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Donald Robert Kerr
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Birth: Aug. 5, 1891
Eagle Grove
Wright County
Iowa, USA
Death: Jan. 25, 1977
Hollywood
Los Angeles County
California, USA

Actor. As was befitting a song and dance man on Broadway, and a mostly "uncredited" bit player in the movies for over 30 years, Donald Kerr died on Hollywood Boulevard, specifically 6753 Hollywood Boulevard (#606). This writer, a distant cousin, is unsure exactly where he was at the moment of his demise, but I like to think that he was sitting in a movie theater, perhaps seat #606, watching the final credits roll. Maybe he was thinking about the 458 mostly bit parts that he performed on screen in a Hollywood career that began in 1933 with the uncredited "Steve Wells" in "From Hell to Heaven" and ended in 1964 with his uncredited Drunk in "Dear Heart". Someone described him as "Runyonesque" which was true, and somewhat ironic considering his midwestern upbringing. He was born in Eagle Grove, Iowa, a distinctly non-Runyonesque venue, in 1891 to Peter Kerr, an immigrant from Scotland, and a lovely mother by the name of Ada Viola Harbaugh who once rode horses bareback for the circus. In the early years of the 20th century, Donald made his way to Broadway and performed in several shows (see IBDB) with his wife Effie. When the talkies began in earnest in the early 1930's, Donald made his way to Hollywood, CA to try his luck and became a bit-player extraordinaire. A few of many uncredited parts he played: party guest; drunk shooting dice (his first of endless numbers of drunk bits); museum tour guide; chauffeur; reporter (he would play this role many times); hiccough salesman; sailor; call boy; gas station attendant; goofy juror; truck driver; and taxi driver. He continued his long career into television, his last television role was as a salesman on "Petticoat Junction" in 1964. Donald's major breakout role, and perhaps best remembered (especially familiar to sci fi serial fans) was as the comic relief character Happy Hapgood in "Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars" in 1938, a film that starred Buster Crabbe. In his final years, Donald lived at 1812 Wilcox in a small apartment in Hollywood. By then he was widowed and most likely living alone. Because of his sudden death, the well-known coroner of Los Angeles in the 1970's, Thomas Noguchi, had an autopsy performed. It was arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease that killed him. Or was it that there were no more roles to play? Donald is now forever at Chapel of the Pines. And so it goes for one of Hollywood's best bit players ever, my first cousin, twice removed, Donald Kerr. 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Peter Kerr (1860 - 1926)
  Ada Viola Harbaugh Melville (1868 - 1937)
 
 Sibling:
  Hazel Leona Kerr Sardam (1888 - 1970)*
  Donald Robert Kerr (1891 - 1977)
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Chapel Of The Pines Crematory
Los Angeles
Los Angeles County
California, USA
 
Created by: Valarie Vine
Record added: Jun 26, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 54160887
Donald Robert Kerr
Added by: Valarie Vine
 
Donald Robert Kerr
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Gerald N. Davis, M.D.
 
 
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Click on image for full size.


- Honor
 Added: Jun. 19, 2012
RIP
- gordonphilbin
 Added: May. 23, 2012
You were the "movie star" in our family!
- Valarie
 Added: Aug. 27, 2010
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