Robert Greig

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Robert Greig
Robert Greig.jpg
Publicity photo from Sullivan's Travels (1941)
Born (1879-12-27)December 27, 1879
Melbourne, Australia
Died June 27, 1958(1958-06-27) (aged 78)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Years active 1928–1949

Robert Greig (December 27, 1879 – June 27, 1958) was an Australian-American actor who appeared in over 100 films between 1930 and 1949, usually as the dutiful butler.

Career[edit]

Greig was born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1878, and made his Broadway debut in 1928[1] in an operetta, Countess Maritza.[2] His next production was the Marx Brothers' comedy, Animal Crackers,[3] in which he played the butler, "Hives", and he repeated his characterization when the play was filmed in 1930. Animal Crackers[4] became his film debut, and set the pattern for much of his career, as he was often cast as a butler or other servant.[5][6]

Although he did several other productions on Broadway, the last in 1938,[1] after his film debut Greig worked steadily in films.[5] He worked again with the Marx Brothers in 1932's Horse Feathers, in which he played a biology professor,[7] and was featured in the 1932 short Jitters the Butler. Notable films in which he broke out of butler-mode were Cockeyed Cavaliers (1934) starring Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey,[8] in which Greig played the "Duke of Weskit", and Algiers (1938),[9] in which he was "Giraux", the wealthy and gross protector of Hedy Lamarr.[6]

In the 1940s, Greig was part of Preston Sturges' unofficial "stock company" of character actors, appearing in six films written and directed by Sturges.[10] His performances in Sullivan's Travels, The Lady Eve and The Palm Beach Story, in which he played a member of the "Ale & Quail Club", were among his best.[6]

Greig's last film was Bride of Vengeance, a 1949 Paulette Goddard vehicle, in which he played the uncredited part of a "Councillor."[11]

Death[edit]

Greig died in Los Angeles, California on June 27, 1958 at the age of 78: he is buried in Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California.[12]

Partial filmography[edit]

Chico Marx, Greig, and Harpo Marx in his film debut, Animal Crackers (1930)

Notes[edit]

External links[edit]