Biography

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.

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.

Personal Info

Known For Acting

Gender Male

Known Credits 38

Birthday 1886-09-11

Day of Death 1941-08-05

Place of Birth -

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • William Barnett Parker

Acting TV ShowsMovies

2004 Walt Disney's Fables - Vol.6 as The Dragon (voice)
1941 New Wine as The Duke
1941 The Reluctant Dragon as The Dragon (segment "The Reluctant Dragon") (voice) as The Dragon
1941 Tall, Dark and Handsome as Quentin
1940 Love Thy Neighbor as George - Fred's Chauffeur
1940 One Night in the Tropics as Thompson, Steve's Butler
1940 Hullabaloo as Samuel Stephens
1940 La Conga Nights as Hammond
1940 He Married His Wife as Huggins
1939 At the Circus as Whitcomb
1939 Babes in Arms as William
1939 Hotel for Women as Photographer
1939 She Married a Cop as Bekins, the Butler
1938 The Girl Downstairs as Hugo
1938 Listen, Darling as Abercrombie
1938 Marie Antoinette as Prince de Rohan
1938 Hold That Kiss as Maurice
1938 Sally, Irene and Mary as Oscar
1938 Love Is a Headache as Hotchkiss, Carlotta's Butler
1937 Navy Blue and Gold as Graves
1937 Live, Love and Learn as Alfredo
1937 Double Wedding as Mr. Flint - Margit's Bookkeeper
1937 Wake Up and Live as Foster
1937 Broadway Melody of 1938 as Jerry Jason
1937 The Emperor's Candlesticks as Albert, Stephan's Butler
1937 Married Before Breakfast as Tweed
1937 Personal Property as Arthur 'Trevy' Trevelyan
1937 Ready, Willing and Able as Waiter
1937 Espionage as Bill Cordell
1937 Dangerous Number as Minehardi
1937 We Who Are About to Die as John Barkley
1936 A Girl's Best Years as Primrose
1936 Born to Dance as Floorwalker
1936 Libeled Lady as Butler (uncredited)
1936 The President's Mystery as Roger
1936 Roaming Lady as Waters
1936 Mr. Deeds Goes to Town as Butler (uncredited)

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