Richard Haydn

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Richard Haydn
Richard Haydn, 1945
George Richard Haydon

(1905-03-10)March 10, 1905
Camberwell, London, England
DiedApril 25, 1985(1985-04-25) (aged 80)
Years active1938–1985

Richard Haydn (born George Richard Haydon, 10 March 1905 – 25 April 1985) was a British-American comedy actor. Some of his better known performances include his roles as Professor Oddley in Ball of Fire (1941), Roger in No Time for Love (1943), Thomas Rogers in And Then There Were None (1945), Emperor Franz Joseph in The Emperor Waltz (1948), the Caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland (1951), Baron Popoff in The Merry Widow (1952), William Brown in Mutiny on the Bounty (1962), and Max Detweiler in The Sound of Music (1965).[1]


Haydn was born on March 10, 1905, in Camberwell. After working as a music hall entertainer and overseer of a Jamaican banana plantation, he joined a touring British theatre troupe,[1] and then moved into television and film.

Haydn died on April 25, 1985, at the age of 80 following a heart attack. His body was found in his home in Pacific Palisades, California,[2] and was donated to the University of California, Los Angeles.[3]

Television and film work[edit]

Haydn as Thomas Rogers in the 1945 film And Then There Were None

Haydn was known for playing eccentric characters, such as Edwin Carp, Claud Curdle (Mr. Music, 1950), Richard Rancyd (Miss Tatlock's Millions, 1948) and Stanley Stayle (Dear Wife, 1949).[clarification needed] Much of his stage delivery was done in a deliberate over-nasalized and over-enunciated manner.

Notable performances included the voice of the Caterpillar in the 1951 Disney animated adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, and his small role of Herr Falkstein in the 1974 Mel Brooks comedy Young Frankenstein. Haydn was the manservant Rogers in the 1945 adaptation of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None, and William Brown in the 1962 version of Mutiny on the Bounty. He was acclaimed for his role in Rodgers and Hammerstein's 1965 film musical The Sound of Music, in which he played the Von Trapps' family friend Max Detweiler.[4]

Haydn performed as the nosy neighbour and gossip in Sitting Pretty with Clifton Webb and Maureen O'Hara in 1948, using his over-nasal voice. He was Prof. Summerlee in 1960's The Lost World, and in the same year, played opposite Doris Day in Please Don't Eat the Daisies.[4]

In the 1960 The Twilight Zone episode "A Thing About Machines", he portrayed Mr. Bartlett Finchley, a quirky, self-absorbed, technophobe who is confronted by every machine in his home. On April 1, 1964, he reprised his character of Edwin Carp in an episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show which saluted several old-time radio performers.

On 11 April 1968 he appeared as a Japanese businessman on the episode of Bewitched titled "A Majority of Two". On 23 February 1969, he played the Magician who had twin daughters on the episode of Bonanza titled "The Lady and the Mountain Lion" (S10/Ep21). On 12 January 1973, he appeared as Edward the butler in season 4 episode 15 of Love American Style titled "Love and the Impossible Gift".

Other work[edit]

Haydn had a brief spell as a film director starting in the late 1940s. He directed:[4]

On radio, Haydn played Edwin Carp on The Charlie McCarthy Show,[5] and he was a regular on The Swan Soap Show, which featured George Burns and Gracie Allen.[5]: 323  Haydn wrote one book, titled The Journal of Edwin Carp, in 1954.

