Walter Abel

Walter Abel (June 6, 1898 – March 26, 1987) was an American film, stage and radio actor.

Walter Abel
Born(1898-06-06)June 6, 1898
DiedMarch 26, 1987(1987-03-26) (aged 88)
OccupationActor
Years active19181984
Spouse(s)
Marietta Bitter
(m. 1926; died 1979)
Children2

Life

Abel was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, the son of Christine (née Becker) and Richard Michael Abel.[1] Abel graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts where he had studied in 1917[2] and joined a touring company. His brother Alfred died in 1922 from tuberculosis contracted while serving overseas in World War I. Abel was married to concert harpist Marietta Bitter.[2]

Career

Abel made his film debut in 1918 with a small part in Out of a Clear Sky.[3]

He made his Broadway debut in Forbidden in 1919.[4] In 1924 he appeared in two Eugene O'Neill plays simultaneously: Bound East for Cardiff at the Provincetown Playhouse and Desire Under the Elms at the Greenwich Village Theater.[3] His many theatre credits include As You Like It (1923), William Congreve's Love for Love (1925), Anton Chekhov's The Seagull (1929-1930), Mourning Becomes Electra (1929), Kaufman and Hart's Merrily We Roll Along (1934), and Trelawny of the 'Wells' (1975). He also appeared in Channing Pollock's play The Enemy (1926) with Fay Bainter. The play was adapted to film as The Enemy (1927) with Lillian Gish and Ralph Forbes. He made his stage debut in London in the 1929 Coquette.

His first major film role was as D'Artagnan in RKO Pictures' 1935 The Three Musketeers.[3] Abel went on to play in more than sixty films. Abel was a vice president of the Screen Actors' Guild.[5] Abel played a major role in the 1942 musical comedy Holiday Inn, portraying hyperactive agent Danny Reed.

Abel also appeared as a concert narrator or reader with Eugene Ormandy the Philadelphia Orchestra in Aaron Copland's Portrait of Lincoln in 1951, and in Dylan Thomas' Under Milk Wood in 1953.[5]

Death

Abel died March 26, 1987, of a myocardial infarction in Essex, Connecticut. He was survived by two sons, John and Michael.[2]

Complete filmography

Radio appearances

YearProgramEpisode/source
1941Gulf Screen Guild TheatreNo Time for Comedy[6]
1944Lady Esther Screen Guild TheatrePhantom Lady[6]
1945Lady Esther Screen Guild TheatreDouble Indemnity[6]
1947Theatre Guild on the AirNo Time for Comedy[6]
1947SuspenseQuiet Desperation[6]
1952Theatre Guild on the AirThe Bishop Misbehaves[6]

References

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