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Andrew "Andy" Clyde (March 25, 1892 — May 18, 1967) was a Scottishmarker movie and TV actor whose career spanned more than four decades. He broke into silent films in 1925 as a Mack Sennett comic. Clyde's mastery of makeup allowed him tremendous versatility; he could play everything from grubby young guttersnipes to old crackpot scientists.

Career

Clyde hit upon an "old man" characterization in his short comedies, which were immediately successful. Adopting a gray wig and mustache, he used this makeup for the rest of his short-subject career, and the character was so durable that he literally grew into it. Clyde's long series of Columbia Pictures short subject comedies began in 1934 and continued until 1956. He outlasted every comedian on the Columbia payroll except The Three Stooges.

Andy Clyde also kept busy as a character actor in feature films; for example, he played a sad provincial postman in the Katharine Hepburn film The Little Minister and Charles Coburn's drinking buddy in The Green Years. In the 1940s, he gravitated toward outdoor and western adventures. Clyde is well remembered for his roles as a comic sidekick, usually teaming with William Boyd in the Hopalong Cassidy series or with Whip Wilson in Monogram Pictures' low-budget western movies playing the character "Winks". Clyde also worked on the Hopalong Cassidy "record readers" issued by Capitol Recordsmarker playing sidekick California in the 1950s.

Clyde's last theatrical film was released in 1956, after which he worked in television, having appeared on Rod Cameron's early syndicated series City Detective. He also had recurring roles on CBS's Lassie and ABC's The Real McCoys. In the latter he was the foil for another veteran character actor, Walter Brennan; Clyde played friendly neighbor "George McMichael" to Brennan's "Grandpa Amos." The popular actress Madge Blake appeared as Clyde's fictitious sister, "Flora McMichael," a sometimes romantic interest of Brennan's "Grandpa" role. Though she was five years his senior, Blake was a niece of actor Milburn Stone. As Frank Myers on The Andy Griffith show (1961), Clyde played an eccentric old man who the town tries to evict. Clyde appeared as "Grandpa", a series regular, on the 1964-1965 ABC military comedy No Time for Sergeants, starring Sammy Jackson. The series was inspired by an earlier Andy Griffith film of the same name.

Personal life

Clyde was married to a former Mack Sennett bathing beauty, Elsie Tarron, and was the brother of actor David Clyde and actress Jean Clyde. He continued to perform on television until his death.

Andy Clyde has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Famemarker.

At the height of Andy Clyde's fame Mack Sennett decided to give him a paycut. Clyde objected and Sennett roped in another actor to don the old man costume, audiences saw through it and the series ground to a halt.

References

  1. Okuda, Ted; Watz, Edward; (1986). The Columbia Comedy Shorts, p. 69, McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. ISBN 0899501818
  2. http://www.americanmusicpreservation.com/Hoppy.htm#capitolrecordreaders


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