Image of Vince Barnett

Vince Barnett

Former vaudevillian, who acquired a solid reputation as a practical joker and master of insult, second only to the great Groucho Marx. Celebrity hosts would often hire Vince to perform gags and put-on jokes at their lavish parties, where he would insult the guests and create mayhem in his wake. He often posed as heavily-accented journalists with names like 'Timothy Glutzspiegel'. Among the many victims of his pranks were such luminaries as Winston Churchill, Charles Lindbergh, Henry Ford and the Norwegian polar explorer Roald Amundsen. Clark Gable nearly punched him out during a party given by Joan Crawford. Vince greeted Greta Garbo with "Good Morning, Miss Hepburn", and, as 'sound expert' Dr. Hoffman, instructed star Richard Barthelmess to take voice lessons from Texas Guinan or quit acting. During a trip to New York, he even cornered Mae West, posing as a member of the vice squad and threatening to close down her show ('Diamond Lil') unless she cut some of her bawdy dialogue. When the star acquiesced, the phoney inspector ordered her to burn the whole play and take the next train out of town. Not even Jack L. Warner was immune, being told by 'foreign producer' Barnett to learn the basics of film-making. Roly-poly, moustachioed, bald-pated Barnett followed in the footsteps of his father Luke, who had made a name for himself for playing similar pranks on people for thirty years in his home town of Pittsburgh. After studying at the Carnegie Institute of Technology, Vince, who was an avid amateur pilot, flew mail planes for a couple of years before making his stage debut with "Earl Carroll's Vanities" in 1926. The following year, he acted on Broadway in "George White's Scandals". Movie roles soon followed. From 1930, Vince appeared, usually as comedy relief, in films and on television in a career spanning 45 years. Among his best-regarded early roles were Scarface (1932),as a dumb gangster; The Big Cage (1933), Thirty Day Princess (1934) and, in a perfectly-suited Runyonesque part, Princess O'Hara (1935). In later years, Vince often relinquished his comedy image and was seen in innumerable small roles, often as careworn little men, undertakers, janitors, bartenders and drunks in pictures ranging from films noir like The Killers (1946), to westerns such as Springfield Rifle (1952). In one of his last public appearances, Vince showcased his unique brand of humour with a monologue, delivered at Madison Square Garden in the vaudeville revue 'The Big Show of 1936'. It was to his ever-lasting regret that he never got the chance to match wits (and insults) with his illustrious Irish contemporary George Bernard Shaw.

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Jul 4, 1902 In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie Her Man 1930-01-01
Latest Project:
Movie Summer School Teachers 1974-08-01
Known For
Poster of Danger! Women at Work
Poster of Sunset Murder Case
Poster of Streamline Express
Poster of Hallelujah I'm a Bum
Movie Summer School Teachers Principal Adams 1974-08-01
Series Cimarron Strip Unknown 1967-09-07
Movie Zebra in the Kitchen Man in Manhole 1965-06-01
Movie The Family Jewels Automobile Owner at Gas Station 1965-07-01
Movie The Rookie Pentagon janitor 1959-12-01
Movie Girl on the Run Janitor 1958-10-10
Movie Outlaw Queen Gamler 1957-04-27
Series Perry Mason Unknown 1957-09-21
Movie The Jazz Singer Bartender 1953-02-14
Movie Carson City Henry 1952-06-13
Movie Kentucky Jubilee Mugsy 1951-05-18
Movie Mule Train Joe - Barber 1950-02-22
Movie The Grass Is Always Greener Cooky 1950-01-07
Movie Border Treasure Pokey 1950-08-05
Movie Hunt the Man Down Joe (uncredited) 1950-12-26
Movie Deputy Marshal Hotel Clerk 1949-10-28
Movie Big Town Scandal Louie Snead - the bondsman 1948-05-27
Movie Thunder in the Pines Bernard, the Bartender 1948-11-11
Movie Loaded Pistols Sam Gardner 1948-12-15
Movie Shoot to Kill Charlie Gill 1947-03-15
Movie I Cover Big Town Louis Murkil 1947-02-27
Movie Gas House Kids Go West Steve 1947-06-12
Movie Big Town After Dark Louie Snead 1947-12-12
Movie The Trespasser Bartender 1947-07-03
Movie High Wall Henry Cronner 1947-12-17
Movie Brute Force Muggsy 1947-07-10
Movie The Lady or the Tiger? The King 1946-03-28
Movie The Falcon's Alibi Goldie Locke 1946-04-12
Movie No Leave, No Love Ben 1946-03-10
Movie The Virginian Baldy 1946-05-05
Movie The Killers Charleston 1946-08-28
Movie Two Sisters from Boston Singing Waiter (uncredited) 1946-06-06
Movie High Powered Worker at Dance 1945-02-27
Movie The Big Show-Off Voice Student 1945-01-22
Movie Thrill of a Romance Oscar 1945-05-23
Movie Sensation Hunters Agent 1945-10-12
Movie Sweethearts of the U.S.A. Clipper - 3rd Robber 1944-03-07
Movie Jungle Woman Curley (archive footage) (uncredited) 1944-06-01
Movie Leave It to the Irish Barney Baker 1944-08-26
Movie Cosmo Jones, Crime Smasher Henchman 'Gimp' 1943-01-29
Movie Captive Wild Woman Curly, a rube 1943-06-04
Movie Kid Dynamite Klinkhammer 1943-02-05
Movie Petticoat Larceny Stogie 1943-07-17
Movie Tornado Alvin 1943-08-09
Movie Danger! Women at Work Benny 1943-08-23
Movie Stardust on the Sage Haskins 1942-05-25
Movie The Corpse Vanishes Sandy, photographer 1942-05-08
Movie Girls' Town Dimitri 1942-03-06
Movie My Favorite Spy Kay's 2nd Taxi Driver 1942-06-12
Movie Klondike Fury Alaska 1942-03-20
Movie Baby Face Morgan Lefty Lewis 1942-09-15
Movie Foreign Agent Silly Drunk at Bar 1942-10-09
Movie X Marks the Spot Waiter at Diner 1942-11-04
Movie Queen of Broadway Schultz 1942-11-24
Movie Bowery at Midnight Charley 1942-10-30
Movie Paper Bullets Scribbler, a Petty Forger 1941-06-13
Movie What the Country Needs Political Speaker / Singer 1941-02-20
Movie Puddin' Head Broken Teapot Man 1941-06-25
Movie Mr. District Attorney Coroner's Messenger 1941-03-27
Movie A Dangerous Game Ephriam 1941-08-21
Movie Blonde Comet Curly 1941-12-26
Movie Jungle Man Buckthorn 'Buck' the Guide 1941-09-19
Movie East Side Kids Whisper 1940-02-10
Movie Seven Sinners Bartender 1940-10-25
Movie Boys of the City Simp 1940-07-15
Movie Ride 'em, Cowgirl Dan Haggerty 1939-01-20
Movie Water Rustlers Mike - the cook 1939-01-06
Movie Exile Express Deputy Constable 1939-05-27
Movie Overland Mail Porchy 1939-11-16
Movie The Singing Cowgirl Kewpie 1938-06-02
Movie Sunset Murder Case Barney 1938-11-11
Movie The Woman I Love Mathieu 1937-04-15
Movie Bank Alarm Clarence "Bulb" Callahan 1937-06-07
Movie Boots of Destiny Acey Ducey- Sidekick 1937-07-16
Movie Down to the Sea Hector 1936-05-30
Movie Dancing Feet Willoughby 1936-01-20
Movie The Brain Busters Vince 1936-01-09
Movie Sunkist Stars at Palm Springs 1936-08-05
Movie I Cover Chinatown Puss McGaffey, the Bus Driver 1936-10-01
Movie We're in the Legion Now Spike Conover 1936-12-13
Movie Captain Calamity Burp 1936-11-28
Movie Yellow Cargo Speedy 'Bulbs' Callahan 1936-11-07
Movie Don't Bet On Blondes Chuck aka 'Brains' 1935-07-13
Movie Princess O'Hara Fingers 1935-03-31
Movie Streamline Express Mr. Jones 1935-09-15
Movie Black Fury Kubanda 1935-05-18
Movie Just Another Murder Vincent Smart 1935-10-03
Movie Pirate Party on Catalina Isle Performer 1935-11-20
Movie I Live My Life Clerk 1935-10-04
Movie Now I'll Tell Peppo 1934-06-07
Movie Take the Stand Tony 1934-08-07
Movie Thirty Day Princess Count Nicholeus 1934-05-18
Movie The 9th Guest William Jones 1934-01-31
Movie The Affairs of Cellini Ascanio 1934-08-24
Movie Madame Spy Peter 1934-02-10
Movie Registered Nurse Jerry 1934-04-06
Movie The Secret Bride Drunk in Diner 1934-12-22
Movie Crimson Romance The Courier 1934-10-12
Movie She Loves Me Not Baldy Schultz 1934-08-31
Movie Young and Beautiful Sammy 1934-09-16
Movie No Ransom Bullet 1934-10-07
Movie Super Stupid 1934-09-14
Movie Kansas City Princess Quincy - Dynamite's Henchman 1934-09-14
Movie Fast Workers Spike 1933-03-10
Movie Hallelujah I'm a Bum Undetermined Secondary Role 1933-02-03
Movie The Girl in 419 Otto Hoffer 1933-05-26
Movie The Big Cage Soupmeat 1933-04-30
Movie Air Maniacs Comic Photographer 1933-12-15
Movie Sunset Pass Windy 1933-05-26
Movie The Prizefighter and the Lady Bugsie 1933-11-10
Movie Man of the Forest Little 1933-08-24
Movie Tiger Shark Fishbone, a Crewman 1932-09-24
Movie Scarface Angelo 1932-04-09
Movie Heritage of the Desert Windy 1932-09-30
Movie Flesh Waiter 1932-12-08
Movie The Death Kiss Officer Gulliver 1932-12-05
Movie Scandal Sheet Barrett, Convict Reporter 1931-01-31
Movie Side Show The Great Santini 1931-09-19
Movie Her Man Waiter 1930-01-01
Movie All Quiet on the Western Front Assistant Cook (uncredited) 1930-04-29
Movie Wide Open Dvorak 1930-02-01
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