Todd Karns

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Todd Karns
Todd Karns.jpg
in his film debut Andy Hardy's Private Secretary (1941)
Born Roscoe T. Karns, Jr.
(1921-01-15)January 15, 1921
Hollywood, California, U.S.
Died February 5, 2000(2000-02-05) (aged 79)
Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico
Resting place Aijijic, Mexico
Occupation Actor
Years active 1941–1955
Spouse(s) Katherine Karns (1944-2000) (his death) (3 children)
Parent(s) Roscoe Karns

Roscoe Todd Karns (January 15, 1921 – February 5, 2000) was an American actor perhaps best remembered for playing Harry Bailey, the younger brother of George Bailey (James Stewart) in the Christmas classic It's a Wonderful Life.

Todd Karns was born as the son of the well-known character actor Roscoe Karns and his wife Mary Fraso. Todd Karns started his film career in 1941 as Harry Land in two Andy Hardy movies with Mickey Rooney, but shortly after that his beginning film career was interrupted by the Second World War, where Karns served in the Army Air Corps. When he returned to Hollywood, Karnes portrayed his signature role as Harry Bailey in Frank Capra's Christmas classic It's a Wonderful Life (1946). Besides from It's a Wonderful Life, Karns often suffered under minor film roles, for instance in The Caine Mutiny (1954). In 1949 Karns co-starred in Jackson and Jill, the first weekly situation comedy for television. He also appeared with his father Roscoe in the criminal series Rocky King, Detective. He retired from the film and television business in the mid-1950s.

Karns and his wife Katherine with their three children moved to Mexico near Guadalajara where they opened the English-language venue, Lakeside Little Theater in 1971. There Karns produced and directed plays for the next three decades, until his cancer death at age 79.[1] In addition to acting, Karns also made numerous paintings.[2]

His wife and children had his private family interment in Ajijic's cemetery.

Selected filmography[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Todd Karns, 79, Who Played Brother in 'It's a Wonderful Life'
  2. ^ Wonderful-Life Museum: Todd Karns (Harry Bailey) – Artist