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Edward Everett Horton

Picture of Edward Everett Horton.

Edward Everett Horton Jr. (March 18, 1886 – September 29, 1970) was an American character actor. He had a long career in film, theater, radio, television, and voice work for animated cartoons. Horton began his stage career in 1906, singing and dancing and playing small parts in vaudeville and in Broadway productions. In 1919, he moved to Los Angeles, California, where he began acting in Hollywood films.

His first starring role was in the comedy Too Much Business (1922), but he portrayed the lead role of an idealistic young classical composer in the drama Beggar on Horseback (1925). In the late 1920s, he starred in two-reel silent comedies for Educational Pictures, and made the transition to talking pictures with Educational in 1929. As a stage-trained performer, he found more film work easily, and appeared in some of Warner Bros.’ early talkies, including The Terror (1928) and Sonny Boy (1929).

Horton initially used his given name, Edward Horton, professionally. His father persuaded him to adopt his full name professionally, reasoning that other actors might be named Edward Horton, but only one named Edward Everett Horton. Horton soon cultivated his own special variation of the time-honored double take (an actor’s reaction to something, followed by a delayed, more extreme reaction). In Horton’s version, he would smile ingratiatingly and nod in agreement with what just happened; then, when realization set in, his facial features collapsed entirely into a sober, troubled mask.

Horton starred in many comedy features in the 1930s, usually playing a mousy fellow who put up with domestic or professional problems to a certain point, and then finally asserted himself for a happy ending. He is best known, however, for his work as a character actor in supporting roles.

These include The Front Page (1931), Trouble in Paradise (1932), Alice in Wonderland (1933), The Gay Divorcee (1934, the first of several Astaire/Rogers films in which Horton appeared), Top Hat (1935), Danger – Love at Work (1937), Lost Horizon (1937), Holiday (1938), Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941), Arsenic and Old Lace (1944), Pocketful of Miracles (1961), It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963), and Sex and the Single Girl (1964). His last role was in the comedy film Cold Turkey (1971), in which his character communicated only through facial expressions.

Born: Born: Mar 18, 1886 In Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA


1997: The Silver Screen: Color Me Lavender
1971: Cold Turkey
1970: Nanny and the Professor
1969: 2000 Years Later
1967: The Perils of Pauline
1966: Batman
1965: F Troop
1964: The Cara Williams Show
1964: Sex and the Single Girl
1963: One Got Fat
1963: Burke’s Law
1963: It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
1961: Rocky & Bullwinkle & Friends
1961: Pocketful of Miracles
1959: Dennis the Menace
1957: The Story of Mankind
1956: The Steve Allen Show
1955: Matinee Theater
1954: Max Liebman Presents
1954: December Bride
1953: General Electric Theater
1951: I Love Lucy
1950: The Colgate Comedy Hour
1948: The Ed Sullivan Show
1948: The Philco Television Playhouse
1947: Her Husband’s Affairs
1947: The Ghost Goes Wild
1947: Down to Earth
1946: Cinderella Jones
1946: Earl Carroll Sketchbook
1946: Faithful in My Fashion
1945: Steppin’ in Society
1945: Lady on a Train
1944: Summer Storm
1944: Her Primitive Man
1944: The Town Went Wild
1944: Arsenic and Old Lace
1944: San Diego I Love You
1944: Brazil
1943: Forever and a Day
1943: Thank Your Lucky Stars
1943: The Gang’s All Here
1942: I Married an Angel
1942: The Magnificent Dope
1942: Springtime in the Rockies
1941: Sunny
1941: You’re the One
1941: Ziegfeld Girl
1941: Bachelor Daddy
1941: Here Comes Mr. Jordan
1941: Weekend for Three
1941: The Body Disappears
1939: Paris Honeymoon
1939: That’s Right – You’re Wrong
1939: The Gang’s All Here
1938: College Swing
1938: Bluebeard’s Eighth Wife
1938: Holiday
1938: Little Tough Guys in Society
1937: Shall We Dance
1937: Wild Money
1937: The King and the Chorus Girl
1937: Lost Horizon
1937: Oh, Doctor
1937: The Perfect Specimen
1937: Danger – Love at Work
1937: Hitting a New High
1937: The Great Garrick
1937: Angel
1936: Her Master’s Voice
1936: The Singing Kid
1936: Nobody’s Fool
1936: Let’s Make a Million
1936: The Man in the Mirror
1936: Hearts Divided
1935: The Devil Is a Woman
1935: All the King’s Horses
1935: Biography of a Bachelor Girl
1935: Going Highbrow
1935: The Night Is Young
1935: In Caliente
1935: Your Uncle Dudley
1935: Little Big Shot
1935: Things You Never See on the Screen
1935: Top Hat
1935: The Private Secretary
1934: Success at Any Price
1934: The Poor Rich
1934: Easy to Love
1934: Sing and Like it
1934: Kiss and Make-Up
1934: The Merry Widow
1934: Smarty
1934: The Gay Divorcee
1934: Ladies Should Listen
1933: A Bedtime Story
1933: It’s a Boy
1933: Soldiers of the King
1933: Design for Living
1933: The Way to Love
1933: Alice in Wonderland
1932: But the Flesh Is Weak
1932: Roar of the Dragon
1932: Trouble in Paradise
1931: Kiss Me Again
1931: Lonely Wives
1931: The Front Page
1931: The Age for Love
1931: Six Cylinder Love
1931: Smart Woman
1930: Holiday
1930: Wide Open
1930: Reaching for the Moon
1929: Ask Dad
1928: Behind the Counter
1928: Horse Shy
1928: Dad’s Choice
1928: The Terror
1928: Vacation Waves
1927: No Publicity
1927: Find the King
1926: La Bohème
1926: Poker Faces
1925: Beggar on Horseback
1924: The Man Who Fights Alone
1924: Helen’s Babies


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