Image of Walter Connolly

Walter Connolly

The name may have been forgotten, especially today (seven decades later), but the portly, apoplectic, exasperated figure on the 1930s screen wasn't. While his film career, save a couple of silents, lasted a paltry seven years (1932-1939), character actor Walter Connolly certainly ran the distance. While some film historians complain that a number of his performances were annoying or overbaked, he was for the most part applauded for his zesty contributions to a number of comedy classics. Frank Capra's Lady for a Day (1933), Broadway Bill (1934) and It Happened One Night (1934), not to mention the Carole Lombard/Fredric March screwball farce Nothing Sacred (1937) as news reporter March's hot-headed editor boss are sure-fire examples. The Cincinnati, Ohio native was born on April 8, 1887 and schooled there. The son of the head of the Western Union relay office, he attended St. Xavier College and the University of Dublin in Ireland before making his New York debut in 1910 in an outdoor presentation of "As You Like It". For the next year or so he was a member of E.H. Sothern's touring company and played supporting roles in a number of Shakespearean shows on the road. After a few silent pictures left him unimpressed with film-making, he turned to the Broadway stage in the 1920s and scored quite well. Somewhat short and tubby, it was not difficult for the jowly, mustachioed actor to seize laughs and he found his share in such outings as "The Talking Parrot" (1923), "Applesauce" (1925), "The Springboard" (1927), "The Happy Husband" (1928), "Stepping Out" (1929), "Your Uncle Dudley" (1930), "Anatol" (1931), "Six Characters in Search of an Author" (1931), "The Good Fairy" (1932) and "The Late Christopher Bean" (1932). With his talents as a stage farceur firmly established, it was time to make a second attempt at a film career and Hollywood (specifically, Columbia) wisely opened their doors to him. Interestingly, his debut in a full-length talking picture came at age 45 in the form of a drama, Washington Merry-Go-Round (1932), where he was third-billed as a rather benign senator. For the next seven years Connolly, often playing older than he really was, could be found everywhere giving good fluster to the greatest and glossiest of stars -- Janet Gaynor, Carole Lombard, Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, Myrna Loy, Paul Muni, Spencer Tracy, and Ginger Rogers, among hordes of others. His hobbies were collecting old books and theatre programmes. Connolly was married to actress Nedda Harrigan from 1923 to his death. They had one daughter, Ann (1924–2006). Connolly suffered a fatal stroke on May 28, 1940, and was buried in New St. Joseph Cemetery in Cincinnati.

Read bio at tmdb | Read bio at Wikipedia
Apr 8, 1887 In Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie Washington Merry-Go-Round 1932-10-15
Latest Project:
Movie The Great Victor Herbert 1939-12-29
Known For
Poster of Those High Grey Walls
Poster of The Captain Hates the Sea
Poster of Twentieth Century
Poster of East of Fifth Avenue
Movie Bridal Suite Dr. Theodore Grauer 1939-05-26
Movie The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn The 'King' 1939-02-10
Movie The Great Victor Herbert Victor Herbert 1939-12-29
Movie Good Girls Go to Paris Olaf Brand 1939-06-20
Movie Coast Guard Tobias Bliss 1939-08-04
Movie 5th Ave Girl Mr. Borden 1939-09-22
Movie Those High Grey Walls Dr. MacAuley 1939-09-21
Movie Breakdowns of 1938 Himself 1938-02-07
Movie Start Cheering Sam Lewis 1938-03-03
Movie The Girl Downstairs Mr. Brown 1938-12-23
Movie Too Hot to Handle 'Gabby' MacArthur 1938-09-16
Movie Let's Get Married Joe Quinn 1937-04-14
Movie The Good Earth Uncle 1937-06-02
Movie The League of Frightened Men Nero Wolfe 1937-05-25
Movie First Lady Carter Hibbard 1937-12-04
Movie Nothing Sacred Oliver Stone 1937-11-25
Movie The King Steps Out Maximilian, Duke of Bavaria 1936-05-27
Movie Libeled Lady James B. Allenbury 1936-10-09
Movie One-Way Ticket Captain Bourne 1935-11-25
Movie She Couldn't Take It Daniel Van Dyke 1935-10-08
Movie So Red the Rose Malcolm Bedford 1935-12-20
Movie White Lies John Mitchell 1935-12-27
Movie Once to Every Woman Dr. Walter Selby 1934-03-24
Movie Hollywood on Parade No. B-1 1934-03-02
Movie Twentieth Century Oliver Webb 1934-05-11
Movie Eight Girls in a Boat Storm 1934-01-05
Movie It Happened One Night Alexander Andrews 1934-02-22
Movie Whom the Gods Destroy John Forrester aka Eric Jann aka Peter Korotoff 1934-07-12
Movie Father Brown, Detective Father Brown 1934-12-14
Movie Broadway Bill J.L. Higgins 1934-11-30
Movie Servants' Entrance 1934-09-25
Movie The Captain Hates the Sea Captain Helquist 1934-11-02
Movie Lady for a Day Count Romero 1933-09-13
Movie Paddy the Next Best Thing Major Adair 1933-09-01
Movie Master of Men Sam Parker 1933-11-28
Movie Man's Castle Ira 1933-11-20
Movie East of Fifth Avenue John Lawton 1933-11-28
Movie Washington Merry-Go-Round Senator Wylie 1932-10-15
Movie The Bitter Tea of General Yen Jones 1932-12-25
Movie No More Orchids Bill Holt 1932-11-25
Show me another film
Random Artist
Protect yourself from online tracking

Are you sure you want to hide this?