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Douglass Dumbrille


B: October 13, 1889 in Hamilton, Ontario
D: April 2, 1974 in Woodland Hills, California

Douglass Dumbrille liked school and excelled in sports, primarly hockey. After graduation he worked as a bank clerk then became an onion farmer. Somewhere in there he also decided to pursue a career as an actor. His deep penetrating eyes and dark thin mustache served him well for the generally unsympathetic roles he played. After two early film apperances, he decided to really give film acting a shot and so moved to Hollywood around 1931 where he was hired for a small, uncredited part in Monkey Business, the first Marx Brothers’ movie. He earned his first screen credit in His Woman. Considered one of the great character actors, over his long and successful career Douglass Dumbrille had roles in more than 200 motion pictures. Later, with the advent of television, he made numerous appearances in shows throughout the 1950s and 1960s. The respect he earned was such that he played the same role in Frank Capra’s 1934 film Broadway Bill and its 1950 remake. He also appeared in both of DeMille’s 1938 and 1958 versions of The Buccaneer. He is pictured in a detail scanned from an original publicity photo for the 1937 film Ali Baba Goes to Town in the Northernstars Collection.