Lyle Talbot

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Lyle Talbot
Talbot in 1947
Lisle Henderson

(1902-02-08)February 8, 1902
DiedMarch 2, 1996(1996-03-02) (aged 94)
Years active1927–1987
Elaine Melchior
(m. 1930; div. 1930)
Marguerite Ethel Cramer
(m. 1937; div. 1940)
Abigail Adams
(m. 1942; ann. 1942)
Keven McClure
(m. 1946; div. 1947)
Margaret Epple (aka Paula Deaven)
(m. 1948; died 1989)
Children4, including David Talbot
Margaret Talbot
Stephen Talbot

Lyle Florenz Talbot (born Lisle Henderson, also credited Lysle Talbot; February 8, 1902 – March 2, 1996) was an American stage, screen and television actor. His career in films spanned three decades, from 1931 to 1960, and he performed on a wide variety of television series from the early 1950s to the late 1980s.[1] Among his notable roles on television was his portrayal of Ozzie Nelson's friend and neighbor Joe Randolph, a character he played for ten years on the ABC sitcom The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.

Talbot began his film career under contract with Warner Bros. during the early years of the sound era. Ultimately, he appeared in more than 175 productions with various studios, first as a young matinee idol, then as the star of many B movies, and later as a character actor.[2] He was a founding member of the Screen Actors Guild and in 1933 served on that organization's first board of directors.[3] His long career is recounted in the 2012 book The Entertainer: Movies, Magic and My Father's Twentieth Century by his youngest daughter Margaret Talbot, a staff writer for The New Yorker.[4][a]

Early life[edit]

Lyle was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the only child of Florence May (née Talbot) and Joel Edward Henderson, both natives of Nebraska.[5] In May 1902, just three months after Lyle's birth, Florence died at her mother's home in Brainard, Nebraska from complications attributed to typhoid fever.[6] Lyle was then raised in Brainard by his grandmother, Mary Talbot, who legally changed her infant grandson's surname from Henderson to her own and added "Florenz" as his middle name in memory of her daughter.[6] Later, as a teenager, Talbot moved with his grandmother to Omaha, Nebraska. There he graduated from high school before leaving home at age 17 to work as a hypnotist's assistant, part-time magician, and as an actor, entertaining audiences at traveling tent shows and in theatres across the American Midwest.[7]

Film career[edit]

After gaining years of stage experience in his travels, Talbot in 1929 established his own theatre company, "The Talbot Players", in Memphis, Tennessee, where he hired his father and stepmother, Anna Henderson, to be among the company's roster of performers.[8] At the end of 1931, however, Talbot decided to move to California to find more lucrative acting opportunities in motion pictures. He already had some experience, though very limited, in performing on screen, namely in small roles in a few shorts, which included a bit part as a gangster in The Nightingale (1931) and playing a police captain in The Clyde Mystery (1931).[9][10][b] Both of those low-budget, two-reel shorts were filmed in New York City and produced by Warner Bros. in affiliation with Vitaphone in Brooklyn.[9][11]

Move to Hollywood, 1932[edit]

Talbot's arrival in California at the beginning of 1932 proved to be ideal timing, for Hollywood was still in the formative years of the sound era, when studios remained busy searching for potential leading actors who were not only engaging performers, but also had acceptable voices and articulate speech patterns for the early audio technologies being used and refined on film sets.[12] Talbot possessed those qualities, for his screen test at Warner Bros. went well despite the fact that the scene Talbot performed was from a play that satirized the studio's production chief Darryl F. Zanuck.[12] It also impressed one of the studio's top directors, "Wild Bill" William Wellman, who immediately wanted to cast the 30-year-old actor in his upcoming film Love Is a Racket.[13] Talbot quickly accepted Zanuck's offer to join the company's growing ranks of contract players, who included the rising stars Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart. Just prior to his work in Love Is a Racket, Talbot appeared as a major supporting character, Dr. Jerome Preston, in Unholy Love, a drama produced by Warner Bros. in cooperation with Albert Ray Productions. Lyle's portrayal of "Jerry" did not go unnoticed by film industry trade publications.[c] In its July 9, 1932 review of Unholy Love, the popular journal Motion Picture Herald encourages theater owners and prospective audiences to direct special attention on three performers in the film: "Don't overlook Beryl Mercer and Ivan Lebedeff, as well as Lyle Talbot, "whom Warner Brothers are grooming for stellar roles."[14][d]

Frame from trailer for Havana Widows (1933).

Some other notable films in which Talbot was cast in his first years at Warner Bros. are Three on a Match (1932), 20,000 Years in Sing Sing (1932) with Spencer Tracy, College Coach (1933) with Pat O'Brien and Dick Powell, Mary Stevens, M.D. (1933), Ladies They Talk About, and Mandalay (1934) where he portrays an alcoholic doctor trying to quit drinking.[2] He continued to perform in a variety of co-starring roles, such as romancing Mae West in Go West, Young Man (1936), pursuing opera star Grace Moore in One Night of Love (1934), and playing a bank robber on the run in Heat Lightning (1934).[2]

He appeared opposite an array of other stars during his career, including Bette Davis, Ann Dvorak, Carole Lombard, Barbara Stanwyck, Mary Astor, Ginger Rogers, Loretta Young, Glenda Farrell, Joan Blondell, Marion Davies, and Shirley Temple. He also shared the screen with Humphrey Bogart, Spencer Tracy and Tyrone Power. Overall in the course of his entertainment career, Talbot performed in over 175 films.[2][15]

"The 42nd Street Special" and "cheap socks"[edit]

Early in his career at Warner Bros., Talbot took part in one of Hollywood's most extravagant and ambitious publicity events, a five-week rail trip in 1933 across the United States with Bette Davis, Preston Foster, Leo Carrillo, Glenda Farrell, cowboy star Tom Mix, Olympic swimmer Eleanor Holm, comedian Joe E. Brown, and a chorus line of Busby Berkeley dancers. The established studio celebrities and rising stars and personnel traveled aboard "The 42nd Street Special," a passenger train that was elaborately decorated in silver and gold leaf and trimmed with electric lights.[16] Stopping at dozens of cities along their journey, the Hollywood travelers widely promoted Warners' new Busby Berkeley musical 42nd Street. They also took the opportunity when the train paused in Washington, D.C., on March 4, 1933, to attend the first inauguration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt as a show of the studio's support for the nation's new president. Days later, after arriving in New York City on March 9, the train returned to California.[17] In the extensive news coverage of The 42nd Street Special's itinerary, Talbot—already divorced from a brief marriage in 1930—was described in reports as the train's "Railway Romeo" and as being "'handsome as hell'" and "'likable as a collie.'"[16] Warner Bros. was evidently very pleased with his performances for the studio, both on- and off-set, for during the publicity excursion, the New York-based trade paper The Film Daily reports on March 1, "Lyle Talbot, now on the '42nd Street' special train touring the country, has been placed under long-term contract by Warners."[18]

The monthly movie-fan magazine Photoplay profiled Talbot in its March 1933 issue, distributing it to its subscribers and newsstands at the same time the 42nd Street Special was still touring the nation. Written by Sara Hamilton and titled "Born to be a Villain But Lyle Talbot wishes they would let him go straight", the article provided readers with some insight into the popular actor's general lifestyle at the time, along with some details about his early life and personal preferences, right down to his "cheap socks":

Usually the villain in his screen roles, Lyle Talbot is probably the most unvillain-like person in Hollywood. He's a quiet, unassuming young man with a bright Irish wit,[e] who lives alone in a modest flat with his dog, likes golf and tennis and goes bicycle riding every chance he gets. He cares little for publicity ballyhoo and wants to spread his career out over a period of years, rather than have it burst into a sudden skyrocket of flame and then die out...
He's five feet, eleven and a half inches tall; weighs 172 pounds, has brown hair and blue eyes that a girl would give anything to possess. He has grand taste in clothes, his ties, socks and shirts always blending.
He is never seen where actors are usually seen. He drives a Ford, loves filet of sole, and his pet economy is cheap socks. He loathes people who talk too much. Lyle himself talks well and at length. He's made fourteen pictures in eight months and frets considerably about the villain thing. He never wants to be just a nice young hero but he would like to be a little nice on the screen for a change. He's not married and he's twenty-nine years old.[19][f]

SAG and later films[edit]

