December 16 is the natal day of actor Hardie Albright (Hardie Albrecht, 1903-1975).
Albright was of Pennsylvania German stock, hailing from Charleroi, 20 miles from Pittsburgh. His parents had a vaudeville act, which he joined at age seven. After studying drama at Carnegie Tech, he became a member of Eva La Gallienne’s stock company. Albright was to appear in a dozen Broadway productions between 1926 and 1938, starting with Saturday Night, including such classics as The Three Sisters, John Gabriel Borkman, Twelfth Night and The Merchant of Venice, and culminating with All the Living, which he himself had written.
Albright’s Hollywood movie career launched in 1931 with Young Sinners, and encompassed scores of films including Edna Ferber’s So Big! (1932), The Cabin in the Cotton (1932), Three on a Match (1932), The Match King (1932), Nana (1934), The Scarlet Letter (1934), Saboteur (1942), and Walt Disney’s Bambi (1942), in which he provided the voice of the titular fawn during his adolescent years.
In the late ’40s he retired from acting to teach and write, although he returned to the small screen starting in 1960, taking supporting parts on such shows as Thriller, The Twilight Zone, Bewitched, Leave it to Beaver, Hazel and Gunsmoke. His first wife was stage and screen star Martha Sleeper.
To find out more about vaudeville and veterans of it like Hardie Albright, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous