Richard Haydn, an English comic actor in radio, movies, and television, was born under the name of George Richard Haydon in London, England on March 10, 1905. He passed away in Pacific Palisades, California from a heart attack on April 25, 1985. Haydn is associated with three alias names: Claud Curdle, Richard Rancyd and Stanley Stayle. His first major screen credit was Charley's Aunt (1941). His career highlights include: The Sound of Music, Sitting Pretty and No Time for Love. His last movie appearance was in Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein (1974).
Richard Haydn got his start in show business as a box office man at London's Daly Theatre where he served an apprenticeship in British Comedy Revues. After he flopped with an unsuccessful comedy act he abandoned his show business career for a job as overseer on a Jamaican banana plantation. A hurricane and its damage led to a second effort in stock theatre and British music halls and he was on his way. He made his Broadway debut in 1939 which led to his film debut and a move to Hollywood in 1941. source
Richard Haydn failed at several professions -- including music hall entertainer and overseer of a Jamaican banana plantation -- before latching onto a touring British theatre troupe. While performing on radio, Haydn created the character of nerdish, nasal "fish expert" Edwin Carp, a role which earned him a spot in the American variety revue Set to Music and later resulted in several satirical books written by the actor. source
Much of his stage delivery was done in a deliberate over-nasalized and over-enunciated speech pattern, possibly best noted in his performance as the voice of the Caterpillar in the Disney animated film adaptation of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. source
Richard Haydn directed three films for Paramount in which he played small roles: Miss Tatlock's Millions (1947), Dear Wife (1948) and Mr. Music (1950).
Richard Haydn Filmography (click on link)
Richard Haydn at the Internet Broadway Database (click on link)
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