Biography

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Billy Bevan (born William Bevan Harris, 29 September 1887 – 26 November 1957) was an Australian-born vaudevillian, who became an American film actor. He appeared in 254 American films between 1916 and 1950.

Bevan was born in the country town of Orange, New South Wales, Australia. He went on the stage at an early age, traveled to Sydney and spent eight years in Australian light opera, performing as Willie Bevan. He sailed to America with the Pollard’s Lilliputian Opera Company in 1912 and later toured Canada. Bevan broke into films with the Sigmund Lubin studio in 1916. When the company disbanded, Bevan became a supporting actor in Mack Sennett movie comedies. An expressive pantomimist, Bevan's quiet scene-stealing attracted attention, and by 1922 Bevan was a Sennett star. He supplemented his income, however, by establishing a citrus and avocado farm at Escondido, California.

Usually filmed wearing a derby hat and a drooping mustache, Bevan may not have possessed an indelible screen character like Charlie Chaplin but he had a friendly, funny presence in the frantic Sennett comedies. Much of the comedy depended on Bevan's skilled timing and reactions; the famous "oyster" routine performed on film by Curly Howard, Lou Costello, and Huntz Hall—in which a bowl of "fresh oyster stew" shows alarming signs of life and battles the guy trying to eat it—was originated on film decades earlier by Bevan in the short film Wandering Willies.

By the mid-1920s Bevan was often teamed with Andy Clyde; Clyde soon graduated to his own starring series. The late 1920s found Bevan playing in wild marital farces for Sennett.

The advent of talking pictures took their toll on the careers of many silent stars, including Billy Bevan. Bevan began a second career in "talkies" as a character actor and bit player in roles such as that of a bus driver in the 1929 film High Voltage, a hotel employee in the Mae Murray film Peacock Alley, and the supporting role of Second Lieutenant Trotter in Journey's End in 1930. His starring roles had come to an end, however, and for the next 20 years he often would play rowdy Cockneys (as in Pack Up Your Troubles with The Ritz Brothers), and affable Englishmen (as in Tin Pan Alley and Terror by Night). He played a friendly bus conductor opposite Greer Garson in one of the opening scenes of Mrs. Miniver.

Bevan died in 1957 in Escondido, California, just before new audiences discovered him in Robert Youngson's silent-comedy compilations. (The Youngson films mispronounce his name as "Be-VAN"; Bevan himself offered the proper pronunciation in a Voice of Hollywood reel in 1930.)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Billy Bevan (born William Bevan Harris, 29 September 1887 – 26 November 1957) was an Australian-born vaudevillian, who became an American film actor. He appeared in 254 American films between 1916 and 1950.

Bevan was born in the country town of Orange, New South Wales, Australia. He went on the stage at an early age, traveled to Sydney and spent eight years in Australian light opera, performing as Willie Bevan. He sailed to America with the Pollard’s Lilliputian Opera Company in 1912 and later toured Canada. Bevan broke into films with the Sigmund Lubin studio in 1916. When the company disbanded, Bevan became a supporting actor in Mack Sennett movie comedies. An expressive pantomimist, Bevan's quiet scene-stealing attracted attention, and by 1922 Bevan was a Sennett star. He supplemented his income, however, by establishing a citrus and avocado farm at Escondido, California.

Usually filmed wearing a derby hat and a drooping mustache, Bevan may not have possessed an indelible screen character like Charlie Chaplin but he had a friendly, funny presence in the frantic Sennett comedies. Much of the comedy depended on Bevan's skilled timing and reactions; the famous "oyster" routine performed on film by Curly Howard, Lou Costello, and Huntz Hall—in which a bowl of "fresh oyster stew" shows alarming signs of life and battles the guy trying to eat it—was originated on film decades earlier by Bevan in the short film Wandering Willies.

By the mid-1920s Bevan was often teamed with Andy Clyde; Clyde soon graduated to his own starring series. The late 1920s found Bevan playing in wild marital farces for Sennett.

The advent of talking pictures took their toll on the careers of many silent stars, including Billy Bevan. Bevan began a second career in "talkies" as a character actor and bit player in roles such as that of a bus driver in the 1929 film High Voltage, a hotel employee in the Mae Murray film Peacock Alley, and the supporting role of Second Lieutenant Trotter in Journey's End in 1930. His starring roles had come to an end, however, and for the next 20 years he often would play rowdy Cockneys (as in Pack Up Your Troubles with The Ritz Brothers), and affable Englishmen (as in Tin Pan Alley and Terror by Night). He played a friendly bus conductor opposite Greer Garson in one of the opening scenes of Mrs. Miniver.

Bevan died in 1957 in Escondido, California, just before new audiences discovered him in Robert Youngson's silent-comedy compilations. (The Youngson films mispronounce his name as "Be-VAN"; Bevan himself offered the proper pronunciation in a Voice of Hollywood reel in 1930.)

Personal Info

Known For Acting

Gender Male

Known Credits 135

Birthday 1887-09-29

Day of Death 1957-11-26

Place of Birth Orange, New South Wales, Australia

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • William Bevan
  • Bill Bevans
  • Billy Bevin
  • Bill Bivin

Acting TV ShowsMovies

1952 Hans Christian Andersen as Town Councilman (uncredited)
1951 The Slappiest Days of Our Lives as (archive footage)
1950 Three Secrets as Ed Jackson
1950 Rogues Of Sherwood Forest as Will Scarlet
1948 Let's Live a Little as Morton
1948 The Black Arrow as Dungeon Keeper
1948 The Swordsman as Old Andrew (as William Bevan)
1947 It Had to Be You as Evans, the Butler (as William Bevan)
1947 Moss Rose as Harry, a cabby (uncredited)
1946 Terror by Night as Conductor Taking Tickets
1945 The Woman in Green as Street Peddler (uncredited)
1945 The Picture of Dorian Gray as Malvolio Jones
1945 Tonight and Every Night as Cabbie (uncredited)
1944 National Velvet as Constable (uncredited)
1944 The Pearl of Death as Constable
1944 The Invisible Man's Revenge as Sergeant
1943 Jane Eyre as Bookie (uncredited)
1943 The Return of the Vampire as Horace (uncredited)
1943 Forever and a Day as Wartime Cabby
1943 London Blackout Murders as Air Raid Warden
1943 Happy Times and Jolly Moments as (archive footage)
1942 I Married a Witch as Puritan Vendor (uncredited)
1942 The Man Who Wouldn't Die as Phillips, the Butler
1941 Confirm or Deny as Mr. Bindle
1941 Suspicion as Ticket Taker (uncredited)
1941 Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as Mr. Weller
1941 Shining Victory as Chivers
1941 Penny Serenade as McDougal (uncredited)
1940 Tin Pan Alley as Stage Doorman
1940 The Long Voyage Home as Joe - Limehouse Barman
1940 Rebecca as Policeman
1940 The Invisible Man Returns as Jim (uncredited)
1940 The Earl of Chicago as Castle Guide
1939 We Are Not Alone as Mr. Jones
1939 Pack Up Your Troubles as British Sergeant
1939 Captain Fury as Duffy
1939 Let Freedom Ring as Cockney
1939 Arrest Bulldog Drummond as Aquarium Guard
1938 A Christmas Carol as Street Watch Leader
1938 Mysterious Mr. Moto as Customs Official
1938 Shadows Over Shanghai as Gallicuddy
1938 The Young in Heart as Kennel Man (uncredited)
1938 Blond Cheat as The Bartender
1938 The Girl of the Golden West as Nick
1938 Bringing Up Baby as Joe - Bartender (uncredited)
1937 The Wrong Road as McLean
1937 The Sheik Steps Out as Munson
