Image of Barnett Parker

Barnett Parker

Within the British colony of expatriate actors in Hollywood during the 1930's, Barnett Parker, born 11 September 1886, in Batley, Yorkshire, England, was among the most stereotypical. Harrowgate College-educated, straight-backed, balding and well-intoned, Parker caricatured a multitude of unctuous, stiff-upper-lip butlers, man-servants or waiters, though his performances could, at times, verge on the brink of being camp. When driven to frustration his characters commonly resorted to incoherent twitter or wild gesticulation. Parker was trained under Marie Tempest and George Alexander in England. He first acted on Broadway at the Lyceum Theatre as Wilfred Tavish in Arthur Wing Pinero's "The "Mind the Paint" Girl" in 1912. He was well served with further roles in hit plays like "Hobson's Choice" (1915), "Artists and Models" (1924) and "The Red Robe" (1928). He was at first prone to reject film offers, professing to favor acting on stage. Nonetheless, the celluloid medium eventually beckoned, enticing him to sign with the East Coast-based studio Thanhouser in 1915. He worked in films during the daytime (while treading the boards at night) and quickly landed a plum role as a weak socialite, rescuing Gladys Hulette in Prudence, the Pirate (1916). He was seldom thereafter afforded the opportunity for heroic acts. During the 1930's, he was primarily in demand for small roles as dandified or 'silly ass' Britishers, giving value for money in films like Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936), Personal Property (1937), Live, Love and Learn (1937) and Broadway Melody of 1938 (1937). Looking rather older than his years, Barnett Parker died at the Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Los Angeles after multiple heart attacks on August 5, 1941.

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Sep 11, 1886
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie Prudence, the Pirate 1916-10-21
Latest Project:
Movie Walt Disney's Fables - Vol.6 2004-05-31
Known For
Poster of Babes in Arms
Poster of Ready, Willing and Able
Poster of Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
Poster of Prudence, the Pirate
Movie Walt Disney's Fables - Vol.6 The Dragon (voice) 2004-05-31
Movie The Big Parade of Comedy Unknown 1964-09-02
Movie Tall, Dark and Handsome Quentin 1941-01-24
Movie A Man Betrayed George 1941-03-07
Movie The Reluctant Dragon The Dragon (segment "The Reluctant Dragon") (voice) 1941-06-19
Movie New Wine The Duke 1941-09-10
Movie He Married His Wife Huggins 1940-01-19
Movie La Conga Nights Hammond 1940-05-31
Movie Hullabaloo Samuel Stephens 1940-10-25
Movie Love Thy Neighbor George - Fred's Chauffeur 1940-12-27
Movie One Night in the Tropics Thompson, Steve's Butler (uncredited) 1940-11-15
Movie She Married a Cop Bekins, the Butler 1939-07-11
Movie Hotel for Women Photographer 1939-08-03
Movie Babes in Arms William 1939-10-10
Movie At the Circus Whitcomb 1939-10-20
Movie Sally, Irene and Mary Oscar 1938-03-04
Movie Hold That Kiss Maurice 1938-05-13
Movie Love Is a Headache Hotchkiss, Carlotta's Butler 1938-01-14
Movie Marie Antoinette Prince de Rohan 1938-08-26
Movie The Girl Downstairs Hugo 1938-12-23
Movie Listen, Darling Abercrombie 1938-10-21
Movie Personal Property Arthur Trevelyan 1937-03-19
Movie Espionage Bill Cordell 1937-02-26
Movie Dangerous Number Minehardi 1937-01-22
Movie We Who Are About to Die John Barkley 1937-01-08
Movie Married Before Breakfast Tweed 1937-06-18
Movie The Last of Mrs. Cheyney Purser 1937-02-19
Movie Ready, Willing and Able Waiter 1937-03-06
Movie Navy Blue and Gold Graves 1937-11-19
Movie The Emperor's Candlesticks Albert, Stephan's Butler 1937-07-02
Movie Double Wedding Mr. Flint, Margit's Bookkeeper 1937-10-15
Movie Live, Love and Learn Alfredo 1937-10-29
Movie Wake Up and Live Foster 1937-08-23
Movie Broadway Melody of 1938 Jerry Jason 1937-08-20
Movie Roaming Lady Waters 1936-05-02
Movie Mr. Deeds Goes to Town Butler (uncredited) 1936-04-09
Movie The President's Mystery Roger 1936-09-28
Movie A Girl's Best Years Primrose 1936-12-25
Movie Born to Dance Floorwalker 1936-11-27
Movie The General Died at Dawn Dining Car Man (uncredited) 1936-11-17
Movie Libeled Lady Butler (uncredited) 1936-10-09
Movie Prudence, the Pirate Unknown 1916-10-21