Alan Hale Jr. never achieved the movie success of his famous father who was one of the mainstay character actors at Warner Brothers in the 1930s and 40s. (There Dad is below left, pictured with Jack Carson.)
But Junior’s career on TV, and his role in the Sixties CBS series Gilligan’s Island, assured him a place in Show Business History. (He has a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.) But before TV he had made dozens of films.
And let’s look at Senior’s contributions to movies.
Alan Hale played drama, comedy and could even sing and dance when necessary. He was an original workhorse, racking up an astounding total of nearly 250 titles beginning in the silent short days of 1912 and finishing in 1950, the year he died at the relatively early age of 57.
Hale Sr. was one of what was informally called the Warner Brothers Stock Company, a group of solid supporting players who populated many studio movies in the Thirties and Forties. Like two other excellent film comedians (Fortunio Bonanova and George Gaynes), he originally aspired to be an opera singer.
At Warners, Hale Sr. appeared in 13 outings with Errol Flynn, and became a Robin Hood staple as Little John. Perhaps his most durable outing is Frank Capra’s 1934 screwball comedy It Happened One Night, costarring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert.
For his part, Hale Jr. began appearing in movies in 1941, but his lasting fame rests on a multi-decade career in television. Like Dad, he was a workhorse. Alan Jr. died in 1990 at age 68.
- Re our Bob Fosse conundrum posed yesterday: As mentioned, Fosse won the triple crown — an Oscar, an Emmy, a Tony all in the same year. Fosse won these awards for which titles, and in what year?
- The year was 1973. Fosse won his Tony for directing the Broadway hit Pippin. His Emmy was for his direction of the tv special Liza With A Z with you-know-who. Fosse’s Oscar award was for, of course, Cabaret. Quite a haul.