Back in Hollywood after the 1933 publicity tour and working long hours six days a week, Talbot in July 1933 decided to become a member of the first board of directors of the Screen Actors Guild. His activism in SAG union affairs reportedly hurt his career.[20] In 1936, Warner Bros. dropped his contract, which immediately affected Talbot's acting opportunities.[21] He seldom received starring roles again, although he continued to find steady work as a capable character actor, often playing the "other man", affable neighbors, or crafty villains with equal finesse.[21] Talbot's supporting roles spanned the gamut, as he played cowboys, pirates, detectives, street cops, surgeons, psychiatrists, soldiers, judges, newspaper editors, storekeepers, and boxers. In reflecting on his career during a 1984 interview with the Los Angeles Times, he stated, "'It's really simple, I never turned down a job, not one...ever.'"[22] Such universal acceptance of acting offers led to his performing in, as Talbot himself described them in the same Times interview, "'some real stinkers'".[22] Those films include three by Ed Wood that are now distinguished in American cinematic history for their extraordinarily low production values: Glen or Glenda (1953), Jail Bait (1954), and a motion picture often cited by media reviewers as the "'worst film ever made'", Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959).[22] Talbot also worked with the Three Stooges in Gold Raiders (1951) and played villains in four comedies with The Bowery Boys.

Talbot was notable too for being the first live-action actor to play two prominent DC Comics characters on-screen: Commissioner Gordon in Batman and Robin, and supervillain Lex Luthor in Atom Man vs. Superman (who at the time was simply known as Luthor). Talbot began a longstanding tradition of actors in these roles that were most recently (as of 2022) filled by Jeffrey Wright and Jesse Eisenberg, respectively.[23] He also had a role on The Vigilante movie serial too for the original Vigilante Greg Saunders, again for DC Comics

In 1960, after an absence of more than 20 years, Talbot returned to the Warner Bros. big screen, appearing in the Franklin D. Roosevelt bio-pic, Sunrise at Campobello written by Dore Schary and starring Ralph Bellamy. It was Talbot's penultimate film appearance.

Return to the stage[edit]

Having started his career in the theatre and later co-starred on Broadway in 1940–1941 in Separate Rooms with Glenda Farrell and Alan Dinehart, Talbot returned to the stage in the 1960s and 1970s, starring in national road company versions of Thornton Wilder's The Matchmaker with Ann B. Davis; Gore Vidal's The Best Man with Hugh Marlowe and K.T. Stevens; Neil Simon's The Odd Couple with Harvey Stone and Barefoot in the Park with Virginia Mayo; Arthur Sumner Long's play Never Too Late with Penny Singleton; and appearing as Captain Brackett in a 1967 revival of South Pacific at (Lincoln Center) starring Florence Henderson and Giorgio Tozzi.[24] He also starred in Preston Jones' "The Last Meeting of the Knights of the White Magnolia" at the Alley Theatre in Houston and the Chicago area Lincolnshire Theater.[25] He rode the wave of the dinner theater phenomenon in the 1970s, acting in light comedies onstage in various Midwestern towns where former television actors were major attractions. As early as 1962, Talbot directed and co-starred with Ozzie and Harriet Nelson and a young Sally "Hot Lips" Kellerman in Marriage Go Round, a play Talbot and the Nelsons took on the road again in the early 1970s.

Television, 1950s–1980s[edit]

Although Talbot once starred in the film Trapped by Television (1936), the invention of TV actually revived his acting career after the quality of his movie roles began to decline. Talbot was a frequent presence on American television from the 1950s well into the 1970s with occasional appearances in the 1980s. From 1955 to 1966, he regularly appeared in episodes of The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet as neighbor Joe Randolph. He also had a recurring role (1955–58) as Paul Fonda in numerous episodes of The Bob Cummings Show.[26]

Talbot also acted in a variety of early television Westerns. He played Colonel Billings three times on The Adventures of Kit Carson (1951–1955), appeared four times as a judge on the syndicated series The Cisco Kid, guest-starred in four episodes of Gene Autry's The Range Rider in 1952 and 1953, was cast five times in different roles on The Lone Ranger between 1950 and 1955, and played Sheriff Clyde Chadwick in the 1959 episode "The Sanctuary" on Colt .45, and the episode "Two Tickets to Ten Strike" on Maverick in 1959. In the 1950s and beyond, he performed as well in a wide range of other drama and comedy programs. In 1955 he portrayed the character Baylor in six episodes or "chapters" of the early sci-fi series Commando Cody: Sky Marshal of the Universe. From 1953 to 1957, he was cast as different characters in four episodes of the anthology series Lux Video Theatre. In 1967, he played Colonel Blake three times on The Beverly Hillbillies and appeared three times between 1965 and 1971 on Green Acres. On one episode of Green Acres in 1969, Talbot played himself but in the fictional role of a senator, spoofing actors such as Ronald Reagan who actually became politicians later in their careers.[27]

Some examples of other series on which Talbot made guest appearances include Annie Oakley; It's a Great Life; The Public Defender; The Pride of the Family; Crossroads; Hey, Jeannie!; The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show; Broken Arrow; The Millionaire; Richard Diamond, Private Detective; Tales of Wells Fargo; Buckskin; Cimarron City; Maverick; Angel; Hawaiian Eye; 77 Sunset Strip; Surfside 6; The Roaring 20s; The Restless Gun; Stagecoach West; The Red Skelton Show; The Lucy Show, The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok; Topper; The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin; Laredo; Perry Mason; The Real McCoys; Rawhide; Wagon Train; Charlie's Angels; Newhart; The Dukes of Hazzard; St. Elsewhere; Adam-12; and Who's the Boss?.

Talbot continued to act on television into the 1980s. He also narrated at that time two televised PBS biographies, The Case of Dashiell Hammett (1982) and World Without Walls (1986) about pioneering female pilot Beryl Markham. Both PBS programs were produced and written by his son Stephen Talbot, a former child actor who portrayed the recurring character Gilbert Bates on Leave It to Beaver, another series on which his father performed in several episodes.

Personal life and death[edit]

Talbot had many romantic entanglements and several brief marriages to Elaine Melchoir (1930), Marguerite Cramer (1937–1940), Abigail Adams (1942), and Keven "Eve" McClure (1946–1947) who next married novelist Henry Miller.[28][29] Talbot married for the fifth and final time in 1948 to Margaret Epple, a young actress and singer who adopted the name "Paula" and sometimes went by the stage names of "Paula Deaven" or "Margaret Abbott."[30] She was 20; he was a 46-year-old actor with a drinking problem.[31] Under Paula's influence, Talbot quit drinking, and the couple often performed together on stage in summer stock and community theater. They had four children, lived in Studio City, California (where Talbot was honorary mayor in the 1960s), and remained married for more than 40 years, until Paula's death in 1989.[32][33]

After his wife's death, Talbot moved to San Francisco, where both of his sons and their families lived. On March 2, 1996, Talbot died at the age of 94 at his home in San Francisco, California. His death was attributed to congestive heart failure.[34] He was survived by his children, three of whom—Stephen Talbot, David Talbot, and Margaret Talbot—had established careers in media production, writing, or journalism. Cynthia Talbot, Lyle's elder daughter, instead pursued a medical career, becoming a physician and later a residency director in Portland, Oregon.


