Matt McHugh was one of the most employed character actors in films in the 1930s and 40s making over 200 movies, almost always uncredited.  That’s him delivering milk to Lucille Ball in 1946’s The Dark Corner (one of her noir films.)

Matt is, of course, the older brother of the much more famous Frank McHugh, who was a staple at Warners and made more films with his pal James Cagney — 11 –than any other actor.

The McHugh’s came from a theatrical family. Their parents had a stock company in Pennsylvania in the late 1890s and both the boys and their sister were on stage before World War I.

Brother Ed was an actor but turned to stage managing and then agenting.

Frank went on to co-star in some of the most memorable films of Hollywood. He made dozens of programmers, like the Four Daughter, Wives, Mothers series with the Lane Sisters. But he also made films such as Going My Way with Bing Crosby and Barry Fitzgerald.

And McHugh was under contract to Warners for so long that he even got to play roles twice In 1940’s  Til We Meet Again he played a con man/thief opposite George Brent and Merle Oberon. He’d done the same role in the 1932 version, One Way Passage, with William Powell and Kay Francis.

Frank is pictured below with his pals, referred to as the Irish Mafia of Hollywood. There’s Cagney and McHugh.

Can you identify the other two? Matt and Frank’s sister Kitty McHugh  had her own career in films, co-starring with the Three Stooges.  It was through Moe Howard that Kitty met Ned Glass (below) another famous character actor whom she married.

You’ve seen Glass in dozens of notable films including Charade.  Kitty committed suicide in 1954. Matt’s most famous film is probably Freaks. His trademark was his Brooklyn accent even though he was a boy from rural Pennsylvania.  That’s why they call it acting.

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