8 February 1902, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Lyle Talbot, who appeared in scores of movies from leads in Warner Bros.' "B" pictures to supporting roles in Edward D. Wood Jr.'s legendary kitsch, was born Lysle Henderson on February 8, 1902, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He grew up in a small town in Nebraska, where after the early death of his mother, he was raised by her mo...
Lyle Talbot, who appeared in scores of movies from leads in Warner Bros.' "B" pictures to supporting roles in Edward D. Wood Jr.'s legendary kitsch, was born Lysle Henderson on February 8, 1902, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He grew up in a small town in Nebraska, where after the early death of his mother, he was raised by her mother, Mary Hollywood Talbot, whose name he later bore professionally.Talbot's incredibly long and varied show-business career began right after high school, when he joined a traveling tent show. Starting out as a magician-hypnotist's assistant, he worked his way up to magician before quitting the carny's life for that of the stock theater. He learned to act with stock companies throughout the Midwest, where he became a leading man, and even formed his own short-lived company in Memphis, Tennessee, "The Talbot Players," which included his actor father, Ed Henderson. By 1931 he was in Hollywood as the talkies were maturing. He had the good looks of a star but, more importantly, he had a rich baritone voice that the talkies needed. He appeared in a short and followed it up with a role in a featured picture in support of fading star H.B. Warner (Cecil B. DeMille's Christ in The King of Kings (1927)) before being signed by Warner Bros.-First National. The studio gave him a plum part in William A. Wellman's Love Is a Racket (1932) co-staring with Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Ann Dvorak and the fast-talking Lee Tracy. He appeared in "A" pictures in the 1930s in supporting roles, including Three on a Match (1932), 20,000 Years in Sing Sing (1932), One Night of Love (1934) (with opera star Grace Moore) and 42nd Street (1933), but his work was mostly in "B" pictures, in which he frequently played leads. Although he thoroughly enjoyed the work, acting was practiced as an assembly line operation at the time. Actors would be assigned work usually based on 12-hour days and six-day weeks, and commit themselves to the infamous seven-year exclusive contract that included draconian suspension penalties in the fine print. Talbot, along with James Cagney, Olivia de Havilland and Bette Davis (ironically all WB contract players), were outspoken in their commitment to change working conditions for actors. Talbot was one of the founders of the Screen Actors Guild and the first employee of the Brothers Warners to join the union, much to their ire.Talbot appeared as Commissioner Gordon in the 1949 serial Batman and Robin (1949) and was Lex Luthor in Atom Man vs. Superman (1950) the next year. Talbot took on a tremendous amount of roles, either through not being discriminating enough in what he took, being oblivious to the quality of the films given him, or he was just simply eager to work (who knows?), and in the early 1950s he appeared in several of Edward D. Wood Jr.'s most notorious films, including the infamous transvestite tear-jerker Glen or Glenda (1953) and the famously inept Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959). Aside from Bela Lugosi, Talbot was Wood's most famous star.Talbot's acting career thrived on television, in which he appeared from the beginning of the medium until the 1980s. He co-starred as Ozzie Nelson's friend Joe Randolph on The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet (1952) and as Robert Cummings' Air Force buddy in The Bob Cummings Show (1955) (also known as "Love that Bob") and made guest appearances on a plethora of TV series, including Leave It to Beaver (1957), The Lone Ranger (1949), Topper (1953), The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show (1950), Perry Mason (1957), Rawhide (1959), Wagon Train (1957), The Beverly Hillbillies (1962), Green Acres (1965), Charlie's Angels (1976), Newhart (1982), The Dukes of Hazzard (1979) and Who's the Boss? (1984).Throughout his film and TV career, Talbot continued to perform on stage, co-starring in "Separate Rooms" on Broadway in the early 1940s and starring in national touring companies of Neil Simon's "The Odd Couple" and summer stock tours of Gore Vidal's "The Best Man" and Thornton Wilder's "The Matchmaker."Lyle Talbot died of natural causes on March 3, 1996, in his home in San Francisco, California, at the age of 94, the last of the SAG founders to shuffle off this mortal coil.
You kids think you invented free love in the Sixties. You have no idea what it was like to be young and beautiful in the Thirties in Hollywo...
You kids think you invented free love in the Sixties. You have no idea what it was like to be young and beautiful in the Thirties in Hollywood. Everyone was sleeping with everyone.
[on working for Sam Katzman] Sam Katzman had a reputation as one of the cheapest guys in the world. I never had any idea that Atom Man vs. S...
[on working for Sam Katzman] Sam Katzman had a reputation as one of the cheapest guys in the world. I never had any idea that Atom Man vs. Superman (1950) would remain so popular. At the time it was a three-week job. Even so, I loved playing Lex Luthor. I could put on my meanest face. I used to have the attitude that it was better to work than sit home idle, and as a result I did a lot of things that weren't the greatest. But that was my fault.
Lyle Talbot's FILMOGRAPHY
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Lyle Talbot'S roles