He debuted on Broadway in 1939 in Set to Music and appeared in Two for the Show (1940).[6]



Year Title Role Notes
1938 Red Peppers George Pepper TV movie
1941 Charley's American Aunt Charley Wyckham
Ball of Fire Professor Oddley
1942 Are Husbands Necessary? Chuck
Thunder Birds George Lockwood
1943 Forever and a Day Mr. Fulcher
No Time for Love Roger Winant
1945 Tonight and Every Night Specialty
And Then There Were None Thomas Rogers
Adventure Limo
1946 The Green Years Jason Reid
Cluny Brown Jonathon Wilson
1947 The Beginning or the End Doctor Chisholm
The Late George Apley Horatio Willing
Singapore Deputy Commissioner Hewitt
The Foxes of Harrow Andre Leblanc
Forever Amber Earl of Radcliffe
1948 Sitting Pretty Mr. Clarence Appleton
The Emperor Waltz Emperor Franz-Josef
Miss Tatlock's Millions Fergel (as Richard Rancyd)
1949 Dear Wife Early Riser (as Stanley Stayle)
1950 Mr. Music Jerome Thisbee (as Claud Curdle)
1951 Alice in Wonderland Caterpillar Voice
1952 The Merry Widow Baron Popoff
1953 Never Let Me Go Christopher Wellington St. John Denny
Money from Home Bertie Searles
1954 Her Twelve Men Doctor Avord Barrett
1955 Jupiter's Darling Horatio
1956 The Toy Tiger John Fusenot
1958 Twilight for the Gods Oliver Wiggins
1960 Please Don't Eat the Daisies Alfred North
The Lost World Professor Summerlee
Let's Make Love Prologue Narrator voice actor, uncredited
1962 Five Weeks in a Balloon Sir Henry Vining
Mutiny on the Bounty William Brown
1965 The Sound of Music Max Detweiler
Clarence, the Cross-Eyed Lion Rupert Rowbotham
1967 The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin Quentin Bartlett
1973 The Return of Charlie Chan Andrew Kidder TV movie
1974 Young Frankenstein Herr Falkstein
1985 The Hugga Bunch Bookworm TV movie, Voice, uncredited (final role)


Year Title Role Notes
1952 Schlitz Playhouse Episode: "A Quarter for Your Troubles"
1954 The Philco Television Playhouse Episode: "The King and Mrs. Candle"
1955 Producers' Showcase Episode: "The King and Mrs. Candle"
1957 Playhouse 90 Stephen Spettigue Episode: "Where's Charley?"
Muche Episode: "Topaze"
1958 The Accountant Episode: "Heart of Darkness"
Shirley Temple's Storybook Prime Minister Episode: "The Emperor's New Clothes"
1959 Lux Playhouse Cedric Episode: "This Will Do Nicely"
1960 General Electric Theater Chancellor Episode: "The Ugly Duckling"
The Twilight Zone Bartlett Finchley Episode: "A Thing About Machines"
1964 Burke's Law Julian Clarington Episode: "Who Killed Jason Shaw?"
The Dick Van Dyke Show Edwin Carp Episode: "The Return of Edwin Carp"
1965 The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Mr. Hemingway Episode: "The Mad, Mad Tea Party Affair"
1966 Laredo Jonathon Pringle Episode: "A Very Small Assignment"
1967 ABC Stage 67 Whitey Episode: "The Wide Open Door"
1968 Bewitched Kenzu Mishimoto Episode: "A Majority of Two"
1969 Bonanza Malcolm the Magnificent Episode: "The Lady and the Mountain Lion"
It Takes a Thief Blanton Episode: "The Old Who Came in from the Spy"
1971 Lassie Henry Newton Episode: "The Flying Grandpa"
1972 McCloud Edwin Episode: "Fifth Man in a String Quartet"
1973 Love, American Style Edward Episode: "Love and the Impossible Gift"


  1. ^ a b Eder, Bruce (2014). "Richard Haydn: Full Biography". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 12, 2014. Retrieved May 11, 2014.
  2. ^ Staff (April 26, 1985). "Body of Actor Richard Haydn Found in His Palisades Home". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 14, 2017.
  3. ^ Wilson, Scott (2016). Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed. McFarland. p. 326. ISBN 9781476625997. Retrieved December 14, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c Richard Haydn AFI Catalog
  5. ^ a b Terrace, Vincent (1999). Radio Programs, 1924–1984: A Catalog of More Than 1800 Shows. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 72. ISBN 978-0-7864-4513-4.
  6. ^ "Richard Haydn". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Retrieved December 14, 2017.

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