Stars of Slapstick #61: Franklin Pangborn

optimized-franklin-pangborn-bank-dick-portrait[1]

Today is the birthday of that prissy fussbudget Franklin Pangborn (1889-1958). A native of Newark, New Jersey, he started out as a stage actor, eventually managing Alla Nazimova’s touring company before coming to Hollywood to make films. He made silent comedies with a variety of studios for the next four years, but it was really in the sound era that he made his mark as a character comedian, specializing in uptight, exasperated, officious, and undeniably swishy minor functionaries. He started the talkie era doing shorts with Sennett, RKO and Roach, but soon graduated to classic turns in such films as International House (1933), Flying Down to Rio (1933), My Man Godfrey (1936), The Bank Dick (1940), George Washington Slept Here (1942), and practically everything by Preston Sturges. He continued to work right on up until the year of his death.

Here now some very early Pangborn, a Paramount short with Tom Kennedy from 1932, called Lighthouse Love:

For more on comedy film history don’t  miss my new book Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from amazon.com etc etc etc

chain%20of%20fools%20cvr%20front%20only-500x500

 

To find out more about show biz past and present, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.

safe_image

About these ads

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,486 other followers

%d bloggers like this: