Kenneth MacDonald (American actor)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Kenneth MacDonald
Stooge064 kenneth.jpg
MacDonald in Cadets on Parade (1942)
Kenneth Dollins

(1901-09-08)September 8, 1901
DiedMay 5, 1972(1972-05-05) (aged 70)
Resting placeForest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills)
Years active1931-1970
SpouseLaMee Nave MacDonald (1930-1972) (his death) (3 children)[1]

Kenneth MacDonald (born Kenneth Dollins; September 8, 1901 – May 5, 1972)[2] was an American film actor. Born in Portland, Indiana, MacDonald made more than 220 film and television appearances between 1931 and 1970. His name is sometimes seen as Kenneth McDonald.[3]


MacDonald began his career as a stage actor. In 1923 he appeared in his first feature film, Slow as Lightning.[3] He came to Hollywood in the early 1930s, where he played small roles in low-budget, independent productions.

In 1939 Kenneth MacDonald was signed by Columbia Pictures for the studio's Charles Starrett westerns. MacDonald perfected a cool, debonair demeanor, which usually masked an evil side as a con man, outlaw, or thief. His speaking voice was rich and well modulated, often being gentle and ominous at the same time, in the Boris Karloff manner. Also, like Karloff, he seldom raised his voice, making his characters both dominant and dangerous. This quality made MacDonald an effective villain in Columbia's adventure serials (like Mandrake the Magician and The Phantom). He was also adept at playing sympathetic roles, usually as calm authority figures (police official, prison psychiatrist, judges, etc.).

Actors in Columbia's stock company almost always worked in the studio's two-reel comedy shorts as well as features and serials, but Kenneth MacDonald did not join the short-subject fraternity until 1945, when he appeared opposite comedy stars Gus Schilling and Richard Lane. He is probably best known today for his work with The Three Stooges.

MacDonald developed a flair for comedy, and he made memorable appearances in Stooge comedies including Monkey Businessmen, Hold That Lion!, Crime on Their Hands, Punchy Cowpunchers, and Loose Loot. Beginning in 1953, the comedy in the Columbia shorts became even more physical under producer-director Jules White, and MacDonald obligingly got plastered with pies, fruit, and other missiles. He also returned to Columbia's serial unit, which was then filming low-budget remakes of his older serials using much of the original footage; MacDonald appeared in new scenes to match his old ones. He left the Columbia shorts department in 1955.


MacDonald was a frequent guest star from 1951 to 1953, mostly as a sheriff, in the syndicate television series, The Range Rider, with Jock Mahoney and Dick Jones. He appeared in a 1949 episode (8) and a 1955 episode (173) of The Lone Ranger. He had a recurring role (32 episodes) as Judge Carter on CBS's Perry Mason between 1957 and 1966. He appeared six times as Colonel Parker in the ABC western series Colt .45. In 1960 MacDonald appeared as Duggan on the TV western Laramie in the episode titled "Duel at Parkinson Town.".[citation needed] He also appeared in a number of episodes of the TV western Bat Masterson, including with Gene Barry & Diane Cannon in "The Price of Paradise" (1961).

MacDonald still appeared occasionally in motion pictures, including a bit role as Jerry Lewis's father in the 1961 feature, The Ladies' Man, and as a member of the court martial board in The Caine Mutiny (1954).


MacDonald died of brain and lung cancer at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California[4] at the age of 70.[5]

He was buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills.[2]

Partial filmography[edit]


  1. ^ "Kenneth MacDonald".
  2. ^ a b Wilson, Scott (2016). Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed. (2 volume set). McFarland. p. 464. ISBN 9781476625997. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  3. ^ a b Katchmer, George A. (2002). A Biographical Dictionary of Silent Film Western Actors and Actresses. McFarland. p. 246. ISBN 9780786446933. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  4. ^ Mayer, Geoff (2017). Encyclopedia of American Film Serials. McFarland. p. 198. ISBN 9780786477623. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  5. ^ Okuda, Ted; Watz, Edward (1998) [1986]. The Columbia Comedy Shorts. McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. ISBN 0-89950-181-8.
  6. ^ Blottner, Gene (2011). "The Wildcat of Tucson". Wild Bill Elliott: A Complete Filmography. McFarland & Company. pp. 150–151. ISBN 9780786480258. Retrieved 2017-10-09. Bill Elliott's presence, with a matching performance by Kenneth MacDonald, brings this western saga satisfactorily to the screen. [...] An interesting subplot has heroine Evelyn Young momentarily switching her affection from Stanley Brown to his brother, Eliott. Lambert Hillyer's direction is first rate.

External links[edit]