Bernard Punsly

Bernard Punsly (July 11, 1923 – January 20, 2004) was a New York City-born American actor[1] who later left show business to become a physician.

Bernard Punsly
Punsly in trailer to "Little Tough Guy" (1938)
Born(1923-07-11)July 11, 1923
DiedJanuary 20, 2004(2004-01-20) (aged 80)
Years active1937–1943

His last name was often spelled incorrectly in film credits as Punsley.

Career and personal life

Punsly auditioned for a part in the play Dead End in 1935, because he thought it might be fun. The success of the play led to a series of film appearances for the cast, including Punsly. The first film of the "Dead End Kids" (or Bowery Boys) series was Dead End (1937) with Joel McCrea and Humphrey Bogart. Punsly played the parts of "Milt" and later "Ape". He appeared with actors such as Ronald Reagan, James Cagney, Pat O'Brien, John Garfield, and Humphrey Bogart.

He continued with similar film parts until he joined the army. Even as an actor, he was known to read medical books in his spare time. After receiving medical training in the army, Punsley entered the Medical College of the University of Georgia, subsequently obtaining his medical degree. He returned to the west to set up a medical practice in Torrance, California, never returning to show business.

He became chief of staff in the South Bay Hospital in Redondo Beach, California. He was married to Lynne and had two children, Bryan and Richard.


On January 20, 2004, at age 80, he died of cancer in a hospital in Torrance, California.[1]

Complete filmography

Year Title Role Notes
1937Dead EndMilty
1938The Big Broadcast of 1938CaddyUncredited
1938Crime SchoolFats
1938Little Tough GuyApe
1938Angels with Dirty FacesHunky
1939They Made Me a CriminalMilt
1939Hell's KitchenPatrick Henry 'Ouch' Rosenbloom
1939The Angels Wash Their FacesSleepy Arkelian
1939On Dress ParadeDutch
1940You're Not So ToughApe
1940Junior G-MenLugSerial
1940Give Us WingsApe
1941Hit the Road
1941Mob Town
1941Sea RaidersButchSerial
1942Junior G-Men of the Air'Creaseball' PlunkettSerial
1942Tough as They ComeApe
1942Junior ArmyBad Eye - Gang MemberUncredited
1943Mug TownApe(final film role)


  1. Lentz, Harris M. III (2005). Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2004: Film, Television, Radio, Theatre, Dance, Music, Cartoons and Pop Culture. McFarland. p. 288. ISBN 9780786421039. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
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