Olin Howland

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Olin Howland
Olin Howland in Angel and the Badman.jpg
Howland in Angel and the Badman (1947)
Born (1886-02-10)February 10, 1886
Denver, Colorado, USA
Died September 20, 1959(1959-09-20) (aged 73)
Hollywood, California, USA
Occupation Actor
Years active 1918-1958
Relatives Jobyna Howland (sister)

Olin Ross Howland (February 10, 1886 – September 20, 1959) was an American film and theatre actor.

Life and career[edit]

Howland was born in Denver, Colorado. His parents were Joby A. Howland, one of the youngest enlisted participants in the Civil War and Mary C. Bunting. His older sister was the famous stage actress Jobyna Howland.[1] From 1909 to 1927 Howland appeared on Broadway in musicals while he occasionally played in silent films. The musicals included Leave It to Jane (1917), Two Little Girls in Blue (1921) and Wildflower (1923). He was in the film Janice Meredith (1924) with Marion Davies. With the advent of sound films, his theatre background proved an asset, and he concentrated his career mostly on films thereafter to appear in about two hundred movies between 1918 and 1958.

Howland often played eccentric and rural roles in Hollywood, his parts were often small and uncredited, and he never got a leading role. He was a personal favorite of David O. Selznick who casted him in his movies Nothing Sacred (1937) as a strange luggage man, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1938, as the trashing teacher Mr. Dobbins) and Gone with the Wind (1939) as a carpetbagger businessman.[2] He also played in numerous westerns from Republic Pictures, including the John Wayne films In Old California (1942) and Angel and the Badman (1947). He also played in numerous television shows during the 1950s: In 1958 and 1959, he was cast as Charley Perkins in five episodes of ABC's sitcom, The Real McCoys, starring Walter Brennan.

As a young man he had been taught to fly at the Wright Flying School and soloed on a Wright Model B. This lent special sentiment in his scenes with James Stewart in the film The Spirit of St. Louis (1957). Both Howland and Stewart were pilots in real life. The Spirit of St. Louis and The Blob (1958), where he played a drunken old man, were Howland's last films. Howland was never married and had no children. He worked until his death and died in Hollywood, California at the age of 73.

Partial filmography[edit]


  1. ^ Olin Howland at Internet Broadway Database
  2. ^ "Olin Howland". NY Times. Retrieved February 3, 2016. 

External links[edit]