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Wally Vernon

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Wally Vernon
Film still of Wally Vernon
Vernon in Sailor's Lady (1940)
Born
Walter J. Vernon

(1905-05-27)May 27, 1905
DiedMarch 27, 1970(1970-03-27) (aged 64)
Hollywood, California, U.S.
Resting placeForest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills, California
OccupationActor, dancer
Years active1937–1964

Walter J. Vernon (May 27, 1905 – March 7, 1970) was an American comic and character actor and dancer.

Early life

Vernon was born in New York City[citation needed] in 1905. He was in show business from the age of three, appearing in vaudeville and stock theater; he made his first Hollywood appearance in 1937's Mountain Music.[1]

Career

He made more than 75 films, almost always playing a Brooklynese wiseguy and/or the hero's assistant. He was a fixture in Twentieth Century Fox features of the late 1930s and early 1940s; Vernon is seen as an eccentric dancer in Fox's Alexander's Ragtime Band (1938), where he appears as himself.

Don "Red" Barry and Wally Vernon in The Man from the Rio Grande (1943)
Don "Red" Barry and Wally Vernon in The Man from the Rio Grande (1943)

Vernon freelanced at other studios after leaving Fox. He became the sidekick to cowboy star Don "Red" Barry at Republic Pictures, and when Barry began producing his own features in 1949, he remembered Vernon and brought him back as his sidekick.

In 1948 Columbia Pictures producer Jules White paired Vernon with Eddie Quillan, another comedian with a vaudeville background. White emphasized physical comedy in films, and Vernon and Quillan indulged in pratfalling, head-banging, kick-in-the-pants slapstick. The Vernon & Quillan comedies were favorites of White, who kept making them through 1956.

In 1961, he appeared as a bartender in the TV Western series Bat Masterson (S3E18 "The Prescott Campaign").

Death

On March 7, 1970, Vernon died in an ambulance shortly after being struck by a hit-and-run driver in Hollywood, California.[1] He was buried in Hollywood Hills at Forest Lawn Cemetery.

Films

References

  1. ^ a b "Wally Vernon, movie comic, in Hollywood". The Boston Globe. Massachusetts, Boston. Associated Press. March 8, 1970. p. 95. Retrieved March 9, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
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Wally Vernon
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