Moroni Olsen

Moroni Olsen (June 27, 1889  November 22, 1954) was an American actor.

Moroni Olsen
Moroni Olsen and Billie Burke in Father's Little Dividend (1951)
Born(1889-06-27)June 27, 1889
DiedNovember 22, 1954(1954-11-22) (aged 65)
Years active1919–1954


Olsen was born in Ogden, Utah, to Mormon parents Edward Arenholt Olsen and Martha Hoverholst,[1][2] who named him after the Moroni found in the Book of Mormon.[3] Some sources[4] have claimed that Olsen's birth name was John Willard Clawson, but there appears to be no support for this claim.

Olsen studied at Weber State Academy, the predecessor of Weber State University. He then went to study at the University of Utah, where one of his teachers was Maud May Babcock. During World War I, he sold war bonds for the United States Navy. He also studied and performed in the Eastern United States around this time.

In 1923, Olsen organized the "Moroni Olsen Players" out of Ogden. They performed at both Ogden's Orpheum Theatre and at various other locations spread from Salt Lake City to Seattle.

After having worked on Broadway, he made his film debut in a 1935 adaptation of The Three Musketeers. He later played a different role in a 1939 comedy version of the story, starring Don Ameche as D'Artagnan and the Ritz Brothers as three dimwitted lackeys who are forced to substitute for the musketeers, who have drunk themselves into a stupor. He appeared in scores of films during his career.

His most famous role was the voice of the Slave in The Magic Mirror in Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). Olsen also provided the voice of the senior angel in It's a Wonderful Life.

Olsen was an active member of the LDS Church, being a teacher of youth in the Hollywood Ward. He also was director of the Pilgrimage Play of Hollywood for several years.[3]


Olsen died on November 22, 1954 of a heart attack at the age of 65. He is buried in the Ogden City Cemetery.[5]

Broadway roles

Selected filmography


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