Billy De Wolfe

as The Principal in the movie Free to Be... You & Me

My own actors library
Real name is Jones, William Andrew
Was born at 18 February 1907 in Wollaston, Massachusetts, USA . Died at 5 March 1974, Los Angeles, California, USA (lung cancer)

Most certainly egged on by the dandified antics of an'Edward Everett Horton' , 'Eric Blore' and/or'Franklin Pangborn' , burlesque clown Billy DeWolfe in turn gaveobvious inspiration to such effete cutups as 'Paul Lynde' and'Charles Nelson Reilly' . Billy's life was one hundred percent showbusiness from start to finish in a career that lasted five decades, andit took everything, including the proverbial vaudeville hook, to getthe delightful ham off the stage he craved and loved so well. Christened William Andrew Jones, he was the son of a Welsh-bornimmigrant and bookbinder. Born in Massachusetts, the family returned toWales almost immediately and did not come back to the States untilBilly was nine years old.

He began his career in the theater as anusher until he found work as a dancer with a band. He subsequently tookhis name from a theater manager, William De Wolfe, who actually offeredhim his name. Billy developed his own comedy/dance act and originallyplayed the vaudeville circuit as part of a duo or trio. In London forfive years, he eventually went solo and was given the chance to playthe London Palladium at one point. He returned to America in 1939 andenjoyed notice as a prime radio and nightclub performer/impressionist,appearing in satirical revues, sometimes in drag, with great results.

Billy enlisted in the U. S. Navy in 1942 shortly after completing hisfirst movie role as a riverboat conman in Dixie (1943) forParamount. In civilian clothes again by war's end, he returned toParamount and brought hyper comedy relief to a number of filmsincluding Miss Susie Slagle's (1946) , Our Hearts Were Growing Up (1946) and The Perils of Pauline (1947) . He then instigated what wouldbecome his suitor prototype.

With trademark mustache and spiffy duds,he assumed the role of the highly ineffectual, fastidious,self-involved bore who loses the girl, in Dear Ruth (1947) , oneof his biggest film triumphs, which was followed by two "Dear. . . " moviesequels. Old-fashioned musicals were definitely his cup of tea and hewas easily fit into such nostalgic fare as Tea for Two (1950) and Lullaby of Broadway (1951) .

One of his other film highlightsincludes getting snitty with bombastic 'Ethel Merman' in Call Me Madam (1953) . Irrepressible and definitely hard to contain for film (not to mentiondifficult to cast due to his mincing mannerisms), Billy focused insteadon the live stage. He won the 1954 Donaldson Award for the NYproduction of "John Murray Anderson's Almanac," returned to London incommand performances, and revisited Broadway in the last edition of"The Ziegfeld Follies" in 1957. Better yet was his pompous performancein the musical "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" On TVhe was a mildly popular raconteur on the talk show circuit. Fussy"second banana" series roles took up his final decade of acting withsuch comedy series showcasing the likes of 'Imogene Coca' ,'Phyllis Diller (I)' and 'Doris Day (I)' , who became a veryclose friend.

A lifelong hypochondriac, Billy was about to take on the role of MadamLucy in a 1973 Broadway revival of "Irene" when the ravages of lungcancer forced him to leave the show before rehearsals even began. Character player 'George S. Irving' replaced Billy and went on towin a "supporting actor" Tony for his wild efforts. Billy lost hisfight at age 67 in 1974. .

There is some small facts about Billy De Wolfe:
  • Billy took his stage name from the manager of the Quincy Massachusetts theater where he worked as an usher after school.
  • Interred in his family's plot marked William A. Jones AKA Billy De Wolfe at the Mt. Wollaston Cemetery, Quincy MA
  • Although versatile in musical comedy, he is perhaps best remembered for his portrayal of Willard Jarvis, Doris Martin's neighbor on "The Doris Day Show" (1968) .
  • Long-time friend of 'Doris Day (I)' .
  • Was cast in the role of foppish dress designer Madame Lucy in the revival of the musical Irene, opposite 'Debbie Reynolds (I)' , but had to withdraw during pre-Broadway tryouts when his health took a turn for the worse. Veteran character actor 'George S. Irving' replaced him and went on to win a Tony Award for best featured actor in a musical in 1974, the year of De Wolfe's death.
  • His parents wanted him to become a Baptist minister.
Also look some video clip about Billy De Wolfe:
There is the list of movies, where Billy De Wolfe was taked part:
1 Free to Be... You & Me movie Free to Be... You & Me 1974 as The Principal
2 The Perils of Pauline movie The Perils of Pauline 1947 as Mr. Timmy Timmons
3 The Debbie Reynolds Show movie The Debbie Reynolds Show 1969 as Delbert Deloy
4 The Dick Van Dyke Show movie The Dick Van Dyke Show 1961 as Rex Spaulding
5 The Hollywood Palace movie The Hollywood Palace 1964 as Himself - Comedian
6 The Imogene Coca Show movie The Imogene Coca Show 1954 as Regular (1954-55)
7 The Mike Douglas Show movie The Mike Douglas Show 1961 as Himself - Co-Host
8 Arsenic and Old Lace movie Arsenic and Old Lace 1969 as Officer O'Hara
9 Billie movie Billie 1965 as Mayor Charlie Davis
10 Blue Skies movie Blue Skies 1946 as Tony
11 Call Me Madam movie Call Me Madam 1953 as Pemberton Maxwell
12 Dear Brat movie Dear Brat 1951 as Albert
13 Dear Ruth movie Dear Ruth 1947 as Albert Kummer
14 Dear Wife movie Dear Wife 1949 as Albert Kummer
15 Dixie movie Dixie 1943 as Mr. Bones
16 Duffys Tavern movie Duffys Tavern 1945 as Doctor
17 Frosty the Snowman movie Frosty the Snowman 1969 as Professor Hinkle
18 Isnt It Romantic? movie Isnt It Romantic? 1948 as Horace Frazier
19 Lullaby of Broadway movie Lullaby of Broadway 1951 as Lefty Mack
20 Miss Susie Slagles movie Miss Susie Slagles 1946 as Ben Mead
21 Our Hearts Were Growing Up movie Our Hearts Were Growing Up 1946 as Roland du Frere
22 Tea for Two movie Tea for Two 1950 as Larry Blair
23 The Worlds Greatest Athlete movie The Worlds Greatest Athlete 1973 as Dean Maxwell
24 Variety Girl movie Variety Girl 1947 as Billy De Wolfe
25 Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre movie Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre 1963 as Inspector
26 Burkes Law movie Burkes Law 1963 as Artemis Newpenny
27 Disneyland movie Disneyland 1954 as Dean Maxwell
28 Good Morning, World movie Good Morning, World 1967 as Roland B. Hutton Jr.
29 Heres Hollywood movie Heres Hollywood 1960 as Himself
30 Johnny Midnight movie Johnny Midnight 1960 as Damon
31 Love, American Style movie Love, American Style 1969 as Mr. Gratz (segment "Love and the Fractured Fibula")
32 Mantrap movie Mantrap 1971 as Himself
33 That Girl movie That Girl 1966 as Jules Benedict
34 The Arthur Murray Party movie The Arthur Murray Party 1950 as Himself
35 The Dean Martin Show movie The Dean Martin Show 1965 as Himself
36 The Doris Day Show movie The Doris Day Show 1968 as Willard Jarvis
37 The Merv Griffin Show movie The Merv Griffin Show 1962 as Himself
38 The Pruitts of Southampton movie The Pruitts of Southampton 1966 as Vernon Bradley
39 The Queen and I movie The Queen and I 1969 as First Officer Oliver Nelson
40 The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson movie The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson 1962 as Himself
There is the list of some quotes of Billy De Wolfe:
  • As long as it's show business, I'm happy.
  • I've been trying to kill off the old girl for years. Strangers waylay me and insist that I entertain their women's club--'and be sure to bring along Mrs. Murgatroyd," they giggle. Almost every mail contains requests from dramatic groups for rights to the material. Millinery agents want to put out Mrs. Murgatroyd hats. I'm haunted by the dame! BD, referring to his blowzy and very popular matronly drag character, Mrs. Murgatroyd
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