Clarence Kolb

Clarence William Kolb (July 31, 1874 November 25, 1964) was an American vaudeville performer and actor known for his comedy routines that featured a Dutch dialect.[1]

Clarence Kolb
Kolb (left) and Max Dill.
Born(1874-07-31)July 31, 1874
DiedNovember 25, 1964(1964-11-25) (aged 90)
Years active1916-1957
Spouse(s)May Cloy (1915–1964, his death)

He was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the only child of second generation Austrian parents who owned a local meat company.

Kolb started out as one half of a vaudeville comedy team, Kolb and Dill, with Max Dill. They styled their act on the famous team of Weber and Fields.[2] In addition to their stage work, they appeared in a series of short films and a feature length movie in 1917. Afterwards, Kolb made a return to vaudeville, and he only returned to the movies in the late 1930s.

In 1935, Kolb left the act to work in films as a character actor,[2] eventually appearing in 75 feature films.[1] He became famous for portraying the same type of character in many films, namely a politician or businessman. He is best remembered for his role as the grumpy father in the multi-Academy Awards nominated hit comedy film Merrily We Live (1938), the corrupt mayor in the comedy His Girl Friday (1940), and as Mr. Honeywell in the television sitcom My Little Margie (1952).[3] Kolb played himself in his last movie appearance, Man of a Thousand Faces (1957), opposite Danny Beck (who played the late Max Dill).

On September 1, 1917, Kolb married dancer May Cloy (whose birth name was Mabel S. Larsen).[4] They were still married when he died.[5]

Kolb died at age 90 of a stroke at the Orchard Gables Sanitarium in Hollywood.[6][7][8] He is interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.

Partial filmography


  1. Bladen, Barbara (December 8, 1964). "The Marquee". The Times. California, San Mateo. p. 28. Retrieved 17 March 2019 via
  2. Slide, Anthony (2012). The Encyclopedia of Vaudeville. Univ. Press of Mississippi. p. 291. ISBN 9781617032509. Retrieved 17 March 2019.
  3. Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. pp. 732–733. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7.
  4. "Clarence Kolb Weds Dancer; Plans Guarded From Friends". The San Francisco Examiner. California, San Francisco. September 2, 1917. p. 13. Retrieved 17 March 2019 via
  5. "Clarence Kolb; Vaudeville Star, Television Actor". Tampa Bay Times. Florida, St. Petersburg. November 28, 1964. p. 15. Retrieved 17 March 2019 via
  6. "Clarence Kolb, Veteran Actor, Dies Here at 90." Los Angeles Times. Nov. 26, 1964. p. A 12.
  7. California Death Index, Name: Clarence W. Kolb, Birth Date: 07-31-1874, Sex: Male, Birth Place: Ohio, Death Place: Los Angeles (70), Death Date: 11-25-1964, Age: 90 yrs.
  8. Social Security Death Index, Name: Clarence Kolb, Birth: July 31, 1875, Issued: California, Death: Nov 1964, Last Residence: (California).
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