Actor. He is best remembered for his role of a bombastic, overbearing ‘Sheridan Whiteside’ in the movie "The Man Who Came to Dinner" (1941). In this movie, his line "My, how time flies when you're having fun" became a classic understatement. Born in New York City, New York, he became a professor at Yale University and taught drama to the students, including Thornton Wilder and Cole Porter. In the late 1930s, he took on bit parts in movies, putting his teaching techniques to the test, beginning with the 1936 movie, "Ladies in Love." Later movies included "Live, Love and Learn" (1937), "The Girl of the Golden West" (1938), "Young Dr. Kildare"(1938), "Lord Jeff"(1938), "Midnight" (1939), "Never Say Die"(1939), "Man About Town" (1939), "The Pied Piper" (1942), "Since You Went Away"(1944), "Irish Eyes are Smiling"(1944), and a number of small parts after the war. By 1951, he was sufficiently known to star in the film "As Young as You Feel"(1951), a comic look at forced retirement. Nicknamed "The Beard" for his Van Dyke beard and his waspish voice, he played an excellent cultured man who is also stuffy and overbearing, yet comic in his appearance of self-importance. He was also the star of NBC Radio's "The Magnificent Montague" during the period 1950 to 1951. His last movie was "Kismet"(1955), after which he retired from the stage, making only an occasional appearance in television bit roles. He died in Albany, New York of kidney and heart ailments.
Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson
James Selover Woolley