Ned Glass

Nusyn "Ned" Glass (April 1, 1906 – June 15, 1984) was a Polish-born American character actor who appeared in more than eighty films and on television more than one hundred times, frequently playing nervous, cowardly, or deceitful characters. Short and bald, with a slight hunch to his shoulders, he was immediately recognizable by his distinct appearance, his nasal voice, and his pronounced New York City accent.

Ned Glass
Glass in Charade (1963)
Nusyn Glass

(1906-04-01)April 1, 1906
DiedJune 15, 1984(1984-06-15) (aged 78)
Years active1931–1982
Spouse(s)Kitty McHugh (1935–1954; her death)
Jean (or Jhean) Burton (1965–1975; divorced)

Notable roles he portrayed included Doc in West Side Story (1961) and Gideon in Charade (1963).

Early life

Glass was born in Radom, Congress Poland, Russian Empire, to a Jewish family.[1] He emigrated to the United States at an early age and grew up in New York City.[2] He attended City College.[3]


Glass worked in vaudeville,[2] and appeared on Broadway in 1931 in the Elmer Rice play Counsellor-at-Law.[4] He continued to act and direct on Broadway until 1936,[5] when he was signed as a Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer contract player.[6] He made his first film appearance in 1937, with an uncredited role in True Confession,[7] and his first credited film appearance came in two episodes of the serial Dick Tracy Returns (1938).[8]

Beginning in 1937, Glass worked regularly in films, helped by friends like producer John Houseman. He was a frequent member of Columbia Pictures' short subjects dept. roster, and a favorite of directors Jules White and Del Lord. White prominently featured Glass in The Three Stooges' Nutty But Nice and costarred him with Buster Keaton in Mooching Through Georgia. A Toluca Lake neighbor friend of Moe Howard of The Three Stooges, that real-life factoid inspired an untrue myth that Moe arranged for Ned to have parts the Stooges' films; actually, Moe had minimal-to-zero input into casting.[2] He also appeared in From Nurse to Worse, Three Little Sew and Sews, You Nazty Spy! and I'll Never Heil Again Glass did not appear in any films released between 1942 and 1947, possibly because of military service, but he generally worked in a handful of films almost every year thereafter, playing small roles and bit parts, including additional Three Stooges films Hokus Pokus and Three Hams on Rye and Flagpole Jitters. He was reportedly briefly blacklisted, during which time he found work as a carpenter.[9]

Glass began showing up on television in 1952, when he was cast on an episode of The Red Skelton Show.[10] He later was frequently seen on CBS in Jackie Gleason's The Honeymooners sketches.[2] He was in an early episode (2.28) of Gunsmoke, "The Photographer", as a scruffy little prospector who's brutally murdered and scalped to obtain a cheaply thrilling photograph of Western violence. From 1955 to 1958, Glass played "Sgt. Andy Pendleton" on You'll Never Get Rich (better remembered as The Phil Silvers Show). In 1957, he appeared as "Jackson", an arms dealer to Indians, in an episode of the syndicated western series, Boots and Saddles,[11] as well as a railroad ticket agent in Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest. He appeared in the syndicated crime drama, Sheriff of Cochise, starring John Bromfield and in the ABC western series, The Rebel, starring Nick Adams. He appeared too in David Janssen's crime drama, Richard Diamond, Private Detective.

Glass guest starred in three sitcoms in the early years of television, NBC's The People's Choice, starring Jackie Cooper, CBS's Angel, with Annie Fargé, and ABC's Guestward, Ho!, starring Joanne Dru. He portrayed Doc, the drugstore owner, in the Hollywood version of West Side Story. In the fall of 1963, Glass guest starred in an episode of the 13-week CBS combination sitcom/drama, Glynis, starring British actress Glynis Johns as a mystery writer, with Keith Andes as her attorney-husband.

Glass popped up in the 1967 Monkees episode "Monkees in the Ring" as fight promoter Joey Sholto, and as convicted forger "Freddie the Forger" in a fifth-season episode of NBC's Get Smart entitled "Do I Hear a Vaults?" (1970).[12] He played "Sol Cooper" on the Diahann Carroll vehicle Julia from 1968 to 1971, and was nominated in 1969 for an Emmy Award for his performance in the "A Little Chicken Soup Never Hurt Anybody" episode[13][14] Glass also played "Uncle Moe Plotnick" on the short-lived series Bridget Loves Bernie (1972–73). In 1981 he appeared on Barney Miller, as Stanley Golden, in the episode "Field Associate" and also in 1975, in the episode, "You Dirty Rat," as Mr. Sam Becker, the exterminator, from Becker & Sons.

Highlights of Glass's film career include playing "Doc" in West Side Story (1961), "Popcorn" in Blake Edwards's thriller Experiment in Terror (1962), and bad guy "Leopold W. Gideon" in Stanley Donen's Charade (1963). His other film appearances included the Elvis Presley film Kid Galahad (1962), Who's Got the Action? (1962), Papa's Delicate Condition (1963), Blindfold (1965), A Big Hand for the Little Lady (1966), The Fortune Cookie (1966), Blackbeard's Ghost (1968), Never a Dull Moment (1968), The Love Bug (1969), Lady Sings the Blues (1972), Save the Tiger (1973), The All-American Boy (1973), and the TV movie Goldie and the Boxer (1979). His final film appearance was in the low-budget comedy Street Music (1981), and his final TV appearance was as a pickpocket on Cagney & Lacey in 1982.

Personal life

Glass was married to actress Kitty McHugh, and was brother-in-law to character actor Frank McHugh,[15] and bit player Matt McHugh.[16] Kitty McHugh committed suicide on 3 September 1954, and Glass later married actress Jean (also known as Jhean) Burton. That marriage ended in divorce.[6]


Glass died in Encino Hospital in Encino, California, on 15 June 1984 at the age of 78, after a long illness.[17]


Hogans Heros-Credited


  1. Blog, Movie Movie Blog (Nov 12, 2015). "Ned Glass (1906-1984) – More than just an actor". Retrieved Aug 19, 2019.
  2. Ned Glass at Allmovie
  3. Ned Glass at TCM Movie Database
  4. Counsellor-at-Law at the Internet Broadway Database
  5. Ned Glass at the Internet Broadway Database
  6. "Ned Glass". Archived from the original on February 8, 2002. Retrieved 2013-08-17.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link) at Great Character Actors
  7. True Confession on IMDb
  8. Dick Tracy Returns on IMDb
  9. Ned Glass at Find a Grave
  10. Ned Glass on IMDb
  11. "Boots and Saddles". Classic TV Archives. Retrieved September 12, 2009.
  12. "". Retrieved Aug 19, 2019.
  13. "A Little Chicken Soup Never Hurt Anybody" (Julia) on IMDb
  14. IMDB Awards & Nominations
  15. Frank McHugh on IMDb
  16. Matt McHugh on IMDb
  17. UPI "Ned Glass, an Actor, Dies" New York Times (25 June 1984)

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