Victor Potel

Victor Potel (October 12, 1889 March 8, 1947) was an American film character actor who began in the silent era and appeared in more than 430 films in his 38-year career.[1]

Victor Potel
Born(1889-10-12)October 12, 1889
DiedMarch 8, 1947(1947-03-08) (aged 57)
Years active1910-1947
Mildred "Pam" Ludmilla
(m. 1914; his death 1947)


Victor Potel was born in Lafayette, Indiana in 1889, and his acting career goes back almost to the beginning of the commercial film industry in the United States. He made his first silent film in 1910, a comedy short filmed in Chicago by Essanay Film Manufacturing Company called A Dog on Business.[2] Potel continued to make films for Essanay, appearing in dozens of films every year, including most of the Broncho Billy series, and played a character called "Slippery Slim" in 80 movies.[3] He also appeared in Universal Pictures' "Snakeville" series.[4]

Potel's first talking picture was Melody of Love, starring Walter Pidgeon, made for Universal in 1928,[5] and in the sound era he continued to work continuously and constantly, playing small parts and sometimes uncredited bit parts, all primarily comic roles due to his height (6 ft 1 in or 1.85 m) and gawkiness.

In addition to acting, on several occasions Potel also wrote and directed. In the 1920s he directed two silent shorts, The Rubber-Neck in 1924 and Action Craver in 1927, and contributed the story for Saxophobia in 1927. In the following decade, in the sound era, he was the dialogue director for The Big Chance (1933), and wrote the story for Inside Information in 1934). In 1935 he provided continuity and dialogue for Million Dollar Haul and the screenplay for Hot Off the Press. In the 1940s, Potel was part of Preston Sturges' unofficial "stock company" of character actors, appearing in nine films written and directed by Sturges.[6]

Potel continued to work right up until his death on March 8, 1947. The final film he worked on, Relentless finished filming on February 28 of that year.[7]

Selected filmography



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