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Classically Speaking:
Promoting Classic Movies in a Jaded World!

Monday, May 23, 2011


Billy De WolfeBILLY DE WOLFE (1907-1974), born William Andrew Jones first came to my attention through television. Throughout my childhood, he appeared as a guest in sitcoms, talk shows, and in commercials. My mother and I laughed and laughed when he appeared in drag as the old maid Phoebe Murgatroyd in Ban Roll-On antiperspirant commercials. There he was wearing a hat and shawl with his trademark pencil-thin mustache, claiming to be this expert on romance and answering questions like a regular Dear Abby. You may know him as the voice of the magician/villain, Professor Hinkle, in the animated Christmas television special Frosty the Snowman (1969). My first film with Billy De Wolfe was seen on the big screen in Disney's The World's Greatest Athlete (1973) as Dean Maxwell. Beyond his distinctive look and voice, his pompous air and fussy nature were trademark to his roles. He often tried to convince the girl he was the man for her out of sheer logic, then failing miserably, because she always preferred the dashing romantic lead.

Dear Brat (1951)Haven't you seen Dear Brat (1951)? This is the second film in a trilogy, the first being Dear Ruth (1947) and the third, Dear Wife (1949). This film also stars Mona Freeman and Edward Arnold. Billy De Wolfe plays Albert Kummer in all three films. It is acceptable to see these films out of sequence, like I did. It was after I viewed this one that I wanted to see the other two.

Watch this and then see these other four films.

Tea for Two (1950) He plays Larry Blair.
Lullaby of Broadway (1951) He plays Lefty Mack.
The Perils of Pauline (1947) He plays Mr. Timmy Timmons.
Call Me Madam (1953) He plays Pemberton Maxwell.

*Contributed by: "Elizabeth Van Cleve" Date: Mon, May 23 2011 / 11:30:37 PST