On the Prolific Milburn Morante

San Francisco born Milburn Morante (sometimes rendered Moranti, 1887-1964) started out in vaudeville with his brother Al and father Joe as one of The Three Morantes.

Morante’s first known film was Universal’s The De-feet of Father (1914) with Louise Fazenda, Billy Franey and Gale Henry. He was to support Henry and Franey especially through scores and scores of comedy shorts through the end of 1919 — five straight years. In 1920, he formed his own independent comedy so that he could star in his own comedies. That venture lasted less than a year. Throughout the 1920s he mostly acted in and directed westerns for independent studios, often as the comic relief in the form of a sidekick, a drunk, a tramp, and the like.

In the sound era, Morante continued to appear in westerns, although strictly as a bit player. It was that work, from the ’30s through the early ’50s, that allowed him to rack up nearly 400 screen credits. Ironically, his last part was a sheik in the film Siren of Bagdad (1953). His epic list of screen credits is here. 

To learn more about vaudeville, where Milburn Morante got his start, please see No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, and for more on silent film, please read Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube