Walter Woolf King

Walter Woolf King

actor, soundtrack

Walter Woolf King was born on Nov 02, 1899 in USA. Walter Woolf King's big-screen debut came with Golden Dawn directed by Ray Enright in 1930, strarring Tom Allen. Walter Woolf King is known for O.K. Crackerby! directed by Rod Amateau, Burl Ives stars as O.K. Crackerby and Hal Buckley as St. John Quincy. The upcoming new movie Walter Woolf King plays is Airport which will be released on Mar 05, 1970.

The son of a whiskey peddler, tall, dark and handsome baritone Walter Woolf King was born in San Francisco on November 2, 1899, and began singing for his supper at quite a young age, primarily in churches. Following high school graduation, he decided to pursue a professional singing career and partnered in a vaudeville musical act with pianist Charles Le Maire.At the age of 19, Walter made his Broadway debut with a lead role in the musical "Floradora." A strong, dapper, often heroic presence in glossy musical comedies and operettas, he billed himself as either Walter Woolf or Walter King at the time and developed a resilient name for himself throughout the decade in such musical fare as "The Last Waltz" (1921), "The Lady in Ermine" (1922), "The Dream Girl" (1924), "Artists and Models" (1925) and "Princess Flavia" (1925).Following a Broadway performance in the play "The Red Robe" (1929)," Walter turned to films and made an inauspicious debut starring with Vivienne Segal in the turgid, infamous colonial operetta Golden Dawn (1930). Deemed one of Hollywood's biggest musical flops and labeled a "golden turkey," it earned critical derision for its blatant racist themes and absurd plotting. His leading status in musical films was unequivocally damaged as a result of this and the scathing reviews prompted the light baritone to retreat quickly back to Broadway. There he appeared in such plays as "Ladies All" (1930), "The Great Man" (1931) and "Experience Unnecessary" (1932) as well as the musicals "Melody" (1933) and "May Wine" (1935).Walter returned to films as a featured player in an airy Charles Farrell comedy Girl Without a Room (1933) while managing a song in it. He then went on to act and/or musically support other actors such as Chester Morris in the lightweight Embarrassing Moments (1934); Lew Ayres in Lottery Lover (1935); Janet Gaynor and The Counterfeit Killer (1968) in the comedy-drama One More Spring (1935); little Jane Withers in Ginger (1935); and Ayres once again in Spring Tonic (1935).Nominally playing third party romancers or swank villains, Woolf King is ironically best remembered today for his participation in classic slapstick comedies -- as sadistic opera singer Rudolfo Lassparri in the classic The Marx Brothers farce A Night at the Opera (1935), in which he sings Verdi's "Il Trovatore: Di quella pira," and as composer Victor Albert who must contend with a diva singer/wife in the Stan Laurel/Oliver Hardy comedy feature Swiss Miss (1938).The handsome actor continued in a supporting, non-singing vein, while moving further down the credits line, in such films as Call It a Day (1937), Walking Down Broadway (1938), Big Town Czar (1939), The House of Fear (1939), a second Marx. Bros. farce Go West (1940), the East Side Kids comedy Smart Alecks (1942), Between Us Girls (1942) and Yanks Ahoy (1943). Woolf King did manage to sing briefly once again ("At the Balalaika") in the operetta Balalaika (1939) starring Nelson Eddy and starred in two "Poverty Row" features -- the crime mystery Today I Hang (1942) and the war drama A Yank in Libya (1942).Although he found steady offers on radio (starred on the late 1930's CBS radio show ''The Flying Red Horse Tavern''), Woolf King grew tired of his flagging career and settled in as an actor's agent. He would return from time to time in minor gruff roles as a (now) bulkier, gray-haired corporate, judge, dignitary or aristocrat on film (Taxi (1953), Tonight We Sing (1953), The Bottom of the Bottle (1956), The Helen Morgan Story (1957) (as Florenz Ziegfeld), Kathy O' (1958), Rosie! (1967), Airport (1970)) and on TV ("Burns and Allen" (several episodes), "Blondie," "The Millionaire," "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," "The Loretta Young Show," "Hazel," "The Fugitive," "Wagon Train," "The Wild Wild West," "I Dream of Jeannie," "Batman," "Laredo," "The Munsters," "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea," "The Virginian," "The Beverly Hillbillies," "The Rookies").Having completely retired by the early 1970's, save for an isolated appearance in 1978, the father of two died at age 84 of a heart attack on October 24, 1984, in Beverly Hills.

  • Birthday

    Nov 02, 1899
  • Place of Birth

    San Francisco, California, USA

Known For

Movies & TV Shows

TV Shows