John Willard (playwright)

John Willard (born Willard Clawson,[1] November 28, 1885 – August 30, 1942)[2] was an American playwright and actor.

John Willard
BornWillard Clawson
November 28, 1885
San Francisco, California, US
DiedAugust 30, 1942(1942-08-30) (aged 56)
Los Angeles, California, US

His most famous written work is The Cat and the Canary (1922), which was made into the influential silent film of the same name in 1927. Also, the work was filmed in 1930, in 1939 (starring Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard) and in 1979 (by Radley Metzger).[3] Willard also co-wrote The Blue Flame (1920) with George V. Hobart.

Willard worked as a miner and a reporter,[1] and he was also a published novelist. He also appeared as one of the actors in the Broadway production of The Cat and the Canary.[4] His other acting on Broadway began with George Washington, Jr. (1906) and ended with The Mikado (1936).[2]

During World War I as a captain in the United States Army Air Corps, he flew bombing runs over German machine-gun sites.[1]


  1. "'Cat and Canary' Is On at Wilkes". The Salt Lake Tribune. Utah, Salt Lake City. January 18, 1925. p. 45. Retrieved September 22, 2019 via
  2. "John Willard". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on September 23, 2019. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  4. New York Times obituary for Willard

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