Robert Woolsey

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Robert Woolsey
Born (1888-08-14)August 14, 1888
Oakland, California, U.S.
Died October 31, 1938(1938-10-31) (aged 50)
Malibu, California, U.S.
Nationality United States
Occupation Actor
Years active 1929-1937
Known for Wheeler & Woolsey
Spouse(s) Mignone Park Reed (1917-1938) (his death)

Robert Rolla Woolsey (August 14, 1888 – October 31, 1938) was an American stage and screen comedian and half of the 1930s comedy team Wheeler & Woolsey.

Early life[edit]

He was born in Oakland, California.[1] Woolsey always had a slight build, and as a young adult he tried to capitalize on it by becoming a jockey. After he fell from a horse and sustained an injury, he quit racing and turned instead to the stage. In 1925 he was featured as "Mortimer Pottle" in W. C. Fields's Broadway hit Poppy.

Wheeler and Woolsey[edit]

Woolsey was teamed with comedy star Bert Wheeler in 1928, for the Broadway musical Rio Rita. RKO Radio Pictures filmed the play in 1929, launching Wheeler and Woolsey as movie personalities. Of the twenty-two films Woolsey would make, twenty-one of them would be with his comedy partner, Wheeler.

Woolsey became terminally ill in 1937 and struggled to finish his last picture, High Flyers. He was then confined to bed for almost a full year, before dying of kidney failure in 1938.[2] Robert Woolsey was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.


(As per the AFI database)[3]

Film title Year Character
Rio Rita 1929 Lovett
Dixiana 1930 Ginger
The Cuckoos 1930 Professor Bird
Half Shot at Sunrise 1930 Gilbert
Hook, Line and Sinker 1930 Addington Ganzy
Everything's Rosie 1931 Dr. J. Dockweiler Droop
Caught Plastered 1931 Egbert G. Higginbotham
Peach O'Reno 1931 Julius Swift
Cracked Nuts 1931 Zander "Zup" Ulysses Parkhurst
Hold 'Em Jail 1932 Spider Robbins
Girl Crazy 1932 Slick Foster
Diplomaniacs 1933 Hercules Glub
So This Is Africa 1933 Alexander Woolsey
Kentucky Kernels 1934 "The Great" Elmer Dugan
Hips, Hips, Hooray! 1934 Dr. Bob Dudley
Cockeyed Cavaliers 1934 Bob
The Nitwits 1935 Newton
The Rainmakers 1935 Roscoe the Rainmaker
Silly Billies 1936 Dr. Philip "Painless" Pennington
Mummy's Boys 1936 Aloysius C. Whittaker
On Again-Off Again 1937 Claude (Augustus) Horton
High Flyers 1937 Pierre Potkins

Personal life[edit]

From 1921 to his death in 1938, Woolsey was married to Mignonne Park Reed, who lived on to age 94.[4][5]

DVD releases[edit]

Nine of Wheeler and Woolsey's 21 movies were released in a DVD collection entitled "Wheeler & Woolsey: RKO Comedy Classics Collection" in March 2013 by Warner Archive.[6]

{U.S. Census Records indicate he was born in Carbondale, Jackson Co, IL}


  1. ^ Cullen, Frank; Hackman, Florence; McNeilly, Donald (2007). Vaudeville, Old & New. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-93853-8 p. 1229.
  2. ^ "Robert Woolsey, Film Comedian, 49. Partner of Bert Wheeler in Many Pictures and on the Stage Dies in California. In First 'Rio Rita' Cast. That New York Success Led to Movie Contract. Big Cigar Was His Principal Prop. Played in Stock on Coast. Won Honors With Ziegfeld". New York Times. November 1, 1938. Retrieved 2015-01-04. Robert Woolsey, motion picture comedian, died today at his home here after a long illness at the age of 49. ... 
  3. ^ "Bert Wheeler". American Film Institute. Retrieved August 3, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Mignonne R Reed Woolsey (1894-1989) FindAGrave Memorial". Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  5. ^ "Robert Woolsey-Biography". Inc. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  6. ^ Kehr, Dave (2 March 2013). "DVD Ribaldry Before the Code". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 March 2013. 

External links[edit]