Home / Biography / Harry Langdon

Harry Langdon

Biography

Among vaudeville’s biggest celebrities who also became a headliner in Hollywood’s silent film period, but faded following the introduction of audio. He also made an appearance in the 1926 movies, The Solid Man and Tramp, Tramp, Tramp. His vaudeville take action, Johnny’s New Car, brought him towards the interest of Mack Sennett and Frank Capra. After a dispute with Capra, he made a decision to make photos by himself, but his dark make of humor didn’t mesh well with Jazz Age group optimism, and his movies flopped. His 1st wife, Rose Musolff, was his partner in vaudeville and popularized the 1920’s Oldsmobile. Following the precipitous decrease of his profession, he began composing parts for Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy comedies.

Quick Facts


Full Name Harry Langdon
Date Of Birth June 15, 1884
Died December 22, 1944, Los Angeles, California, United States
Place Of Birth Council Bluffs, IA
Profession Movie Actor
Nationality American
Spouse Mabel Sheldon, Helen Walton, Rose Langdon
Children Harry Philmore Langdon
Parents Lavinia Langdon, William Langdon
Movies The Strong Man, Tramp, Tramp, Tramp, Long Pants, His First Flame, Zenobia, Hallelujah, I'm a Bum, Block-Heads, Ella Cinders, Misbehaving Husbands, The Flying Deuces, A Chump at Oxford, My Weakness, Saps at Sea, Spotlight Scandals, Picking Peaches, Hot Rhythm, Swingin' on a Rainbow, All-American Co-Ed, Block Busters, House of Errors, Road Show, Feet of Mud, His Marriage Wow, Soldier Man, Saturday Afternoon, Fiddlesticks, His New Mamma, Smile Please, Heart Trouble, Plain Clothes, The Luck o' the Foolish, Lucky Stars, Boobs in the Wood, The Cat's Meow, Shanghaied Lovers, A Soldier's Plaything, All Night Long, See America Thirst, A Doggone Mixup, Tied for Life, Harry Langdon: The Forgotten Clown, Atlantic Adventure, Love, Honor and Obey the Law, Three's a Crowd, Double Trouble, Stardust
Star Sign Gemini

  • Facts
  • Filmography
  • Awards
  • Salaries
  • Quotes
  • Trademarks
  • Pictures

#Fact
1Harry Langdon wrote two songs in 1932: "Calling All Cars" and "Lulu".
2MGM announced on May 31, 1929 that Harry Langdon had been signed for five years, to make eight two-reel comedy shorts per year. He eventually made only eight shorts at Hal Roach Studios (released through MGM) for the 1929-30 season.
3Signed for the lead role in the M-G-M Picture Whistling in the Dark (1933) but was replaced by Ernest Truex.
4Originally signed for role of "Sparks" in the Mascot serial The Whispering Shadow (1933). Replaced in the role by Karl Dane.
5When Jean Cocteauwas asked who had the greatest influence on him, he replied, "Harry Langdon.".
6In 1904 Langdom met and married Rose Musolft, and the pair began a vaudeville routine By 1915 they had evolved their routine into a popular skit called "Johnny's New Car." According to Langdon's nephew, also named Harry Langdon, in an April 1992 article in "Films in Review," the act was still going strong in 1922, when Principal Pictures decided to film it as "Harry's New Car." Producer Mack Sennett was so impressed with Langdon that he assigned Harry Edwards and Frank Caprra to create material for him. Despite the claim that the vaudeville act was filmed by Principal, it doesn't appear in Langdon's IMDb filmography, which lists the 1924 Sennet short "Picking Peaches" as his first film appearance. Other sources list a 1923 short entitled "The Sky Scraper" (aka "The Greenhorn") made presumably for Principal as his film debut.
7Langdon died of a cerebral hemorrhage after working all day on a strenuous dance routine for a Columbia two-reeler.
8An April, 1992 career article in Films in Review" on his uncle was written by Langdon's nephew also named Harry Langdon, not to be confused with Langdon's son, who also bore the name.
9His first marriage reportedly produced one child who died at birth, around 1911. Harry never told his later wife and son about this tragedy.
10Was an avid cartoonist; he drew the caricatures in the opening credits of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy's feature Block-Heads (1938), a film which he also co-wrote.
11Was a veteran of vaudeville before joining the film industry.
12During 1924-1927 Langdon was considered a rival of Charles Chaplin in popularity, but his status as a star was meteoric. Through the years many silent film fans as well as historians have tried to find an explanation. Some blame it on Langdon's lack of film-industry experiences, most significantly when he fired director Frank Capra in order to take over the direction himself; others consider Langdon's "child-man" an acquired taste whom the audiences perhaps grew tired of after a while.
13Made his debut in movies at the age of 40, joining Mack Sennett Studios in 1924 and starred in several short comedies that quickly became very popular.
14He is related to actress Lynne Langdon.
15His son is world famous photographer Harry Langdon.
16Has a star on Hollywood Blvd in front of the Chinese Mann Theatre


