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00billy-gilbert

Biography

Character: Spanky's Father and Captain Gilbert among other roles
Birthday: September 12, 1894
Place of Birth: Louisville, Kentucky
Date of Death: September 23, 1971
Place of Death: Los Angeles, California
First Short: Shiver My Timbers
Last Short: Washee Ironee
Number of Shorts: 6
History: William Gilbert Barron was the son of singers in the Metropolitan Opera. He began starring in Vaudeville at the age of twelve, and had a few film roles. He was discovered by Stan Laurel while starring in Sensations Of 1929. Laurel introduced Gilbert to Hal Roach, who employed him as a gag writer, actor and director. His burley frame and gruff voice made him perfect for playing villains, and he was soon working alongside Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Charley Chase, Thelma Todd and Our Gang. Gilbert's skills with dialects landed in Roach comedies. In 1932, Hal Roach teamed Gilbert with comedian Ben Blue for the All-Star series The Taxi Boys. In 1934, he and Billy Bletcher starred in a few musical comedies for Roach. Gilbert left the studio shortly afterwards, appearing in short comedies for Columbia Pictures with the likes of The Three Stooges, Harry Langdon, and former Our Gang member Johnny M. Downs. He also appeared in RKO short subjects, and briefly starred in another series (with Vince Barnett) for Mack Sennett. He then graduated into feature films. His trademak sneezing gag got him the job of voicing "Sneezy" in Walt Disney's Snow White And The Seven Dwarves. He also voiced the giant in "Mickey And The Beanstalk." In 1937, Gilbert married for the second time with his friend Charley Chase as his best man. The following year, he returned to the Hal Roach Studios to costar with old friends Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy in Block-Heads. Despite his role as a comic, he got to play a dramatic scene in "A Little Bit Of Heaven" with singer Gloria Jean. In 1943, Columbia Pictures gave Gilbert his own series of short comedies, but only a few films resulted. In 1944, Monogram Pictures teamed Gilbert with Shemp Howard (of Three Stooges fame) and Maxie Rosenbloom for three low budget feature films. Although he worked briefly in television through the Fifties (including appearing in television sketches with comedian Buster Keaton), he had retired by 1962. He died of a stroke in 1971, his ashes scattered in the rose gardens at Odd Fellows Cemetery in Los Angeles. He is remembered with a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame.

List of Shorts

Other Projects

  • The Woman From Hell (1929)
  • The Happy Hottentots (1930)
  • The Doctor's Wife (1930) - with Franklin Pangborn
  • The Panic is On (1931) - with Charley Chase
  • Catch as Catch Can (1931) - with Zasu Pitts and Thelma Todd
  • One Good Turn (1931) - with Oliver Hardy and Stan Laurel
  • On The Loose (1931) - with Zasu Pitts and Thelma Todd
  • The Music Box (1932) - with Oliver Hardy and Stan Laurel
  • The Chimp (1932) - with Oliver Hardy and Stan Laurel
  • County Hospital (1932) - with Oliver Hardy and Stan Laurel
  • What Price, Taxi (1932) - with Franklin Pangborn and Clyde Cook
  • Pack Up Your Troubles (1932) - with Oliver Hardy and Stan Laurel
  • Strange Intertube (1932) - with Ben Blue
  • Yoo-Hoo (1932) - with Robert Hutchins
  • Their First Mistake (1932) - with Oliver Hardy and Stan Laurel
  • Towed In A Hole (1932) - with Oliver Hardy and Stan Laurel
  • Sons Of The Desert (1933) - with Oliver Hardy and Stan Laurel
  • The Rummy (1933) - with Ben Blue
  • Them Thar Hills (1934) - with Oliver Hardy and Stan Laurel
  • Men In Black (1934) - with the Three Stooges
  • Pardon My Scotch (1935) - with the Three Stooges
  • Nurse To You! (1935) - with Charley Chase
  • A Night At The Opera (1935) - with the Marx Brothers
  • The Devil Doll (1936)
  • Two Lame Ducks (1936) - with Vince Barnett
  • Sea Devils (1937)
  • Captain Courageous (1937)
  • Walt Disney's Snow White And the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
  • Block-Heads (1938) - with Oliver Hardy and Stan Laurel
  • Peck's Bad Boy With The Circus (1938) - with Edgar Kennedy, Leonard Kibrick, Sidney Kibrick, and George McFarland
  • Destry Rides Again (1939)
  • His Girl Friday (1940)
  • Women In War (1940)
  • The Great Dictator (1940) - with Charlie Chaplin
  • Tin Pan Alley (1940)
  • Arabian Nights (1942) - with Cordell Hickman
  • Shot In The Escape (1943)
  • Shanty Town (1943)
  • Crazy House (1943) - with Ole Olsen and Chic Johnson
  • Three Of A Kind (1944) - with Shemp Howard and Maxie Rosenbloom
  • Ever Since Venus (1944)
  • Anchors Aweigh (1945)
  • Walt Disney's Mickey And The Beanstalk (1947)
  • The Red Skelton Show - TV Series (1955)
  • Paradise Alley (1962)
  • Five Weeks In A Balloon (1962)

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