Paul Hartman

Paul Hartman (March 1, 1904 – October 2, 1973) was an American dancer, stage performer and television actor.

Paul Hartman
Pride of the Family Paul Hartman Fay Wray 1953.JPG
Fay Wray and Hartman in The Pride of the Family (1953)
Born(1904-03-01)March 1, 1904
DiedOctober 2, 1973(1973-10-02) (aged 69)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
OccupationStage, film, and television actor
Years active1932–1972
Spouse(s)Grace Hartman
AwardsLeading Actor in a Musical
1948 Angel in the Wings
Paul Hartman, Anna Neagle & Ray Bolger in Sunny (1941)

BiographyEdit

Born in San Francisco, California, Hartman, like Fred Astaire, began performing as a dancer with his sister. In 1922, he teamed up with Grace Barrett for a dancing comedy vaudeville act that consisted of them both paying homage to and gently mocking the popular dances of the day, from ballet to swing. They married in 1927.[citation needed]

Along with Grace, Paul made his Broadway debut in Ballyhoo of 1932 alongside Bob Hope. They appeared in Cole Porter's Red Hot and Blue a few years later, and continued to perform on the Great White Way. Their act involved the crisp and witty Grace overwhelming the gangly, slack-jawed Paul, intermittently cut with dance numbers and musical comedy routines.

They went to Hollywood, where Paul appeared alongside Frank Sinatra and Victor Borge in 1943's Higher and Higher. Upon the Hartmans' return to Broadway, they resolved to take charge and write their own revue. They had a 1948 musical revue, Angel in the Wings, and the Hartmans were named best lead actor and actress in a musical that year at the second Tony Awards (the first to recognize musical performers).

They were then offered a sitcom on NBC, and The Hartmans (at Home) showed promise, but audiences rejected the show, which often featured canned scripts and little opportunity for the couple to show off their physical and musical abilities. Paul and Grace returned to Broadway, where they spent three years in a number of variety shows and revues. In 1951 he was elected a member of the famed theater club, The Lambs.

Grace was diagnosed with cancer in 1952. She died in 1955. Television and Hollywood had once again risen to the top of the entertainment world, and the convenience of television shooting and a quick paycheck lured Paul out to Los Angeles once more. Hartman began appearing in the 1953-1954 ABC situation comedy The Pride of the Family as Albie Morrison, the father and head of the household. Fay Wray, best known for King Kong, played his wife, Catherine, and Natalie Wood and Robert Hyatt played his children, Ann and Junior Morrison, respectively.[1]

In 1957, Hartman returned one last time to Broadway, but then past fifty, he tired of the hectic stage life. He continued to play bit parts in movies and television throughout the rest of his life, most famously as handyman Emmett Clark on CBS's The Andy Griffith Show[2] and Mayberry R.F.D. In a nod to his earlier life, he is seen doing a dance routine at Howard Sprague's party in the Andy Griffith episode "The Wedding", and in the Mayberry, RFD episode "All for Charity", he can be seen doing a soft shoe routine with costar Ken Berry. In addition, he had small parts on Petticoat Junction; Love, American Style; The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet; Hazel; Ben Casey; The Twilight Zone; The Alfred Hitchcock Hour; Our Man Higgins; and Family Affair.

He was cast in the 1960 film Inherit the Wind.[3] In 1967, he appeared with Robert Morse in the film version of How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying.

Hartman died from a heart attack in Los Angeles at the age of 69.

FilmographyEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1935 Carnival in Flanders
1937 45 Fathers Joe McCoy
1941 Sunny Egghead
1943 Higher and Higher Byngham
1953 Man on a Tightrope Jaremir
1960 Inherit the Wind Bailiff Mort Meeker
1961 The Young Savages Juror Uncredited
1963 The Thrill of It All Dr. Taylor
1963 Soldier in the Rain Chief of Police
1965 Those Calloways Charley Evans
1967 How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying Toynbee
1967 The Reluctant Astronaut Rush
1967 Luv Doyle

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "The Pride of the Family". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved May 1, 2011.[unreliable source?]
  2. ^ "TV Land Andy Griffith Show Biographies". Archived from the original on December 31, 2010. Retrieved July 21, 2010.
  3. ^ "Time Magazine". October 15, 1973. Archived from the original on December 14, 2008.

External linksEdit