Monday, November 26, 2012

Screen Extras... Who Were They?

Frank Baker (1892-1980)
*Born in Melbourne, Australia
*Made his first film in 1912 !
*Married wife Helen Bruno in 1920
*Came to U.S. in 1929
*A member of director John Ford's
stock company of actors for 40 years
*Worked as a stuntman as well, 1930s
*Died at the Motion Picture Home

Leon Alton (1907-95)
*Born in New York
*Worked on Broadway from 1927-41
*Served in the military 1942-45
*Often appeared in dance scenes
*Worked 40+ years as an Extra
*Owned a health food store in
Toluca Lake for many years
 One of the most frustrating things for me is not being able to identify the name of a character actor. The age of the internet has certainly made it easier. But due to the nature of their work, screen extras are rarely, if ever, given their due. In this first piece on Extras, I would like to identify several and then post some photos that I am not able to identify by name at this point. Any information any reader has on these "unidentified" individuals would be much appreciated...
Duke Fishman (1906-77)
*Born as Marcus Leo Fishman to American
parents in the Phillipines
*Came to Avalon, CA in 1934 and became
a lifeguard and official greeter of
Catalina Island
*Reportedly, the tv commercial character
of "Mr. Clean" was based on Duke
*Though only 5',6", always played tough guys
*Appeared most frequently as a citizen
of Dodge on tv's Gunsmoke
Major Sam Harris (1877-1969)

                                           As time allows, I'll add information about each of them, but we'll start with their vital stats to go along with the photo.

Joe Extra #1
                                    Can you identify "Joe Extra #1"? The photo is from a mid-1960s television western, so he clearly was probably born around 1900 or very shortly after. He worked at least from the early 1950s through 1975.

Joe Extra #2
What about "Joe Extra #2"? The photo is from Don Knotts' film The Incredible Mr. Limpet from 1964. Again, an actor probably born around 1900 or so. He worked from the early 1950s until the early 1970s at least.

No comments: