Percy Helton

Born into show business, raspy-voiced actor Percy Helton was short in stature, but a giant among those consummate featured players of Hollywood's Golden Age. With a well-timed double-take or a deftly delivered line, he ... Read more »
Born: 01/31/1894

Filmography

Actor (26)

The Beverly Hillbillies 1962 - 1971 (TV Show)

Actor

Head 1968 (Movie)

Heraldic Messenger (Actor)

The Sons of Katie Elder 1965 (Movie)

Storekeeper Peevey (Actor)

Hush ... Hush, Sweet Charlotte 1964 (Movie)

Funeral Director (Actor)

Four For Texas 1962 (Movie)

Ansel (Actor)

Ride the High Country 1962 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Music Man 1961 (Movie)

Conductor (Actor)

Rally Round the Flag, Boys! 1958 (Movie)

Waldo Pike (Actor)

Jailhouse Rock 1957 (Movie)

Sam Brewster (Actor)

This Could Be the Night 1957 (Movie)

Charlie--Bookmaker (Actor)

Crashout 1955 (Movie)

Dr Barnes (Actor)

Diane 1955 (Movie)

Court Jester (Actor)

Jail Busters 1955 (Movie)

Warden B W Oswald (Actor)

Kiss Me Deadly 1955 (Movie)

Morgue Doctor (Actor)

Trial 1955 (Movie)

Youval (Actor)

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea 1954 (Movie)

Diver (Actor)

A Star Is Born 1954 (Movie)

Drunk (Actor)

About Mrs. Leslie 1954 (Movie)

Hackley (Actor)

Lucky Me 1954 (Movie)

Brown (Actor)

Call Me Madam 1953 (Movie)

Senator Wilkins (Actor)

Wicked Woman 1953 (Movie)

Charlie Borg (Actor)

How to Marry a Millionaire 1952 (Movie)

(Actor)

I Dream of Jeanie 1952 (Movie)

Mr. Horker (Actor)

Criss Cross 1949 (Movie)

Frank (Actor)

The Set-Up 1949 (Movie)

Red (Actor)

Biography

Born into show business, raspy-voiced actor Percy Helton was short in stature, but a giant among those consummate featured players of Hollywood's Golden Age. With a well-timed double-take or a deftly delivered line, he could seize the spotlight from a Fonda, Redford, or Bacall. Remembered for brief but memorable roles in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and "How to Marry a Millionaire," among many other films, Helton, the son of a vaudeville performer, first hit the professional stage in his native New York City when he was barely a toddler. A seasoned Broadway veteran before he could vote, Helton enlisted in the Army at the dawn of World War I, serving in Europe with the American Expeditionary Forces before resuming his busy stage career. Broadway success led to Hollywood and eventually to a notable role in his first talking picture, "Miracle on 34th Street"; he played a soused store Santa who's replaced by the "real" Kris Kringle at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Throughout the next four decades, Helton assayed a rogues' gallery of other onscreen drunks, punks, sidekicks and oddballs, in everything from lush, Oscar-winning musicals ("The Music Man") to gritty postwar thrillers ("Kiss Me Deadly"), from B-movie Westerns to Martin & Lewis slapstick comedies. Though he had perhaps his most substantial film role in director Robert Wise's dour 1949 boxing drama "The Set-Up," Helton never wasted a moment of screen time. Whether in a bit part on "Bonanza" or in his recurring role on "The Beverly Hillbillies" as put-upon bank clerk Homer Cratchit, his face and voice were every bit as welcome as they were ubiquitous.

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