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Byron Foulger

Byron Foulger

Known For: Acting · Birthday: 1899-08-27 · Deathday: 1970-04-04 (70 years old) · Gender: Male · Place of Birth: Ogden, Utah, USA

211 Movies · 53 TV shows

Also Known As: Byron K. Foulger · Byron K. Folger · Byron Folger


Byron Kay Foulger (August 27, 1899 – April 4, 1970) was an American film character actor.


He made his Broadway debut in March 1920 in a production of Medea featuring Moroni Olsen, and performed in four more productions with Olsen on the Great White Way, back-to-back, ending in April 1922. He then toured with Olsen's stock company, and ended up at the Pasadena Playhouse, where he both acted and directed.Foulger made his first three films in 1932 and 1936, with small roles in Night World (1932), The Little Minister, and The President's Mystery, the latter based on a story by Franklin Delano Roosevelt. His film career did not start in earnest, though, until 1937, after he performed opposite Mae West in a racy "Adam and Eve" sketch on the Edgar Bergen-Charlie McCarthy network radio program, which resulted in West being banned from the airwaves almost immediately. Foulger played the voice of the serpent. From this point on, Foulger worked steadily in motion pictures. He played many parts - storekeepers, hotel desk clerks, morticians, professors, bank tellers, ministers, confidence men, and a host of other characterizations, usually timid, whining, weak-willed, shifty, sanctimonious, or sycophantic. His earliest films show him clean-shaven, but in the 1940s, he adopted a wispy mustache that emphasized his characters' worried manners. When the mustache went gray in the 1950s, he reverted to a clean-shaven look. Foulger was a resourceful actor, and often embellished his scripted lines with memorable bits of business; in The Falcon Strikes Back, for example, hotel clerk Foulger announces a homicide by bellowing across the lobby: "Mur-der! Mur-der!' In real life, Foulger was not as much of a pushover as the characters he played. In one memorable incident at a party, he threatened to punch Errol Flynn for flirting with his wife, actress Dorothy Adams, to whom he was married from 1921 until his death in 1970.In the 1940s, Foulger was part of Preston Sturges' unofficial "stock company" of character actors, appearing in five films written by Sturges, The Great McGinty, Sullivan's Travels, The Palm Beach Story, The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (recreating the role of McGinty's secretary he played in The Great McGinty), and The Great Moment. In A pictures, such as those of Sturges', Foulger often received no screen credit; in B movies such as 1939's The Man They Could Not Hang, he got more substantial, billed parts.By the late 1950s, Foulger was so well established as a mild-mannered worrywart that just the showing of his face would receive a welcoming audience laugh (this happens in the cameo-laden Frank Capra comedy Pocketful of Miracles). In a humorous coup, the actor was cast against type for the most prominent role of his career; he played the Devil opposite The Bowery Boys in Up in Smoke, and was billed in advertisements and posters as one of the film's three stars. Beginning in 1950, Foulger made over 90 appearances on television, in programs such as Death Valley Days, I Love Lucy, The Cisco Kid, My Little Margie, The Man Behind the Badge, The Lone Ranger, Maverick, Lawman, The Red Skelton Show, Rawhide, Wagon Train, Bonanza, Burke's Law, Daniel Boone, Hazel, The Patty Duke Show, The Monkees, Perry Mason, Laredo, Gunsmoke, and in 1965, The Beverly Hillbillies and The Addams Family. He played multiple-episode characters on Dennis the Menace (Mr. Timberlake), Lassie (Dan Porter) and The Andy Griffith Show (Fred, the hotel clerk). On Petticoat Junction he played two recurring roles: Mr. Guerney and engineer Wendell Gibbs.His notable later television credits included the 1959 Twilight Zone episode "Walking Distance" – in which Gig Young tells Foulger, who is playing a drugstore counterman, that he thinks he has seen him before, to which Foulger replies: "I've got that kind of face" – the short-lived comedies My Mother the Car (as one of the villain's browbeaten advisors) and Captain Nice (as the hero's often silent father), and The Mod Squad, his last appearance in episodic television.Byron Foulger's last film appearances were in The Love War, a TV movie, and There Was a Crooked Man..., both in 1970.

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This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Byron_Foulger", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.