1937 Another Dawn as Pvt. Hawkins
1937 Slave Ship as Atkins
1937 Personal Property as Frank the Waiter (uncredited)
1937 God's Country and the Woman as Plug Hat
1936 Piccadilly Jim as Taxi Driver
1936 Private Number as Frederick
1936 Dracula's Daughter as Police Constable Albert
1936 Champagne Charlie as Mr. Boswick - Ship Bartender
1936 Mr. Deeds Goes to Town as Cabby (uncredited)
1936 Song And Dance Man as Curtis
1935 The Widow from Monte Carlo as Police Officer Watkins
1935 The Last Outpost as Private Foster
1935 Black Sheep as Alfred
1935 Vanessa: Her Love Story as Horse Auctioneer
1935 Mystery Woman as Jepson
1934 Caravan as Police Sergeant
1934 Limehouse Blues as Herb
1934 One More River as Cloakroom Attendant
1934 Shock as Meadows
1934 Stingaree as Mac
1934 The Lost Patrol as Hale
1933 Alice in Wonderland as Two of Spades (uncredited)
1933 Too Much Harmony as Stage Director
1933 Thundering Taxis as One of the Taxi Boys
1933 Peg o' My Heart as Detective #2 (uncredited)
1933 Uncle Jake
1933 Looking Forward as Mr. Barker, Night Watchman
1933 Cavalcade as George Grainger
1933 Luxury Liner as Schultz
1933 She Whoops To Conquer
1932 Me and My Gal as Ashley (uncredited)
1932 Payment Deferred as Charlie Hammond
1932 Honeymoon Beach as Billy Bevan
1932 Vanity Fair as Joseph Sedley
1932 Sky Devils as The Colonel
1932 The Silent Witness as Horace Ward
1931 Transatlantic as Hodgkins
1931 Chances as Cuthbert
1931 Born To Love as Departing British Soldier
1930 Monte Carlo as Train Conductor (uncredited)
1930 Journey's End as 2nd Lieutenant Trotter
1930 Peacock Alley as Walter - Bell Captain
1929 The Trespasser as Reporter (uncredited)
1929 High Voltage as Gus
1928 Riley the Cop as Paris Cabman
1928 His Unlucky Night as Billy Trotter
1928 The Best Man as Best Man
1928 The Beach Club
1927 The Golf Nut as Billy Divott
1927 A Small Town Princess as Joe Whiffet
1927 Easy Pickings as The Detective
1926 Flirty Four-Flushers as Jerry Connors / Archibald De Shyster
1926 Masked Mamas
1926 Hoboken to Hollywood as Billy Judkins
1926 A Sea Dog's Tale as Wilbur Watts
1926 Ice Cold Cocos as Gus Gander
1926 Fight Night as Walter Moore
1926 Wandering Willies as Percy Nudge
1926 Circus Today as Gus Barnum
1926 Whispering Whiskers as The Drifter
1925 Honeymoon Hardships as Farmer
1925 Butter Fingers as Nick
1925 The Iron Nag as Joe Gobb
1925 Super-Hooper-Dyne Lizzies as Hiram Case, a hired man
1925 The Lion's Whiskers as Otto Klutch - Chauffeur
1925 Giddap!
1924 Galloping Bungalows as John Syrup Soother
1924 Three Foolish Weeks as King of Anchovia
1924 Lizzies of the Field as Nick Pliers
1924 Wall Street Blues as The Janitor
1924 The Hollywood Kid as Studio Organist
1924 The White Sin as Travers Dale
1923 The Extra Girl as Comedian
1923 Nip and Tuck as Sailor
1922 When Summer Comes
1922 Gymnasium Jim as Jim
1922 On Patrol as The Amateur Cop
1922 The Duck Hunter
1921 Bright Eyes as The Nosey Butler
1921 Be Reasonable as A Rolling Stone
1921 Love and Doughnuts as The Burglar
1921 Astray from the Steerage as A steerage passenger
1921 A Small Town Idol as Director
1920 The Quack Doctor as The Hired Lady's Sweetheart
1918 Cupid In Quarantine as The Father
1918 Her Rustic Romeo
1918 Somebody's Widow as Secretary
1916 Gertie's Gasoline Glide as The Minister

Directing

1920 The Quack Doctor Director

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