Lyle Talbot

Actor, Director, Manager
This reliable second lead played gangsters, best friends, neighbors and the occasional romantic hero in countless films and TV shows from 1932 through the 1980s. Talbot's colorful childhood was like something from a ... Read more »
Born: 02/07/1902 in Brainard, Nebraska, USA

Filmography

Actor (77)

Inside the Dream Factory 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

The Haunted World of Edward D. Wood Jr. 1994 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Howdy 1970 - 1971 (TV Show)

Actor

The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet 1952 - 1966 (TV Show)

Actor

Ben Jerrod 1962 - 1963 (TV Show)

Actor

Sunrise at Campobello 1960 (Movie)

Mr Brimmer (Actor)

Plan 9 From Outer Space 1959 (Movie)

General Roberts (Actor)

The Bob Cummings Show 1954 - 1959 (Tv Show)

Actor

City of Fear 1958 (Movie)

Chief Jensen (Actor)

High School Confidential 1958 (Movie)

William Remington Kane (Actor)

The Great Man 1957 (Movie)

Harry Connors (Actor)

The Lone Ranger 1949 - 1957 (TV Show)

Actor

Commando Cody 1954 - 1956 (TV Show)

Actor

Jail Busters 1955 (Movie)

Cy Bowman (Actor)

Jailbait 1954 (Movie)

Inspector Johns (Actor)

Revlon Mirror Theater 1952 - 1954 (TV Show)

Actor

There's No Business Like Show Business 1954 (Movie)

Stage Manager (Actor)

Down Among the Sheltering Palms 1953 (Movie)

(Actor)

Glen or Glenda 1953 (Movie)

Inspector Warren (Actor)

Hurricane Island 1951 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Old West 1951 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Jackpot 1950 (Movie)

(Actor)

Strange Impersonation 1945 (Movie)

(Actor)

Up in Arms 1943 (Movie)

(Actor)

Parole Fixer 1939 (Movie)

(Actor)

Second Fiddle 1938 (Movie)

(Actor)

Go West, Young Man 1935 (Movie)

Francis X Harrigan (Actor)

Broadway Hostess 1934 (Movie)

(Actor)

Ladies They Talk About 1932 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Life of Jimmy Dolan 1932 (Movie)

(Actor)

Three on a Match 1932 (Movie)

Michael Loftus (Actor)

Big City Blues 1931 (Movie)

(Actor)

20,000 Years in Sing-Sing (Movie)

Bud (Actor)

A Shriek in the Night (Movie)

Theodore Rand (Actor)

Champagne for Caesar (Movie)

Executive (Actor)

College Coach (Movie)

Buck Weaver (Actor)

Fog over Frisco (Movie)

Spencer Carleton (Actor)

Forged Passport (Movie)

Jack Scott (Actor)

Fury of the Congo (Movie)

Grant (Actor)

Gambler's Choice (Movie)

Yellow Gloves Weldon (Actor)

Gateway (Movie)

Henry (Actor)

He Married His Wife (Movie)

Paul Hunter (Actor)

Love Is a Racket (Movie)

Edward Griswold Shaw (Actor)

Mandalay (Movie)

Dr. Gregory Burton (Actor)

Mask of the Dragon (Movie)

Lt. McLaughlin (Actor)

Mexican Spitfire's Elephant (Movie)

Reddy (Actor)

Murder Is My Business (Movie)

Duell Renslow (Actor)

Murder in the Clouds (Movie)

Three Star Bob Halsey (Actor)

No More Orchids (Movie)

Tony Gage (Actor)

Oil for the Lamps of China (Movie)

Jim (Actor)

One Body Too Many (Movie)

Jim Davis (Actor)

One Night of Love (Movie)

Bill Houston (Actor)

One Wild Night (Movie)

Singer Martin (Actor)

Our Little Girl (Movie)

Ralfe Brent (Actor)

Outlaw Women (Movie)

Judge Dixon (Actor)

Registered Nurse (Movie)

Dr. Connolly (Actor)

Ringside (Movie)

Radio Announcer (Actor)

Second Honeymoon (Movie)

Bob Benton (Actor)

Sensation Hunters (Movie)

Randall (Actor)

Sensations of 1945 (Movie)

Randall (Actor)

She Had to Say Yes (Movie)

Danny Drew (Actor)

Stranger in Town (Movie)

Brice (Actor)

The Affairs of Cappy Ricks (Movie)

Bill Peck (Actor)

The Case of the Lucky Legs (Movie)

Dr. Doray (Actor)

The Dragon Murder Case (Movie)

Dale Leland (Actor)

The Falcon out West (Movie)

Tex Irwin (Actor)

The Purchase Price (Movie)

Ed Fields (Actor)

The Singing Kid (Movie)

Bob Carey (Actor)

The Thirteenth Guest (Movie)

Winston (Actor)

The Three Legionnaires (Movie)

Jimmy (Actor)

They Raid by Night (Movie)

Capt. Robert Owen (Actor)

Torture Ship (Movie)

Lt. Bob Bennett (Actor)

Trapped by Television (Movie)

Fred Dennis (Actor)

Unholy Love (Movie)

Jerry Gregory (Actor)

Untamed Women (Movie)

Col. Loring (Actor)

With a Song in My Heart (Movie)

Radio Director (Actor)

Biography

This reliable second lead played gangsters, best friends, neighbors and the occasional romantic hero in countless films and TV shows from 1932 through the 1980s. Talbot's colorful childhood was like something from a melodrama: born on a riverboat, he was abducted by his grandmother after his mother's early death. By his teen years, Talbot was a sideshow magician, and by the late 20s was running The Lyle Talbot Players in Nebraska. When talking pictures became popular, Talbot headed West. The handsome, husky actor with stage training and a broad grin quickly found work.