Year Title Role Notes
1932 Unholy Love Dr. Jerome Preston 'Jerry' Gregory
Love Is a Racket Edw. Griswold 'Eddie' Shaw Alternative title: Such Things Happen
Stranger in Town Brice
The Purchase Price Eddie Fields
Miss Pinkerton Newspaper Editor Uncredited
The Thirteenth Guest Phil Winston
Klondike Dr. Robert Cromwell
Big City Blues Len 'Lenny' Sully Uncredited
Three on a Match Michael Loftus
No More Orchids Tony Gauge
20,000 Years in Sing Sing Bud Saunders
1933 Parachute Jumper Minor Role (scenes deleted)
Ladies They Talk About Don
42nd Street Geoffrey Warning Voice, Uncredited
Girl Missing Raymond Fox
The Life of Jimmy Dolan Doc Woods
She Had to Say Yes Daniel Drew
A Shriek in the Night Ted Kord
Mary Stevens, M.D. Don Andrews
College Coach Herbert P. 'Buck' Weaver
Havana Widows Bob Jones
1934 Mandalay Dr. Gregory Burton
Heat Lightning Jeff
Registered Nurse Dr. Greg Connolly
Fog Over Frisco Spencer Carlton
Return of the Terror Dr. Leonard Goodman
The Dragon Murder Case Dale Leland
One Night of Love Bill Houston
A Lost Lady Neil
Murder in the Clouds 'Three Star' Bob Halsey
The Secret Bride Trailer Narrator Voice, Uncredited
1935 Red Hot Tires Wallace Storm
While the Patient Slept Ross Lonergan
It Happened in New York Charley Barnes
Our Little Girl Rolfe Brent
Chinatown Squad Ted Lacey
Oil for the Lamps of China Jim
Page Miss Glory Slattery of the Express
The Case of the Lucky Legs Dr. Bob Doray
Broadway Hostess Lucky
1936 Boulder Dam Lacy
The Singing Kid Robert 'Bob' Carey
The Law in Her Hands Frank 'Legs' Gordon
Murder by an Aristocrat Dr. Allen Carick
Trapped by Television Fred Dennis
Go West, Young Man Francis X. Harrigan
Mind Your Own Business Crane
1937 Affairs of Cappy Ricks Bill Peck
What Price Vengeance? 'Dynamite' Hogan / Tom Connors
Three Legionnaires Pvt. Jimmy Barton
West Bound Limited Dave Tolliver aka Bob Kirk
Second Honeymoon Robert "Bob" Benton
1938 Change of Heart Phillip Reeves
Call of the Yukon Hugo Henderson
One Wild Night Singer Martin
Gateway Henry Porter
The Arkansas Traveler Matt Collins
I Stand Accused Charles Eastman
1939 Forged Passport Jack Scott
They Asked for It Marty Collins
Second Fiddle Willie Hogger
Torture Ship Lt. Bob Bennett
Miracle on Main Street Dick Porter
1940 He Married His Wife Paul Hunter
Parole Fixer Ross Waring
1942 She's in the Army Army Capt. Steve Russell
They Raid by Night Capt. Robert Owen
Mexican Spitfire's Elephant Reddy
1943 Man of Courage George Dickson
A Night for Crime Joe Powell
The Meanest Man in the World Bill Potts Uncredited
1944 Up in Arms Sgt. Gelsey
The Falcon Out West Tex Irwin
Gambler's Choice Yellow Gloves Weldon
Are These Our Parents? George Kent
Sensations of 1945 Randall
Dixie Jamboree Anthony 'Tony' Sardell
Trail to Gunsight U. S. Marshal Bill Hollister
Mystery of the River Boat Rudolph Toller Serial
One Body Too Many Jim Davis
1945 Sensation Hunters Randsll
1946 Gun Town Lucky Dorgan
Murder Is My Business Buell Renslow
Song of Arizona King Blaine
Strange Impersonation Inspector Malloy
Chick Carter, Detective Chick Carter
1947 Danger Street Charles Johnson
The Vigilante: Fighting Hero of the West George Pierce
1948 Devil's Cargo Johnny Morello
The Vicious Circle Miller
Joe Palooka in Winner Take All Henerson
Thunder in the Pines Nick Roulade
Parole, Inc. Police Commissioner Hughes
Appointment with Murder Fred M. Muller
Quick on the Trigger Garvey Yager
Shep Comes Home Dr. Wilson
Highway 13 Company Detective
1949 Joe Palooka in the Big Fight Lt. Muldoon
Fighting Fools Blinky Harris
The Mutineers Capt. Jim Duncan
Sky Dragon Andrew J. Barrett
Batman and Robin Commissioner Jim Gordon
Mississippi Rhythm
Ringside Radio Announcer
She Shoulda Said No! Police Captain Hayes
1950 Dick Tracy B.R. Ayne aka The Brain TV series, 7 episodes
The Daltons' Women Jim Thorne
Everybody's Dancin' Contractor
Johnny One-Eye Official from District Attorney's Office
Champagne for Caesar Executive No. 2
Lucky Losers Bruce McDermott
Federal Man Agent Johnson
Atom Man vs. Superman Lex Luthor / Atom Man
Triple Trouble Prison Yard Guard Uncredited
Big Timber Logger #1
Border Rangers Ranger Capt. McLain
Cherokee Uprising Chief Marshal
The Jackpot Fred Burns
Revenue Agent Augustis King
The Du Pont Story Eugene du Pont
One Too Many Mr. Boyer
1950–1954 The Cisco Kid Various roles TV series, 4 episodes
1950–1956 The Lone Ranger Various roles TV series, 5 episodes
1951 Colorado Ambush Sheriff Ed Lowery
Blue Blood Teasdale
Abilene Trail Dr. Martin
Fingerprints Don't Lie Police Lt. Grayson
Fury of the Congo Grant
Mask of the Dragon Police Lt. Ralph McLaughlin
Man from Sonora Sheriff Frank Casey
The Scarf City Detective Uncredited
Hurricane Island Physician Uncredited
Oklahoma Justice Doc Willoughby Uncredited
Gold Raiders Taggert Alternative title: The Stooges Go West
