, 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. In the 1940s, Hayden was part of Preston Sturges' unofficial "stock company" of character actors, appearing in six films written and directed by Sturges.
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.
Hayden appeared in his final film, The Desperado, in 1954. 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. He had one son with actress Lela Bliss, Harry Hayden.
- Foolproof (1936 short)
- I Married a Doctor (1936)
- Two Against the World (1936)
- Artists and Models (1937)
- Black Legion (1937) as Jones
- I'll Give a Million (1938)
- Christmas in July (1940)
- Saps at Sea (1940)
- A Man Betrayed (1941)
- Remember the Day (1941)
- Joan of Ozark (1942)
- Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) as Dr. Lewellyn (uncredited)
- The Big Noise (1944)
- The Killers (1946)
- The Velvet Touch (1948)
- Intruder in the Dust (1949)
- Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff (1949)
- O. Henry's Full House (1951)
- The Desperado (1954)
- Erickson, Hal Biography (Allmovie)
- Takacs, Bill Biography (IMDB)
- Harry Hayden on Internet Movie Database
- Thirsty Soil at the Internet Broadway Database
- Foolproof on Internet Movie Database
- Hayden appeared in The Great McGinty, Christmas in July, The Palm Beach Story, Hail the Conquering Hero, The Great Moment and The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend, Sturges' last American film.
- The Desperado on Internet Movie Database
- Harry Hayden at Find a Grave