In the two-year period 1932-34, Talbot made an amazing 28 films, mostly for Warner Brothers and First National. He supported or co-starred with such luminaries as Carole Lombard ("No More Orchids" 1932), Bette Davis ("Three on a Match" 1932, "Fog Over Frisco" 1934 and several others), Ginger Rogers ("The Thirteenth Guest" 1932, "A Shriek in the Night" 1933), Barbara Stanwyck ("The Purchase Price", 1932 "Ladies They Talk About" 1933, "A Lost Lady" 1934), Shirley Temple ("Our Little Girl" 1935), Marion Davies ("Page Miss Glory" 1935), Mae West ("Go West, Young Man" 1936), Susan Hayward ("With a Song in My Heart" 1952), and Marilyn Monroe ("There's No Business Like Show Business" 1954). Joan Blondell, Ann Dvorak and Loretta Young were frequent co-stars, alternately romanced and menaced by Talbot; he even co-starred with The Three Stooges, in 1951's "Gold Raiders".

By the mid-1930s (when he became a founding member of Screen Actors Guild), it was obvious that Talbot would not become a star. His SAG involvement angered some studio heads, but the actor never wanted for employment. He freelanced for both major studios and poverty row houses, making such forgettable fare as "Trapped by Television" (1936), "Mexican Spitfire's Elephant" (1942), "Batman and Robin" (1949), and several films with the notorious director/writer Ed Wood, Jr.: "Glen or Glenda?" and "Crossroad Avenger" (both 1953), "Jailbait" (1954) and "Plan Nine from Outer Space" (1956). Among Talbot's few high-budget films at this point in his career was his last, "Sunrise at Campobello" (1960).

Talbot entered the TV industry early, playing "The Lone Ranger"'s banker on the ABC series (1949-65). He also had continuing roles as an irritating neighbor on "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" (ABC, 1952-66), Bob Cummings' Army buddy on "Love That Bob" (NBC, CBS, 1955-59) and roles on "Commando Cody" (NBC, 1955), "Leave It To Beaver" (CBS, ABC, 1957-63), "Pursuit" (CBS, 1958-59) and "Ben Jerrod" (NBC, 1963). He continued working on TV through the 1980s, guesting on such shows as "Alfred Hitchcock Presents", "Charlie's Angels", "Who's the Boss?" and his swan song, as Stephanie's grandfather on "Newhart".

Talbot never gave up his love of the stage, and as early as the mid-30s took time off from films to appear in shows. Talbot was on Broadway from 1938-40 in "Separate Rooms", and later appeared in regional productions of "South Pacific" and "The Odd Couple" (both 1968-69), "The Little Foxes" (1970), and "Camelot" (1973). In 1972, he directed his TV co-stars Ozzie and Harriet Nelson in "The Marriage-Go-Round" in Florida. Talbot was retired professionally, but still active socially and working on his memoirs when he died at 94 in 1996.

Relationships

Abigail Adams

Wife
Marriage annulled September 1942

Marguerite Cramer

Wife

Margaret Talbot

Wife
Married 1948 until her death 1989

Cynthia Talbot

Daughter
survived him

Margaret Talbot

Daughter
survived him editor at NEW REPUBLIC

David Talbot

Son
survived him

Stephen Talbot

Son
survived him producer-writer on PBS series "Frontline"

Mary Talbot

Grandmother
kidnapped Lyle after his mother died, renamed him maternal grandmother

Milestones

1995

Final film appearance, documentary "The Haunted World of Edward D. Wood, Jr"

1960

Final feature, "Sunrise at Campobello"

1941

Enlisted as non-commissioned officer

1938

Critically burned in fire, rescuing a friend

1938

Appeared on Broadway in "Separate Rooms"

1935

Was one of the founding members of Screen Actors Guild (membership card Number 21)

1933

Critically injured in motorcar accident

1932

Film debut, "Love is a Racket"

1931

Moved to California to test for talkies

1928

Formed Lyle Talbot Players in Nebraska

1919

First show business job, assisting tent show magician in Omaha

1902

Mother died when he was an infant; he was kidnapped by his grandmother, who renamed and raised him

Played recurring roles on several TV series in the 1950s

Bonus Trivia

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On playing character roles: "Well--it bothered me at first. I had always played leads in stock, and I couldn't understand why they didn't let me do them in pictures. Now, I don't mind anymore. I feel that I've become essentially a character actor. And as long as they keep on giving me nice meaty parts--even though they don't carry through the whole picture--I'm satisfied. As a matter of fact, I'd rather jog along this way than become one of those overnight stars whose years in pictures are numbered. I've seen too much unhappiness on this account--right here on my home lot".--Lyle Talbot, quoted in 1935 news clipping

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On studio contract work in the 1930s: "They had to guarantee you a certain amount of work, but that was never a problem. We generally worked 12 hours a day, six days a week. I can remember often working on two or three pictures at a time. I rode a bicycle between sound stages, carrying two or three scripts in the front basket for pictures I was working on, and two or three in the rear basket for upcoming pictures".--Lyle Talbot, quoted in THE LOS ANGELES TIMES, 2/19/84

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"I never turned down a job. Not one. Ever".--Lyle Talbot, quoted in THE LOS ANGELES TIMES, 2/19/84

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