Jungle Manhunt Dr. Mitchell Heller
Lawless Cowboys Rank - Town Banker Uncredited
Purple Heart Diary Maj. Green
Texas Lawmen Dr. Riley Uncredited
Stage to Blue River Perkins
1951–1956 The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok W.T. Emerson / Bank Teller / Blackburn TV series, 4 episodes
1952 The Old West Doc Lockwood
Texas City Captain Hamilton
With a Song in My Heart Radio Director Uncredited
Outlaw Women Judge Roger Dixon
Kansas Territory Sam Collins Uncredited
African Treasure Roy DeHaven, alias Pat Gilroy
Down Among the Sheltering Palms Maj. Gerald Curwin Uncredited
Sea Tiger Mr. Williams, Insurance Man
Montana Incident Mooney
Untamed Women Col. Loring
Feudin' Fools Big Jim
Desperadoes' Outpost Walter Fleming
Son of Geronimo: Apache Avenger Col. Foster Serial, [Chs.5-6]
Wyoming Roundup Franklin
The Pathfinder British Ship Captain
1952-1954 Death Valley Days San Francisco Mayor / Dr. Harper / Silas Capshaw TV series, 4 episodes
1953 Star of Texas Telegraph Operator
White Lightning Rocky Gibraltar
Trail Blazers Deputy Sheriff McLain
The Roy Rogers Show John Zachary TV series, 1 episode
Glen or Glenda Insp. Warren
Mesa of Lost Women Narrator Voice
Clipped Wings Capt. Blair
Wings of the Hawk Jones Uncredited
The Great Adventures of Captain Kidd Boston Official Serial, Uncredited
Tumbleweed Weber
Commando Cody: Sky Marshal of the Universe Baylor Serial, 6 episodes
1954 Trader Tom of the China Seas Barent
Gunfighters of the Northwest Inspector Wheeler
Jail Bait Inspector Johns Directed by Ed Wood
The Mad Magician Program Hawker Uncredited
Captain Kidd and the Slave Girl Capt. Pace
The Desperado Judge Uncredited
Tobor the Great Admiral Uncredited
Two Guns and a Badge Doctor Uncredited
There's No Business Like Show Business Stage Manager Uncredited
The Steel Cage Square, Convict (segment "The Hostages")
1954–1958 December Bride Bill Monahan / Mr. Winters / Mr. Butterfield TV series, 6 episodes
1955 Hallmark Hall of Fame TV series, 1 episode
Jail Busters Cy Bowman
Sudden Danger Harry Woodruff
1955–1959 The Bob Cummings Show Paul Fonda TV series, 22 episodes
1956 Navy Log Captain Morgan TV series, 1 episode
The Millionaire Joe Price TV series, 1 episode
Calling Homicide Tony Fuller
The Great Man Harry Connors
1956–1966 The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet Joe Randolph TV series, 71 episodes
1957 Science Fiction Theatre General Dothan TV series, 1 episode
Tales of Wells Fargo Reporter TV series, 1 episode
God Is My Partner Dr. Warburton, Psychiatrist
1958 M Squad Paul Crowley TV series, 1 episode
The Notorious Mr. Monks Leonardo, Prosecuting Attorney
Leave It to Beaver Charles "Chuck" Dennison TV series, 2 episodes
High School Confidential William Remington Kane
The Hot Angel Van Richards
1958–1959 The Restless Gun Various roles TV series, 2 episodes
1959 City of Fear Chief Jensen
Plan 9 from Outer Space General Roberts
The Ann Sothern Show Finletter TV, 1 episode
1960 Sunrise at Campobello Mr. Brimmer
Surfside 6 Alan Crandell TV series, 1 episode
Hawaiian Eye George Wallace TV series, 1 episode
1960 The DuPont Show with June Allyson Mr. Anders CBS-TV, 1 episode, "The Trench Coat"
Richard Diamond, Private Detective Victor Long Episode: "The Lovely Fraud"
1961 Mister Ed George Hausner TV series, 1 episode
Lawman Orville Luster TV series, 1 episode
1962 Make Room for Daddy Dr. Crawford TV series, 1 episode
Dennis the Menace Mayor TV series, 1 episode
1962–1967 The Beverly Hillbillies Colonel Blake TV series, 4 episodes
1963 Arrest and Trial Phil Paige TV series, 1 episode
The Lucy Show Howard Wilcox / Mr. Stanford TV series, 2 episodes
1964 77 Sunset Strip Tatum TV series, 1 episode
Petticoat Junction Mr. Cheever TV series, 1 episode
1965 Run for Your Life Steven Blakely TV series, 1 episode
The Smothers Brothers Show Marty Miller TV series, 1 episode
1965–1966 Laredo Various roles TV series, 2 episodes
1968 Dragnet William Joseph Cornelius TV series, 1 episode
1969 Green Acres Senator Lyle Talbot TV series, 1 episode
1970 Here's Lucy Freddy Fox / Harry's Lawyer TV series, 2 episodes
1972 O'Hara, U.S. Treasury Art Prescott TV series, 1 episode
1973 Adam-12 Avery Dawson TV series, 1 episode
1979 Charlie's Angels Mills TV series, 1 episode
1984 The Dukes of Hazzard Carter Stewart TV series, 1 episode
St. Elsewhere Johnny Barnes TV series, 1 episode
1981 An Ozzie and Harriet Christmas Self TV special on KTLA in Los Angeles
1985 227 Harold TV series, 1 episode
1986 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Mr. Fletcher TV series, 1 episode
Who's the Boss? Ralph TV series, 1 episode
1987 Newhart Cousin Ned TV series, 1 episode, "It's My Party and I'll Die If I Want To"
Amazon Women on the Moon Prescott Townsend (segment "Amazon Women on the Moon"), Uncredited, (final film role)


  1. ^ A full online copy of Margaret Talbot's 2012 biographical work The Entertainer: Movies, Magic and My Father's Twentieth Century is available for reading on the Internet Archive.
  2. ^ In the online reference Internet Movie Database (IMDb), a filmography for Lyle Talbot includes the 1928 silent film The Godless Girl, citing Talbot in the uncredited role of an "Inmate barber" in that production; however, a review of that film available on YouTube and posted by "Big list of cinema" under the title "The Godless Girl 1929 [sic] Cecil B DeMille" shows that the performer playing the noted barber (beginning at time mark 00:32:25) is clearly not Talbot. For added clarification, it should noted as well that The Godless Girl was released by Warner Bros. in two versions: a silent version in 1928 and a rudimentary "goat gland" sound version in 1929.
  3. ^ Discrepancies in dating early entries in Lyle Talbot's filmographies can be attributed to studio references dating films by end-of-production dates and release dates, which may at times overlap or be back-to-back. The release dates, for example, of Unholy Love and Love Is a Racket were only one day apart in 1932. Warner Bros. released Unholy Love on June 9; Love Is a Racket, on June 10.
  4. ^ A full digital copy of Unholy Love is available for viewing on YouTube under the search title "Unholy Love (1932) PRE-CODE HOLLYWOOD".
  5. ^ Though his American father was of Scottish descent, Talbot did have Irish heritage. Lyle's maternal grandmother Mary Hollywood Talbot was born in County Cork, Ireland, on March 17, 1857. At the age of twelve she immigrated to the United States with her Irish parents and many siblings. Her daughter Florence was Lyle's mother.
  6. ^ Talbot in March 1933 was 31 years old, not 29 as mentioned in his cited March 1933 profile in Photoplay. In the 1930s, reducing or "shaving" a few years off an actor's true age was still not an uncommon occurrence in the publicity material distributed by studio offices and then repeated in trade publications or by the actors themselves.


