Most often associated with Orson Welles, Everett Sloane had a distinct career with and without the boy genius.
We put his name among the very finest supporting actors ever produced in classic Hollywood.
In addition to his distinguished work with Welles — notably his film debut as the down-to-earth Mr. Bernstein, manager of Charles Foster Kane’s The New York Enquirer — Sloane had a rich career in three mediums as, variously, a Jewish character on The Goldbergs, as the tough Captain Kennelly on the CBS Radio series, 21st Precinct, as an Andy Griffith sidekick on tv, as well as a voiceover stint for a Dick Tracy cartoon series.
He was a hard-working actor — some 113 movie and tv credits over 26 years — and what he did he did with dignity and class.
Born in New York City in 1909, Sloane started working early. His first stage appearance supposedly came at seven years of age. He dropped out of the Univ. of Pennsylvania to join a touring theatrical company.
He worked in radio regularly during the Great Depression. (He even at one point voiced Adolph Hitler in March of Time serials.) His fruitful connection with Welles began when he joined the latter’s Mercury Theater troupe in 1941 — the same year he made his film debut in Kane.
Sloane remained a Mercury Player until 1947 when he played Rita Hayworth’s embittered, handicapped husband in the Lady From Shanghai. That mirror-shattering shootout finale will always be a part of the actor’s legacy.
One of our favorite Sloane roles came in 1943’s Journey Into Fear, another Welles venture starring Joseph Cotten. Watch for him early in the picture as an oleaginous Turkish flunkey hired to sweet talk Cotton into a deathly setup. (That’s Sloane to the left.)
Outside of the Welles orbit, Sloane for playing a ruthless corporate executive in the tv and big screen versions of Rod Serling’s Patterns. The actor was nominated for an Emmy in 1956 for his performance.
Plagued with weak eye site, Sloane was forced to curtail his career at a relatively young age for a versatile supporting player. At 55, fearing blindness due to accelerated glaucoma, he took his own life via a barbiturate overdose.