Edward Arnold (actor)

Günther Edward Arnold Schneider[1] (February 18, 1890 – April 26, 1956) was an American actor of the stage and screen.

Edward Arnold
Edward Arnold 1941.JPG
Arnold in 1941
Born
Günther Edward Arnold Schneider

(1890-02-18)February 18, 1890
DiedApril 26, 1956(1956-04-26) (aged 66)
Resting placeSan Fernando Mission Cemetery
OccupationActor
Years active1907–1956
Spouse(s)
Harriet Marshall
(m. 1917; div. 1927)

Olive Emerson
(m. 1929; div. 1949)

Cleo McLain
(m. 1951)
Children3
5th President of the Screen Actors Guild
In office
1940–1942
Preceded byRalph Morgan
Succeeded byJames Cagney

Early lifeEdit

Arnold was born on February 18, 1890, in Lower East Side of New York City, the son of German immigrants Elizabeth (Ohse) and Carl Schneider. His schooling came at the East Side Settlement House.[2]

Acting careerEdit

 
Arnold on the radio show Three Thirds of a Nation, May 6, 1942

StageEdit

Arnold was interested in acting ever since he appeared on stage as Lorenzo in The Merchant of Venice at age 12. He made his professional stage debut in 1907 and had important roles in several plays on Broadway in the 1920s and 1930s. Among them is the 1927 revival of The Jazz Singer, with Arnold as the second lead to the star, George Jessel.

FilmEdit

He found work as an extra for Essanay Studios and World Studios, before landing his first significant role in 1916's The Misleading Lady. He returned to the stage in 1919, and did not appear in movies again until his talkie debut in Okay America! (1932). He recreated one of his stage roles in one of his early films, Whistling in the Dark (1933). His role in the 1935 film Diamond Jim boosted him to stardom. He reprised the role of Diamond Jim Brady in the 1940 film Lillian Russell. He played a similar role in The Toast of New York (1937), another fictionalized version of real-life business chicanery, for which he was billed above Cary Grant on posters, with his name in much larger letters.

Arnold appeared in over 150 movies. Although he was labeled "box office poison" in 1938 by an exhibitor publication (he shared this dubious distinction with Joan Crawford, Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Mae West, Fred Astaire and Katharine Hepburn), he never lacked work. Rather than continue in leading man roles, he gave up losing weight and went after character parts instead. He said, "The bigger I got, the better character roles I received." He was so sought-after, he often worked on two pictures at once.

 
Arnold (left) with J. Carrol Naish; from the trailer for Annie Get Your Gun (1950)

Arnold was expert as rogues and authority figures, and superb at combining the two as powerful villains quietly pulling strings. He was best known for his roles in Come and Get It (1936), Sutter's Gold (1936), the aforementioned The Toast of New York (1937), You Can't Take It with You (1938), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), Meet John Doe (1941), and a larger than life star turn as Daniel Webster in The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941). He was the first to portray Rex Stout's famous detective Nero Wolfe, starring in Meet Nero Wolfe (1936), based on the first novel in the series.

He played blind detective Duncan Maclain in two movies based on the novels by Baynard Kendrick, Eyes in the Night (1942) and The Hidden Eye (1945).

An image of Arnold made a posthumous appearance in the 1984 film Gremlins as the deceased husband (visible in a large framed photograph) of Mrs. Deagle, a character much like the rich, heartless characters Arnold was known for. Director Joe Dante mentioned that they received permission from Arnold's family to use his image.

RadioEdit

From 1947 to 1953, Arnold starred in the ABC radio program Mr. President. He also played a lawyer, Mr. Reynolds, on The Charlotte Greenwood Show.[3] In 1953, he hosted Spotlight Story on the Mutual network.[4]

TelevisionEdit

Arnold hosted Your Star Showcase, "a series of 52 half-hour television dramas ... released by Television Programs of America."[5] It was launched January 1, 1954, and ran in 1950 cities.[5] He co-starred in "Ever Since the Day", an episode of Ford Theatre on NBC.[6]

Personal lifeEdit

Arnold was married three times: to Harriet Marshall (1917–1927), with whom he had three children—Elizabeth, Jane and William (who had a short movie career as Edward Arnold Jr.); to Olive Emerson (1929–1948), and to Cleo McLain (1951 until his death)

Arnold was president of the Screen Actors Guild from 1940 to 1942. In 1940, his autobiography Lorenzo Goes to Hollywood was published. He was the co-founder of the I Am an American Foundation.[clarification needed]

Starting in the 1940s, Arnold became involved in Republican politics and was mentioned as a possible candidate for the United States Senate. He lost a closely contested election for Los Angeles County Supervisor and said at the time that perhaps actors were not suited to run for political office.[citation needed]

Arnold supported Thomas Dewey in the 1944 United States presidential election.[7]

Arnold died at his home in Encino, California, at age 66, from a cerebral hemorrhage associated with atrial fibrillation. He was interred in the San Fernando Mission Cemetery.[8]

RecognitionEdit

Midwestern University awarded Arnold the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters (D.Litt) on May 24, 1951.[2] He receied a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6225 Hollywood Boulevard in the recording category on February 8th 1960.[9]

FilmographyEdit

Year Film Role Director Notes
1916 The Misleading Lady Sidney Parker Arthur Berthelet film debut
1916 The Strange Case of Mary Page Dr. Foster J. Charles Haydon
1916 Vultures of Society Joseph Gripp
1916 Sherlock Holmes Moriarty Henchman In Striped Cap Arthur Berthelet
William Postance (assistant director)
uncredited
1916 The Return of Eve Seymour Purchwell
1917 The Slacker's Heart Frank Allen
1917 “The Wide, Wrong Way” Hugh Chilvers E.H. Calvert Essanay Studios
1919 Phil for Short Tom Wentworth Oscar Apfel
1919 A Broadway Saint Mr. Frewen Harry O. Hoyt
1920 The Cost Hampden Scarborough Harley Knoles
1932 Murder in the Pullman Nick Valentine Short
1932 Okay, America! Duke Morgan Tay Garnett
1932 Three on a Match Ace Mervyn LeRoy
1932 Afraid to Talk Jig Skelli Edward L. Cahn
1932 Rasputin and the Empress Dr A. Remezov Richard Boleslawski
1933 Whistling in the Dark Dillon Charles Reisner
1933 The White Sister Father Saracinesca Victor FlemingCullen Tate
1933 The Barbarian Pasha Achmed Sam Wood
1933 The Life of Jimmy Dolan Inspector Ennis Archie Mayo uncredited
1933 Jennie Gerhardt Sen. Brander Marion Gering
1933 Secret of the Blue Room Commissioner Forster Kurt Neumann
1933 Her Bodyguard Orson Bitzer William Beaudine
1933 I'm No Angel "Big Bill" Barton Wesley Ruggles
1933 Duck Soup Politician Leo McCarey uncredited
1933 Roman Scandals Emperor Valerius Frank Tuttle
1934 Madame Spy Schultz Karl Freund
1934 Sadie McKee Jack Brennan Clarence Brown
1934 Unknown Blonde Frank Rodie Hobart Henley
1934 Thirty Day Princess Richard M. Gresham Marion Gering
1934 Hide-Out Det. Lt. 'Mac' MacCarthy W.S. Van Dyke
1934 Million Dollar Ransom Vincent Shelton Murray Roth
1934 Wednesday's Child Ray Phillips John S. Robertson
Ray Lissner (assistant)
1934 The President Vanishes Secretary of War Lewis Wardell William A. Wellman
1935 Biography of a Bachelor Girl Mr. 'Feydie' Feydak Edward H. Griffith
1935 Cardinal Richelieu Louis XIII Rowland V. Lee
1935 The Glass Key Paul Madvig Frank Tuttle
1935 Diamond Jim Diamond Jim Brady A. Edward Sutherland
1935 Remember Last Night? Danny Harrison James Whale
1935 Crime and Punishment Insp. Porfiry Josef von Sternberg
1936 Sutter's Gold John Sutter James Cruze
1936 Meet Nero Wolfe Nero Wolfe Herbert Biberman
1936 Come and Get It Barney Glasgow William Wyler
1937 John Meade's Woman John Meade Richard Wallace
1937 Easy Living J.B. Ball Mitchell Leisen
1937 The Toast of New York Jim Fisk Rowland V. Lee
1937 Blossoms on Broadway Ira Collins Richard Wallace
1938 The Crowd Roars Jim Cain Richard Thorpe
1938 You Can't Take It with You Anthony P. Kirby Frank Capra
1939 Idiot's Delight Achille Weber Clarence Brown
1939 Let Freedom Ring Jim Knox Jack Conway
1939 Man About Town Sir John Arlington Mark Sandrich
1939 Mr. Smith Goes to Washington Jim Taylor Frank Capra
1939 Slightly Honorable Vincent Cushing Tay Garnett
Charles Kerr (assistant)
1940 The Earl of Chicago Quentin 'Doc' Ramsey Richard Thorpe
1940 Johnny Apollo Robert Cain Sr. Henry Hathaway
1940 Lillian Russell Diamond Jim Brady Irving Cummings
1941 The Penalty Martin 'Stuff' Nelson Harold S. Bucquet
1941 The Lady from Cheyenne James 'Jim' Cork Frank Lloyd
1941 Meet John Doe D.B. Norton Frank Capra
1941 Nothing but the Truth T.T. Ralson Elliott Nugent
1941 The Devil and Daniel Webster Daniel Webster William Dieterle
1941 Unholy Partners Merrill Lambert Mervyn LeRoy
1941 Johnny Eager John Benson Farrell Mervyn LeRoy
1941 Design for Scandal Judson M. Blair Norman Taurog
1942 The War Against Mrs. Hadley Elliott Fulton Harold S. Bucquet
1942 Eyes in the Night Duncan 'Mac' Maclain Fred Zinnemann
1943 The Youngest Profession Burton V. Lyons Edward Buzzell
1944 Standing Room Only T. J. Todd Sidney Lanfield
1944 Janie Charles Conway Michael Curtiz
1944 Kismet The Grand Vizier William Dieterle
1944 Mrs. Parkington Amory Stilham Tay Garnett
1945 Main Street After Dark Lt. Lorrgan Edward L. Cahn
1945 Ziegfeld Follies Lawyer George Sidney 'Pay the Two Dollars'
1945 The Hidden Eye Capt. Duncan Maclain Richard Whorf
1945 Week-End at the Waldorf Martin X. Edley Robert Z. Leonard
1946 Janie Gets Married Charles Conway Vincent Sherman
1946 Three Wise Fools Theodore Findley Edward Buzzell
1946 No Leave, No Love Hobart Canford Stiles Charles Martin
1947 The Mighty McGurk Mike Glenson John Waters
1947 My Brother Talks to Horses Mr. Bledsoe Fred Zinnemann
1947 Dear Ruth Judge Harry Wilkins William D. Russell
1947 The Hucksters David 'Dave' Lash Jack Conway
1948 Three Daring Daughters Robert Nelson Fred M. Wilcox
1948 Big City Judge Martin O. Abercrombie Norman Taurog
1948 Wallflower Andrew J. Linnett Frederick de Cordova
1948 Command Decision Congressman Arthur Malcolm Sam Wood
1949 John Loves Mary Sen. James McKinley David Butler
1949 Take Me Out to the Ballgame Joe Lorgan Busby Berkeley
1949 Big Jack Mayor Mahoney Richard Thorpe
1949 Dear Wife Judge Harry Wilkins Richard Haydn
1950 The Yellow Cab Man Martin Creavy Jack Donohue
1950 Annie Get Your Gun Pawnee Bill Charles Walters
1950 The Skipper Surprised His Wife Adm. Homer Thorndyke Elliott Nugent
1951 Dear Brat Senator Wilkins William A. Seiter
1952 Belles on Their Toes Sam Harper Henry Levin
1953 City That Never Sleeps Penrod Biddel John H. Auer
1953 Man of Conflict J.R. Compton Hal R. Makelim
1954 Living It Up The Mayor Norman Taurog
1954 Twelve Angry Men Juror #10 Franklin Schaffner TV Movie
1956 The Houston Story Paul Atlas William Castle
1956 The Ambassador's Daughter Ambassador William Fisk Norman Krasna
1956 Miami Exposé Oliver Tubbs Fred F. Sears final film

