Today is the birthday of the great comic heavy Stanley “Tiny” Sandford (1894-1961).
Sandford was usually an uncredited bit player, often cast as bouncers, cops, bullies, boxers, and the like. An Iowa native, his first film credits are for several shorts from Chaplin’s Mutual period, The Floorwalker (1916), The Count (1916), The Immigrant (1917), and The Adventurer (1917). He next bounced around among various studios, occasionally getting small parts in major movies like Chaplin’s The Gold Rush and Larry Semon’s The Perfect Clown (both 1925.) Around the same he began working regularly for Hal Roach, appearing in dozens of comedy shorts and features in support of Laurel and Hardy (far too many to list, all the way through Our Relations in 1936), as well as Charley Chase, Clyde Cook and others. For reference: he’s the guy who dunks hardy in the drink in Babes in Toyland. Sandford supports the Three Stooges in Woman Haters (1934), Wheeler and Woolsey in Mummy’s Boy (1936), and on and on and on. He also appeared in some non-slapstick vehicles, such as Show Boat (1936). And Chaplin continued to employ him throughout, in The Circus (1927), Modern Times (1936) and The Great Dictator (1940). Sandford retired after 1943.
For more on slapstick film history, including comic performers like Tiny Sandford, don’t miss my book: Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media