Malcolm Atterbury

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Malcolm Atterbury
Born (1907-02-20)February 20, 1907
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died August 16, 1992(1992-08-16) (aged 85)
Beverly Hills, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1954-1979
Spouse(s) Ellen Atterbury (1937-1992; his death) 3 children

Malcolm Atterbury (February 20, 1907 – August 16, 1992) was an American stage, film, and television actor, and vaudevillian.

Early years[edit]

A native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Atterbury was the son of General and Mrs. W.W. Atterbury;[1] his father was also president of the Pennsylvania Railroad.[2] He had a sister[3] and two brothers. He graduated from The Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania.[4]

In the mid-1930s, Atterbury decided to pursue a career in drama. He enrolled at Hilda Spong's Dramatic School using an assumed name. Later, after revealing his true identity, he went on to "finance a summer theater for the Hilda Spong Players at Cape May, N.J., and they, in turn, asked him to be their managing director."[5]


In 1928, Atterbury was the bass singer in a quartet that sang on WLIT in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[6] In 1930, he became the program director of a radio station in Philadelphis.[1] He went on to become business manager of WHAT.[4]


Atterbury is perhaps best known for his uncredited role in Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest (1959), as the rural man who exclaims, "That plane's dustin' crops where there ain't no crops!" He further appeared in such films as The Birds, I Was a Teenage Werewolf, Crime of Passion, Blue Denim, Wild River, Advise and Consent, and Hawaii. His last film was Emperor of the North Pole (1973).[7]


Atterbury made frequent appearances on television. He was cast in five episodes of CBS's Perry Mason during the late 1950s and early 1960s, playing the role of murderer in three of the episodes such as Sam Burris in the 1957 episode, "The Case of the Angry Mourner".[7] His guest-starring roles included appearances on Gunsmoke, The Twilight Zone, Window on Main Street, The Asphalt Jungle, Straightaway, Bonanza, Hazel, The Odd Couple, Sheriff of Cochise, The Fugitive, State Trooper, Rescue 8, Fury, The Man from Blackhawk, Happy, The Tall Man, Kentucky Jones, The Invaders (episode: The Trial). and The Andy Griffith Show(episode: The Cow Thief, 1962). He had a regular role as Grandfather Aldon in the 1974-75 CBS television family drama, Apple's Way.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Atterbury was married to Ellen Hardies.[4]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Well-Known People". Harrisburg Telegraph (Pennsylvania, Harrisburg). April 11, 1930. p. 10. Retrieved June 23, 2016 – via  open access publication - free to read
  2. ^ "Loughran in Europe". Dunkirk Evening Observer (New York, Dunkirk). May 19, 1934. p. 11. Retrieved June 23, 2016 – via  open access publication - free to read
  3. ^ "Miss Atterbiury to Wed". The Wilkes-Barre Record (Pennsylvania, Wilkes-Barre). May 15, 1925. p. 14. Retrieved June 23, 2016 – via  open access publication - free to read
  4. ^ a b c "Gilded Statue on Boro Stage Played by Gen. Atterbury's Son". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (New York, Brooklyn). February 9, 1938. p. 16. Retrieved June 24, 2016 – via  open access publication - free to read
  5. ^ Ross, George (June 25, 1936). "In New York". Fitchburg Sentinel (Massachusetts, Fitchburg). p. 6. Retrieved June 23, 2016 – via  open access publication - free to read
  6. ^ "Radio Programs: Piladelphia Stations". Delaware County Daily Times (Pennsylvania, Chester). May 15, 1928. p. 11. Retrieved June 23, 2016 – via  open access publication - free to read
  7. ^ a b c Malcolm Atterbury at the Internet Movie Database