Grady Sutton

Grady Harwell Sutton (April 5, 1906 September 17, 1995) was an American film and television actor from the 1920s to the 1970s. He appeared in more than 180 films.[1]

Grady Sutton
Florence Bates with Sutton in
My Dear Secretary (1948)
Grady Harwell Sutton

(1906-04-05)April 5, 1906
DiedSeptember 17, 1995(1995-09-17) (aged 89)
Years active1925-1979

Early years

Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Sutton was raised in Florida where he attended St. Petersburg High School.[1]


Sutton began his career during the silent film era and made the transition to sound films with the college themed shorts The Boy Friends.[1] He moved on to countless character roles, where he frequently played dimwitted country boys. His best-known roles were as Frank Dowling, Katharine Hepburn's dancing partner, in Alice Adams (1935) and as a foil to W.C. Fields in four films,The Pharmacist (1933), Man on the Flying Trapeze (1935), You Can't Cheat an Honest Man (1939), and The Bank Dick (1940).

Film historian William J. Mann characterizes Sutton as a typical "Hollywood Sissy," that is as a gay actor who ordinarily portrayed an effeminate character for comedic effect.[2]

He continued to work throughout the 1950s and 1960s, finally retiring from acting in 1979. The strength of his association with Fields was such that it was mentioned in the commentary for My Fair Lady. Sutton has a non-speaking role in some of the formal-dress scenes, and subtly performs some comic shtick. The commentator refers to him as "an old W. C. Fields actor".

On television, Sutton appeared in The Odd Couple, and he was seen in some commercials.[1]


On September 17, 1995,[1] Sutton died at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California at the age of 89.[3]

Partial filmography

Year Film Role Notes
1925 The Freshman Student who goes to dean Uncredited
Alternative title: College Days
1926 Brown of Harvard One of the Dickeys Uncredited
1929 Sailor's Holiday Sailor Extra in Cafe Uncredited
1930 Hit the Deck Sailor Uncredited
1932 Movie Crazy Man afraid of mice Uncredited
1932 Pack Up Your Troubles Eddie
1932 Hot Saturday Archie
1933 College Humor Timid freshman Uncredited
1933 Only Yesterday Charlie Smith, Party Guest Uncredited
1934 Bachelor Bait Don Beldon
1934 Gridiron Flash Pudge Harrison
1935 Man on the Flying Trapeze Claude Neselrode Alternative title: The Memory Expert
1935 Dr. Socrates Grocery Store Clerk Uncredited
1936 Palm Springs Bud
1936 My Man Godfrey Charlie Van Rumple Uncredited
1937 Waikiki Wedding Everett Todhunter
1937 Stage Door Butch
1937 Behind the Mike Curly Conway
1938 Vivacious Lady Culpepper
1938 Having Wonderful Time Gus Alternative title: Having a Wonderful Time
1938 Three Loves Has Nancy George
1938 The Mad Miss Manton D.A.'s Secretary
1939 You Can't Cheat an Honest Man uncredited
1939 The Angels Wash Their Faces Gildersleeve (Mayor's secretary) Alternative title: Angels Wash Their Faces
1940 Torrid Zone Sam, Steve's Secretary
1940 He Stayed for Breakfast Salesman
1940 The Bank Dick Og Oggleby, Bank Teller
1941 She Knew All the Answers Ogleby
1942 The Affairs of Martha Justin I. Peacock, Jr
1943 The More the Merrier Diner server Uncredited
1943 A Lady Takes a Chance Malcolm Scott Alternative title: The Cowboy and the Girl
1943 What a Woman Mr. Clark Alternative title: The Beautiful Cheat
1944 The Great Moment Homer Quimby
1945 Captain Eddie Lester Thomas
1945 Anchors Aweigh Bertram Kraler - Susan's beau
1945 Her Lucky Night Joe
1946 Dragonwyck Astor House clerk Uncredited
1946 Nobody Lives Forever Horace Uncredited
1948 Romance on the High Seas Ship Radio operator Uncredited
Alternative title: It's Magic
1948 My Dear Secretary Sylvan Scott
1948 Last of the Wild Horses Curly, the cook
1954 A Star Is Born Artie Carver Uncredited
1954 White Christmas Uncredited
1962 The Chapman Report Simon Uncredited
1963 Come Blow Your Horn Clothing Store Manager Uncredited
1964 My Fair Lady Ascot Extra/Guest at Ball Uncredited
1965 Tickle Me Mr. Dabney
1966 Paradise, Hawaiian Style Mr. Cubberson
1968 I Love You, Alice B. Toklas! Funeral Director Alternative title: Kiss My Butterfly
1970 Myra Breckinridge Kid Barlow
1971 Support Your Local Gunfighter Storekeeper
1979 Rock 'n' Roll High School School Board President

Partial television credits

Year Title Role Notes
1954 I Married Joan Newsroom Walk Through 1 episode
1960 The Ann Sothern Show Swann 2 episodes
Shirley Temple's Storybook Simon 1 episode
1960-1961 Lawman Ben Toomey 8 episodes
1964 Mickey Mr. Freebish 1 episode
1965 Burke's Law Hubie 1 episode
Petticoat Junction Chef 1 episode
1967 Batman Irving Cash 1 episode
1972 Hawaii Five-O Minister 1 episode
1974 The Odd Couple Pops Belkin 1 episode


  1. Gifford, Denis (1995-09-26). "Obituary: Grady Sutton". The Independent (London). Retrieved 2009-01-29.
  2. Mann, William J. (2002). Behind the Screen: How Gays and Lesbians Shaped Hollywood, 1910-1969. New York: Penguin Books. ISBN 978-0-1420-0114-1.
  3. "Grady Sutton, 89, a Comic Foil to Fields, Hepburn and Lombard". The New York Times. 1992-10-28. Retrieved 2009-01-29.

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