Ned Glass

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ned Glass
Ned Glass in Charade.jpg
Glass in Charade (1963)
Nusyn Glass

(1906-04-01)April 1, 1906
DiedJune 15, 1984(1984-06-15) (aged 78)
Years active1931–1982
(m. 1935; died 1954)

Jean (or Jhean) Burton
(m. 1965; div. 1975)

Nusyn "Ned" Glass (April 1, 1906 – June 15, 1984) was a Polish-born American character actor who appeared in more than eighty films and on television more than one hundred times, frequently playing nervous, cowardly, or deceitful characters. Short and bald, with a slight hunch to his shoulders, he was immediately recognizable by his distinct appearance, his nasal voice, and his pronounced New York City accent.

Notable roles he portrayed included Doc in West Side Story (1961) and Gideon in Charade (1963).

Early life[edit]

Glass was born in Radom, Congress Poland, Russian Empire, to a Jewish family.[1] He emigrated to the United States at an early age and grew up in New York City.[2] He attended City College.[3]


Glass worked in vaudeville,[2] and appeared on Broadway in 1931 in the Elmer Rice play Counsellor-at-Law.[4] He continued to act and direct on Broadway until 1936,[5] when he was signed as a Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer contract player.[6] He made his first film appearance in 1937, with an uncredited role in True Confession, and his first credited film appearance came in two episodes of the serial Dick Tracy Returns (1938).[citation needed]

Beginning in 1937, Glass worked regularly in films, helped by friends like producer John Houseman. He was a frequent member of Columbia Pictures' short subjects dept. roster, and a favorite of directors Jules White and Del Lord. White prominently featured Glass in The Three Stooges' Nutty But Nice and costarred him with Buster Keaton in Mooching Through Georgia. A Toluca Lake neighbor friend of Moe Howard of The Three Stooges, that real-life factoid inspired an untrue myth that Moe arranged for Ned to have parts the Stooges' films; actually, Moe had minimal-to-zero input into casting.[2] He also appeared in From Nurse to Worse, Three Little Sew and Sews, You Nazty Spy! and I'll Never Heil Again Glass did not appear in any films released between 1942 and 1947, possibly because of military service, but he generally worked in a handful of films almost every year thereafter, playing small roles and bit parts, including additional Three Stooges films Hokus Pokus, Three Hams on Rye and Flagpole Jitters. He was reportedly briefly blacklisted, during which time he found work as a carpenter.[citation needed] Glass appeared uncredited in the 1952 film The Bad and the Beautiful as the costumer for "The Doom of the Cat Men," a purportedly B-picture for Harry Pebbel. Glass began showing up on television in 1952, when he was cast on an episode of The Red Skelton Show.[citation needed] He later was frequently seen on CBS in Jackie Gleason's The Honeymooners sketches.[2] He was in an early episode (2.28) of Gunsmoke, "The Photographer", as “Old Grubby”, a scruffy little prospector who's brutally murdered and scalped to obtain a cheaply thrilling photograph of Western violence. He was in 8 other episodes as well, at times in a recurring role playing a Townsman named “Husk”. From 1955 to 1958, Glass played "Sgt. Andy Pendleton" on You'll Never Get Rich (better remembered as The Phil Silvers Show). In 1957, he appeared as "Jackson", an arms dealer to Indians, in an episode of the syndicated western series, Boots and Saddles,[citation needed] as well as a railroad ticket agent in Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest. He appeared in the syndicated crime drama, Sheriff of Cochise, starring John Bromfield and in the ABC western series, The Rebel, starring Nick Adams. He appeared too in David Janssen's crime drama, Richard Diamond, Private Detective. (TV Series Peter Gunn) As a reformed safecracker. Mr.Sylvester Glass guest starred in three sitcoms in the early years of television, NBC's The People's Choice, starring Jackie Cooper, CBS's Angel, with Annie Fargé, and ABC's Guestward, Ho!, starring Joanne Dru. He portrayed Doc, the drugstore owner, in the Hollywood version of West Side Story. In the fall of 1963, Glass guest starred in an episode of the 13-week CBS combination sitcom/drama, Glynis, starring British actress Glynis Johns as a mystery writer, with Keith Andes as her attorney-husband. In 1964 he guest-starred in an episode of the sitcom The Cara Williams Show, in 1965 he appeared in an episode of the comedy-drama Kentucky Jones, and in 1966 he appeared in two episodes of The Fugitive, working with David Janssen once more.

Glass popped up in the 1967 episode of The Monkees titled "Monkees in the Ring" as fight promoter Joey Sholto, and as convicted forger "Freddie the Forger" in a fifth-season episode of NBC's Get Smart titled "Do I Hear a Vaults?" (1970).[7] He played "Sol Cooper" on the Diahann Carroll vehicle Julia from 1968 to 1971, and was nominated in 1969 for an Emmy Award for his performance in the "A Little Chicken Soup Never Hurt Anybody" episode.[citation needed] Glass also played "Uncle Moe Plotnick" on the short-lived series Bridget Loves Bernie (1972–1973). In 1981 he appeared on Barney Miller, as Stanley Golden, in the episode "Field Associate" and also in 1975, in the episode, "You Dirty Rat", as Mr. Sam Becker, the exterminator, from Becker & Sons.

Highlights of Glass's film career include playing "Doc" in West Side Story (1961), "Popcorn" in Blake Edwards's thriller Experiment in Terror (1962), and bad guy "Leopold W. Gideon" in Stanley Donen's Charade (1963). His other film appearances included the Elvis Presley film Kid Galahad (1962), Who's Got the Action? (1962), Papa's Delicate Condition (1963), Blindfold (1965), A Big Hand for the Little Lady (1966), The Fortune Cookie (1966), Blackbeard's Ghost (1968), Never a Dull Moment (1968), The Love Bug (1969), Lady Sings the Blues (1972), Save the Tiger (1973), The All-American Boy (1973), and the TV movie Goldie and the Boxer (1979). His final film appearance was in the low-budget comedy Street Music (1981), and his final TV appearance was as a pickpocket on Cagney & Lacey in 1982.

Personal life[edit]

Glass was married to actress Kitty McHugh, sister of character actor Frank McHugh and bit player Matt McHugh.[citation needed] Kitty committed suicide on 3 September 1954. Glass later married actress Jean (also known as Jhean) Burton, but that marriage ended in divorce.[6]


Glass died in Encino Hospital in Encino, California, on 15 June 1984 at the age of 78, after a long illness.[8]



  1. ^ Blog, Movie Movie Blog (November 12, 2015). "Ned Glass (1906-1984) – More than just an actor". Retrieved August 19, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d Ned Glass at AllMovie
  3. ^ Ned Glass at TCM Movie Database
  4. ^ "Counsellor-at-Law". Internet Broadway Database.
  5. ^ Ned Glass at the Internet Broadway Database
  6. ^ a b "Ned Glass". Archived from the original on February 8, 2002. Retrieved August 17, 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link) at Great Character Actors
  7. ^ "Monkees". Archived from the original on July 9, 2008. Retrieved August 19, 2019.
  8. ^ "Ned Glass, an Actor, Dies". The New York Times. United Press International. June 25, 1984.

External links[edit]