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Herbert Evans (actor)

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Herbert Evans
Evans in One Year Later (1933)
Born(1882-04-16)16 April 1882
Devonshire, England
Died10 February 1952(1952-02-10) (aged 69)
Years active1908–1952
Etta Maud Bignell
(m. 1903)

Herbert Evans (16 April 1882 – 10 February 1952) was an English film actor. He appeared in over 180 films between 1916 and 1952.


A native of Devonshire,[1] Evans started his screen acting career in 1914 at the World Film Company in Fort Lee, New Jersey.[2]

His performances include the Earl of Glenheather Castle in The Three Stooges comedy The Hot Scots and its remake Scotched in Scotland, the well-meaning but clueless butler Wilkes in Vagabond Loafers’’ and in the Our Gang short Shrimps for a Day.

In addition to his work in short subjects, Evans appeared—often uncredited—in such films as Casablanca, Strangers on a Train, Annie Get Your Gun and Song of the Thin Man. He also had bit roles in the Shirley Temple vehicles Curly Top and Wee Willie Winkie.

One notable departure from his professional pursuit of acting consisted of time spent as "amusement manager" of Coney Island's Luna Park—specifically, 1920 through at least 1924, and again in 1928 and 1929.[3][4] It was during the latter stint that Evans engaged fellow British ex-pat Cary Grant—two years prior to acquiring that soon-to-be iconic stage name–to become, in the words of the former Mr. Leach, circa fall 1969, "a barker for an incubator sideshow."[5][6] Even before his hiring had been announced, Evans made headlines in March 1920 with a $50,000 payment to the United States government in exchange for the newly decommissioned USS Recruit, which was promptly moved from Manhattan's Union Square to Luna Park, where it served as an ad hoc ballroom/bandstand for opening-day patrons and the U.S. Naval Recruiting Band.[3]

Evans died on 10 February 1952 in the San Gabriel Sanitarium.[7] He was survived by his wife Etta and two children.[2]

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ "HERBERT EVANS". New York Herald Tribune. Associated Press. 13 February 1952. p. 22. ProQuest 1324192687. A funeral service for Herbert Evans, who died Sunday, will be held tomorrow in Hollywood. Mr. Evans, a native of Devonshire, Eng., had been in motion pictures for twenty-five years. Before that he played in New York and London musical comedies.
  2. ^ a b "Last Rites Set for Actor Herbert Evans". San Mateo Times. California, San Mateo. 13 February 1952. p. 23. Retrieved 23 February 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  3. ^ a b "Herb Evans Dies in L.A.". Billboard. 23 February 1952. Retrieved 23 October 2023. See also:
    • "Get 'Battleship' for Luna". Variety. 19 March 1920. p. 5. ProQuest 1505570772. Herbert Evans purchased the wooden battleship that stood in Union Square from the Government for $50,000. He will move it to Luna Park and make an amusement house out of it.
    • "Luna Park to Open Season on May 17; Eight Vaudeville Acts in Free Circus". Variety. 30 April 1920. p. 5. ProQuest 1475632682. Luna Park will open the season May 17 with seven new buildings. Eight vaudeville acts will appear at the free circus [...] The U. S. S. Recruit has been installed at Luna and the U. S. Naval Recruiting band will play selections on the deck where there will be free dancing. Herbert Evans is the amusement manager.
    • "Sam McCracken Will Manage Luna Park". The Billboard. 13 December 1924. p. 221. ProQuest 1031728222. New York, Dec. 9.—Sam McCracken, for many years associated with the Ringling Circus, has been appointed amusement manager of Luna Park, Coney Island, to succeed Herbert Evans.
  4. ^ "Herbert Evans Returns To Former Luna Park Job". The Billboard. 19 March 1928. p. 89. ProQuest 1031876456. Herbert Evans, manager of Luna Park, Coney Island, for seven years[sic], has returned in same capacity. See also:
    • "New York Flashes". Billboard. 1 February 1930. p. 93. ProQuest 1031931028. Herbert Evans, director of amusements at Luna Park, Coney Island last season, has left for Hollywood to become co-director in a forthcoming Warner Bros. production. It is understood that Evans will not be associated with Luna this season.
  5. ^ Gardner, Hy (5 October 1969). "Cary Grant interview by Hy". The Post-Crescent. p. S12. Retrieved 23 October 2023.
  6. ^ Kingsley, Grace (14 December 1931). "Name Change Brings Fame; New Moniker Selected for Arch Leach, Actor". The Los Angeles Times. p. 7. Retrieved October 23, 2023.
  7. ^ "Obituaries: Herbert Evans". Variety. 20 February 1952. p. 63. ProQuest 962816185. Herbert Evans, 69, screen character actor, died Feb. 10 in the San Gabriel Sanitarium. He had been in films for more than 30 years. Previously, Evans had appeared in musicomedies in New York and London.

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