  1. ^ "California, County Marriages, 1850-1952", database with images of original marriage license and certificate of Lyle Florenz Talbot and Marguerite Ethel Cramer, 28 March 1937; Los Angeles County, California records, copy of FHL microfilm 2,114,019. FamilySearch (FamS) archives, Salt Lake City, Utah.
  2. ^ a b c d "Lyle Talbot", filmography, catalog of the American Film Institute (AFI), Los Angeles, California. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  3. ^ "The First Board (1933)".
  4. ^ "Margaret Talbot's 'The Entertainer' an engaging tribute". The Los Angeles Times. November 2, 2012.
  5. ^ "Pennsylvania Births and Christenings, 1709-1950", child "Henderson" of [J]. E. Henderson and Florence Talbot Henderson, 8 February 1902, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania; copy of original birth record, FamS online archives.
  6. ^ a b Talbot, Margaret. The Entertainer: Movies, Magic and My Father's Twentieth Century. New York: Riverhead Books, 2012, pp. 14-22; cited hereinafter "Talbot, M. The Entertainer" ISBN 9781594487064. Retrieved 27 July 2021.
  7. ^ Talbot, M. The Entertainer, pp. xxi, 53-81.
  8. ^ Talbot, M. The Entertainer, pp. 134-135.
  9. ^ a b Talbot, M. The Entertainer, pp. 115, 120.
  10. ^ "The Clyde Mystery" (1931), film profile, Turner Classic Movies (TCM), Atlanta, Georgia.
  11. ^ "The Clyde Mystery", Internet Movie Database (IMDb), Amazon, Seattle, Washington.
  12. ^ a b Talbot, M. The Entertainer, pp. 122-123, 138-141.
  13. ^ "Out Loud: A Life in Hollywood". The New Yorker. September 24, 2012. Retrieved September 25, 2012.
  14. ^ "Unholy Love", review, Motion Picture Herald (New York, N.Y.), 9 July 1932, p. 32. Internet Archive (IA), San Francisco, California. Retrieved 24 July 2021.
  15. ^ Gussow, Mel (March 5, 1996). "Lyle Talbot, 94, Charactor Actor And TV Neighbor". The New York Times. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  16. ^ a b Talbot, M. The Entertainer, pp. 187, 193-194.
  17. ^ "Along The Rialto", The Film Daily (New York, N.Y.), 10 March 1933, p. 4. IA. Retrieved 29 July 2021.
  18. ^ "Contract for Lyle Talbot", The Film Daily, 1 March 1933, p. 7. IA. Retrieved 29 July 2021.
  19. ^ Hamilton, Sara (1933). "Born to be a Villain But Lyle Talbot wishes they would let him go straight", Photoplay (Chicago, Illinois), March 1933, p. 79. IA. Retrieved 30 July 2021.
  20. ^ Talbot, M. The Entertainer, pp. 285-295.
  21. ^ a b Talbot, M. The Entertainer, p. 297.
  22. ^ a b c Oliver Myrna (1984). "Lyle Talbot; Veteran Actor, 'Ozzie' Neighbor", obituary, Los Angeles Times (California), 5 March 1996, p. A14. ProQuest Historical Newspapers, Ann Arbor, Michigan; subscription access through The University of North Carolina Library, Chapel Hill, N.C.
  23. ^ "Lex Luthor: Who played the Superman villain best?". Digital Spy. February 7, 2014. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  24. ^ "South Pacific (Lincoln Center Revival, 1967)". Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  25. ^ "'Knights' finally gets a shining production". June 8, 1979. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  26. ^ Talbot, Margaret (August 24, 2023). The Entertainer: Movies, Magic, and My Father's Twentieth Century. Riverhead Books. ISBN 9781594487064. Retrieved July 8, 2017 – via
  27. ^ Both Reagan and George Murphy are mentioned in the relevant scene, available here:
  28. ^ Margaret Talbot. The Entertainer (2012)
  29. ^ Hoyle, Arthur (August 2, 2016). The Unknown Henry Miller: A Seeker in Big Sur. Simon and Schuster. pp. 163–165. ISBN 978-1-62872-770-8.
  30. ^ Talbot, M. The Entertainer, pp. 369-371.
  31. ^ Peschel, Bill (January 15, 2013). "Lucky Lyle Talbot". Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  32. ^ "Film, TV actor Lyle Talbot dies, 94". SFGate. March 4, 1996. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  33. ^ "At Home in Hollywood: Margaret Talbot's Memoir Recalls the Rambunctious Life and Times of Her Father, Actor Lyle Talbot". Vogue. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  34. ^ "Overview for Lyle Talbot". Retrieved July 8, 2017.

External links[edit]

Acting roles
First Actors portraying Lex Luthor
in Atom Man vs. Superman
Succeeded by
Gene Hackman
in Superman, Superman II and
Superman IV: The Quest for Peace