Radio appearancesEdit

Year Program Episode/source
1942 Philip Morris Playhouse The Maltese Falcon[10]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Franzen, Michael (June 17, 2019). Tagebuch der Geschichte der USA des 19. Jahrhunderts Band 8 1889 - 1899 [Diary of the History of the United States of the 19th Century: Volume 8 1889--1899] (in German). neobooks. ISBN 978-3-7485-9769-8.
  2. ^ a b "Edward Arnold Is Often Called 'Mr. President' In Private Life". Denton Record-Chronicle. February 3, 1952. p. 14. Retrieved August 18, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
  3. ^ Dunning, John (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio (Revised ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. p. 150. ISBN 978-0-19-507678-3. Retrieved December 24, 2020. The Charlotte Greenwood Show, situation comedy.
  4. ^ "MBS Sets Lineup for Program Plan" (PDF). Broadcasting. September 28, 1953. p. 73. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Release of Film Series Costing $1.85 Million" (PDF). Broadcasting. December 14, 1953. p. 37. Retrieved December 24, 2020.
  6. ^ "Production" (PDF). Broadcasting. October 12, 1953. p. 41. Retrieved December 24, 2020.
  7. ^ Critchlow, Donald T. (October 21, 2013). When Hollywood Was Right: How Movie Stars, Studio Moguls, and Big Business Remade American Politics. ISBN 978-1-1076-5028-2.
  8. ^ "Edward Arnold, Actor, Dies at 66". The New York Times. April 27, 1956. Retrieved December 24, 2020.
  9. ^ "Edward Arnold". Hollywood Walk of Fame. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  10. ^ "Arnold Is Playhouse Guest Star". Harrisburg Telegraph. August 8, 1942. p. 25. Retrieved August 18, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.

Further readingEdit

  • Alistair, Rupert (2018). "Edward Arnold". The Name Below the Title : 65 Classic Movie Character Actors from Hollywood's Golden Age (softcover) (First ed.). Great Britain: Independently published. pp. 18–21. ISBN 978-1-7200-3837-5.
  • Arnold, Edward (1940). Lorenzo Goes to Hollywood: The Autobiography of Edward Arnold. New York: Liveright.

External linksEdit