Walter Connolly

Walter Connolly (April 8, 1887 – May 28, 1940) was an American character actor who appeared in almost 50 films between 1914 and 1939. His best known film is It Happened One Night (1934).

Walter Connolly
Walter Connolly in Bridal Suite trailer.jpg
as Doctor Grauer in Bridal Suite (1939)
Born(1887-04-08)April 8, 1887
DiedMay 28, 1940(1940-05-28) (aged 53)
Occupation(s)Film, stage and radio actor
Years active1914–1939
(m. 1921)

Early yearsEdit

Connolly attended St. Xavier College and acted in amateur theatrical productions in Cincinnati.[1]


Connolly was a successful stage actor who appeared in twenty-two Broadway productions between 1916 and 1935, notably revivals of Pirandello's Six Characters in Search of an Author and Chekhov's Uncle Vanya.[2] His first film appearances came in two silent films, The Marked Woman (1914) and A Soldier's Oath (1915), and his first talkie film came in 1930, Many Happy Returns, but his Hollywood film career really began in 1932, when he appeared in four films. His trademark role was that of the exasperated business tycoon or newspaperman, often as the father of the female lead character, as in It Happened One Night (1934) with Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert; Broadway Bill (1934), supporting Warner Baxter and Myrna Loy; and Libeled Lady (1936) with William Powell and Loy again. Other notable roles included the worthless uncle of Paul Muni's character in The Good Earth (1937) and one of the two con men encountered by Mickey Rooney's Huckleberry Finn in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1939). Connolly played General Yen's American advisor in The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1933).

Connolly mostly played supporting roles, but starred occasionally, as Nero Wolfe in The League of Frightened Men (1937), in RKO's 5th Ave Girl (1939), opposite Ginger Rogers, and as the title character in The Great Victor Herbert (1939), his last film.

On radio, Connolly starred as the title character in The Adventures of Charlie Chan on NBC Radio from 1932 to 1938.[3]

Personal lifeEdit

Connolly's hobbies were collecting old books and theater programs. Connolly was married to actress Nedda Harrigan from 1921 to his death. They had one daughter, Ann (1924–2006), who was a performer in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1943 and the 1954 Broadway production of Peter Pan.


Connolly died on May 28, 1940, following a stroke, and was buried in New St. Joseph Cemetery in Cincinnati.

Complete filmographyEdit


  1. ^ "Walter Connolly Returns to Stage After Two Years". The Philadelphia Inquirer. November 25, 1934. p. 61. Retrieved 24 July 2019 – via
  2. ^ Walter Connolly at the Internet Broadway Database
  3. ^ Cox, Jim (June 24, 2015). Radio Crime Fighters: More Than 300 Programs from the Golden Age. Jefferson, NC: McFarland. p. 9. ISBN 978-1-4766-1227-0.

External linksEdit