Thursday, June 23, 2011
A long time ago the fellow with this pleasant face began in the movies in a walk-on part with no lines (it was a silent movie, after all), and carved out a decades-long career as the anonymous everyman who was somehow familiar.
Know this guy in the sweater? That's Student Who Goes to Get the Dean. This is from Harold Lloyd’s 1925 silent comedy “The Freshman”. This young man was on screen for only a few moments. Prophetically, he would build his entire career around appearing on screen for only a few, very memorable, moments.
He’s Grady Sutton, uncredited in most of his roles. Even though he co-starred in a series of Hal Roach two-reelers early on in his career, he never quite made to top banana fame.
Along the way he played the foil for W.C. Fields, and appeared in “Alice Adams” (1935) with Katharine Hepburn, and was hastily engaged to Carole Lombard in “My Man Godfrey” (1936).
Oddly enough, he managed to be one of the most recognizable bit actors in Hollywood, appearing in something like 200 movies and television shows. Once he made the transition from silents to talkies, we all got to hear that gentle Southern drawl that suited so well his shy, deadpan naivete.
Mr. Sutton went on to several more decades of work in film and television, never saying much, but always a welcome addition to the party.