Actor

Actor

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Swingin' on a Rainbow1945Chester Willouby
Pistol Packin' Nitwits1945ShortHarry
Snooper Service1945Short
Block Busters1944Higgins
Mopey Dope1944Short
Hot Rhythm1944Mr. Whiffle
Defective Detectives1944ShortHarry
To Heir Is Human1944ShortHarry Fenner
Spotlight Scandals1943Oscar Martin
Here Comes Mr. Zerk1943ShortEgbert Slipp
Blonde and Groom1943ShortHarry
A Blitz on the Fritz1943ShortEgbert Slipp
Piano Mooner1942Short
Carry Harry1942ShortHarry
Beautiful Clothes (Make Beautiful Girls)1942ShortPerformer
Tireman, Spare My Tires1942ShortHarry Langdon
House of Errors1942Bert
What Makes Lizzy Dizzy?1942ShortHarry
Double Trouble1941Albert 'Bert' Prattle
All-American Co-Ed1941Hap Holden
Misbehaving Husbands1940Henry Butler
Cold Turkey1940ShortHarry Langdon
Goodness! A Ghost1940Short
Zenobia1939Professor McCrackle
There Goes My Heart1938Minister (uncredited)
Sue My Lawyer1938ShortHarry Langdon
Stardust1938/IIOtto Schultz
A Doggone Mixup1938ShortHarry Langdon
I Don't Remember1935ShortHarry Crump
His Marriage Mix-up1935Short
Atlantic Adventure1935Snapper McGillicuddy
The Leather Necker1935Short
Love, Honor and Obey (The Law!)1935ShortHarry
His Bridal Sweet1935ShortHarry Langdon
Shivers1934ShortIchabod Somerset Crop
Counsel on De Fence1934ShortDarrow Langdon
Petting Preferred1934Short
A Circus Hoodoo1934Short
A Roaming Romeo1933Short
On Ice1933Short
My Weakness1933Dan Cupid
The Stage Hand1933ShortHarry
Hooks and Jabs1933Short
Marriage Humor1933Short
Tied for Life1933ShortThe Groom
Knight Duty1933ShortHarry
The Hitch Hiker1933ShortThe Hitchhiker
Hallelujah I'm a Bum1933Egghead
Tired Feet1933Short
The Big Flash1932ShortHarry
¡Pobre infeliz!1930Short
La estación de gasolina1930ShortHarry
See America Thirst1930Wally
A Soldier's Plaything1930Tim
The King1930ShortThe King
The Shrimp1930ShortHarry
The Big Kick1930ShortHarry
The Fighting Parson1930ShortThe Banjo Player
The Head Guy1930ShortHarry, Temporary Station Master
Skirt Shy1929ShortDobbs, the butler
Sky Boy1929Short
Hotter Than Hot1929Short
Heart Trouble1928/IHarry Van Housen
The Chaser1928The Husband
Fiddlesticks1927/IShortHarry Hogan
Three's a Crowd1927Harry - the Odd Fellow
His First Flame1927Harry Howells
Long Pants1927Harry Shelby
The Strong Man1926Paul Bergot
Ella Cinders1926Harry Langdon (uncredited)
Soldier Man1926ShortThe Soldier / King Strudel the 13th of Bomania
Tramp, Tramp, Tramp1926Harry Logan
Saturday Afternoon1926ShortHarry Higgins
There He Goes1925ShortHarry
Lucky Stars1925ShortHarry Lamb
The White Wing's Bride1925Short
Horace Greeley, Jr.1925Short
Remember When?1925ShortHarry Hudson
Plain Clothes1925ShortHarvey Carter
Boobs in the Wood1925ShortThe Boy - Chester Winfield
His Marriage Wow1925ShortThe Groom - Harold Hope
The Sea Squawk1925ShortSandy McNickel - an Immigrant
Feet of Mud1924ShortHarry Holdem - the Boy
All Night Long1924ShortHarry Hall - the Boy
The Hansom Cabman1924ShortA Bachelor
The Luck o' the Foolish1924ShortMr. Newlywed
The First 100 Years1924ShortA Newly-Wed
His New Mamma1924ShortThe Farmer Boy
The Cat's Meow1924ShortEddie Elgin
Flickering Youth1924ShortGus Guitar
Shanghaied Lovers1924ShortA Shanghaied Sailor
Scarem Much1924ShortRingside Spectator (uncredited)
Smile Please1924ShortOtto Focus - the Hero
Picking Peaches1924ShortHarry - A Shoe Clerk

Writer

Writer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Pistol Packin' Nitwits1945Short story
Blonde and Groom1943Short writer
Piano Mooner1942Short
House of Errors1942original story
Road Show1941
Saps at Sea1940original story / screenplay
Goodness! A Ghost1940Short screen play
A Chump at Oxford1940original story / screenplay
The Flying Deuces1939original story / screenplay
Sue My Lawyer1938Short story
Block-Heads1938original story and screen play
The Stage Hand1933Short story
Heart Trouble1928/I
The Chaser1928uncredited
Three's a Crowd1927uncredited
Tramp, Tramp, Tramp1926story - uncredited

Director

Director

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Wise Guys1937
The Stage Hand1933Short
Heart Trouble1928/I
The Chaser1928
Three's a Crowd1927

Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Pistol Packin' Nitwits1945Short performer: "Good Night, Ladies", "Jingle Bells", "Oh, Susanna", "The Old Grey Mare"
Beautiful Clothes (Make Beautiful Girls)1942Short performer: "Beautiful Clothes" - uncredited
All-American Co-Ed1941performer: "Up at the Crack of Dawn
Hallelujah I'm a Bum1933performer: "My Pal Bumper", "Bumper Found a Grand", "Kangeroo Court"
A Soldier's Plaything1930performer: "Oui, Oui" - uncredited

Producer

Producer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Long Pants1927executive producer
The Strong Man1926producer - uncredited
Tramp, Tramp, Tramp1926producer

Animation Department

Animation Department

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Block-Heads1938animator: Laurel & Hardy caricatures in opening credits - uncredited

Editor

Editor

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Long Pants1927uncredited

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Hollywood on Parade1934/IIDocumentary shortHimself (uncredited)
The Voice of Hollywood No. 151930ShortHimself (uncredited)
The Voice of Hollywood No. 51930ShortHimself (uncredited)

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Mack Sennett Collection: Volume One2014Video
Fragments: Surviving Pieces of Lost Films2011TV Movie documentaryHimself
Bob Monkhouse's Comedy Heroes2004TV MovieHimself
Slaphappy2001TV SeriesHimself (2001)
In Your Arms (Rescue Me)2000Video shortSilent Star
Harry Langdon: Lost and Found - A Story in Five Parts1997Video documentary
Legends of Comedy1992TV Movie documentary
Sprockets1991TV SeriesHarry - A Shoe Clerk
The Laurel and Hardy Show1986TV SeriesProfessor McCrackle (1986)
Going Hollywood: The '30s1984Documentary
Historia del cine: Epoca muda1983Video documentary
Hollywood: The Gift of Laughter1982TV Movie documentaryActor - Unidentified Mack Sennett Film (uncredited)
Hollywood1980TV Mini-Series documentaryActor 'The Strong Man'
Fractured Flickers1963TV SeriesDangerous Ben Magrew / Lachs Dungelfinger
The Sound of Laughter1963DocumentaryThe Hitchhiker
30 Years of Fun1963
Nickelodeon Days1962Documentary
Calendar1962TV Series
Days of Thrills and Laughter1961DocumentaryHimself
When Comedy Was King1960Documentaryedited from 'The First 100 Years'
Lifetime of Comedy1960
The Golden Age of Comedy1957Documentary
Yesterday and Today1953
Screen Snapshots Series 25, No. 8: Looking Back1946ShortHimself
Happy Times and Jolly Moments1943Short uncredited
Personality Parade1938Documentary shortHimself (uncredited)
Hollywood on Parade No. A-121933ShortHimself (uncredited)

Won awards

Won awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1960Star on the Walk of FameWalk of FameMotion PictureOn 8 February 1960. At 6927 Hollywood Blvd.


Looks like we don't have salary information. Sorry!


#Quote
1The oddest thing about this whole funny-business is that the public really wants to laugh, but it's the hardest thing to make them do it.
2Women have a keener sense of humor than men, are more observing and responsive. Women care more for comedy than men do, too. You have to get dirty to get men to laugh.
3Without character, the comedian is lost. When I play in what I call the O- Ouch-O comedies, where the comedian runs about, is hit on the head, etc., I am just an animated suit of clothes.
4A comedian should establish a character with human appeal. Then he'll be pretty indestructible. For instance, in developing my character I use little childish gestures - and children are always appealing. Such a comedian isn't a machine. I know the limits of my character - a little too aggressive, for instance, and he's gone. I've tried to inject this character into parts offered me, but if the director interfered the character would be lost.


Looks like we don't have trademarks information. Sorry!

Check Also

Richard Glatzer

Notable for composing and directing such socially mindful movies as The Fluffer (2001), Quinceanera (2006), …