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Otto Fries

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Otto Fries
Fries in The Weak-End Party (1922)
Otto Hugo Fries

(1887-10-28)October 28, 1887
St. Louis, Missouri, United States
DiedSeptember 15, 1938(1938-09-15) (aged 50)
Los Angeles, California, United States
Years active1920–1938
Spouse(s)Vivian Marshall (1914–1938, his death)
Children2, including Sherwood M. Fries[1]

Otto Hugo Fries (October 28, 1887 – September 15, 1938) was an American film actor. He appeared in 129 films between 1920 and 1938.[2]


Fries was born in St. Louis, Missouri and died in 1938 in Los Angeles, California at age 50. He was the father of National Football League player Sherwood Fries.

Fries became a dapper-looking supporting comic with a varied background in medicine shows and vaudeville. He easily transitioned to film in the early 1910s. By 1915, he was with the Keystone Cops and entered a lifelong friendship with Stan Laurel, which led to appearances in that star comedian's early films for Bronco Billy Anderson. Not surprisingly, Fries later landed at Hal Roach Studios, where he supported not only Laurel & Hardy and Charley Chase but also such lesser stars as Max Davidson and James Finlayson.

Lloyd Hamilton, Otto Fries, and Marvel Rea in The Simp (1920)
Lloyd Hamilton, Otto Fries, and Marvel Rea in The Simp (1920)

Sound proved no hindrance and Fries would appear in many of Roach's German-language talkies, as well as characters in many of the Our Gang shorts. Often cast as inebriates, detectives, and bartenders (with a memorable turn as a Blacksmith matching wits with a delinquent 9-year-old in Roach's Readin' and Writin'), Fries played scores of bit parts and walk-ons in grade-A films. One of his more notable appearances was as a shiphand in the Marx Brothers' Monkey Business.

Partial filmography


  1. ^ US Federal Census 1930, California, Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, ED 841, Sheet 9A, Lines 12-16
  2. ^
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Otto Fries
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