Biography

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Roscoe Karns (September 7, 1891 – February 6, 1970) was an American actor who appeared in nearly 150 films between 1915 and 1964. He specialized in cynical, wise-cracking (and often tipsy) characters, and his rapid-fire delivery enlivened many comedies and crime thrillers in the 1930s and 1940s. Though he appeared in numerous silent films, such as Wings and Beggars of Life, his career didn't really take off until sound arrived. Arguably his best-known film role was the annoying bus passenger Oscar Shapeley, who tries to pick up Claudette Colbert in the Oscar-winning comedy It Happened One Night (1934), quickly followed by one of his best performances as the boozy press agent Owen O'Malley in Howard Hawks' Twentieth Century. (Six years later, he co-starred as one of the reporters in another Hawks classic, His Girl Friday.) In 1937, Paramount teamed him with Lynne Overman as a pair of laconic private eyes in two B comedy-mysteries, Murder Goes to College and Partners in Crime. From 1950 to 1954, Karns played the title role in the popular DuMont Television Network series Rocky King, Inside Detective. His son, character actor Todd Karns, also appeared in that series.

From 1959 to 1962, Karns was cast as Admiral Walter Shafer in seventy-three of the ninety-five episodes of the CBS military sitcom/drama series, Hennesey, starring Jackie Cooper in the title role of a United States Navy physician, and Abby Dalton as nurse Martha Hale.

His final film was another Hawks comedy, Man's Favorite Sport?, in 1964.

Karns was born in San Bernardino, California, and died in Los Angeles. Description above from the Wikipedia article Roscoe Karns, licensed under CC-BY-SA, full list of contributors on Wikipedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Roscoe Karns (September 7, 1891 – February 6, 1970) was an American actor who appeared in nearly 150 films between 1915 and 1964. He specialized in cynical, wise-cracking (and often tipsy) characters, and his rapid-fire delivery enlivened many comedies and crime thrillers in the 1930s and 1940s. Though he appeared in numerous silent films, such as Wings and Beggars of Life, his career didn't really take off until sound arrived. Arguably his best-known film role was the annoying bus passenger Oscar Shapeley, who tries to pick up Claudette Colbert in the Oscar-winning comedy It Happened One Night (1934), quickly followed by one of his best performances as the boozy press agent Owen O'Malley in Howard Hawks' Twentieth Century. (Six years later, he co-starred as one of the reporters in another Hawks classic, His Girl Friday.) In 1937, Paramount teamed him with Lynne Overman as a pair of laconic private eyes in two B comedy-mysteries, Murder Goes to College and Partners in Crime. From 1950 to 1954, Karns played the title role in the popular DuMont Television Network series Rocky King, Inside Detective. His son, character actor Todd Karns, also appeared in that series.

From 1959 to 1962, Karns was cast as Admiral Walter Shafer in seventy-three of the ninety-five episodes of the CBS military sitcom/drama series, Hennesey, starring Jackie Cooper in the title role of a United States Navy physician, and Abby Dalton as nurse Martha Hale.

His final film was another Hawks comedy, Man's Favorite Sport?, in 1964.

Karns was born in San Bernardino, California, and died in Los Angeles. Description above from the Wikipedia article Roscoe Karns, licensed under CC-BY-SA, full list of contributors on Wikipedia

Personal Info

Known For Acting

Gender Male

Known Credits 111

Birthday 1891-09-07

Day of Death 1970-02-06

Place of Birth San Bernardino, California, USA

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • Roscoe Karnes

Acting TV ShowsMovies

1964 Man's Favorite Sport? as Major Phipps
1962 The Lucy Show (1 episode)
1959 Hennesey (96 episodes)
1958 Onionhead as 'Windy' Woods
1957 Richard Diamond, Private Detective (1 episode)
1954 December Bride (2 episodes)
1950 Inside Detective (2 episodes)
1948 Texas, Brooklyn & Heaven as Officer Carmody
1948 Speed to Spare as Kangaroo
1948 Devil's Cargo as Lt. Hardy
1948 The Inside Story as Eustace Peabody
1947 That's My Man as Toby Gleeton
1947 Vigilantes of Boomtown as Bill Delaney
1946 Avalanche as Red Kelly
1946 I Ring Doorbells as Stubby
1946 One Way to Love as Hobie Simmons
1944 Hi, Good Lookin'! as Archie
1944 The Navy Way as Frankie Gimble
1944 Minstrel Man as Lasses White
1943 Old Acquaintance as Charlie Archer
1943 His Butler's Sister as Fields
1943 Riding High as Shorty
1943 Stage Door Canteen as Roscoe Karns
1943 My Son, The Hero as Big-Time Morgan
1942 You Can't Escape Forever as 'Mac' McTurk
1942 Yokel Boy as Al Devers
1942 A Tragedy at Midnight as Cassidy
1942 Woman of the Year as Phil Whittaker
1941 Road to Happiness as Charley Grady
1941 Half Shot at Sunrise as Henry Warren
1941 The Gay Vagabond as Arthur Dixon / Jerry Dixon
1941 Black Eyes and Blues as Alfred Harmon
1941 Footsteps in the Dark as Monahan
1940 Meet the Missus as Joe Higgins
1940 Ladies Must Live as Pete Larrabee
1940 They Drive by Night as Irish McGurn
1940 Saturday's Children as Willie Sands
1940 Double Alibi as Jeremiah Jenkins
1940 His Girl Friday as McCue
1939 That's Right - You're Wrong as Mal Stamp
1939 Everything's on Ice as Felix Miller
1939 Dancing Co-Ed as Joe Drews
1939 King of Chinatown as Rip Harrigan
1938 Thanks for the Memory as George Kent
1938 You and Me as Cuffy
1938 Tip-Off Girls as Tom Benson aka Tommy Logan
1938 Dangerous to Know as Duncan
1938 Scandal Street as Austin Brown
1937 Night of Mystery as Sergeant Heath
1937 Murder Goes to College as Sim Perkins
1937 Clarence as Clarence Smith
1936 Cain and Mabel as Reilly
1936 Three Married Men as Peter Cary
1936 Border Flight as Calico Smith
1936 Woman Trap as Mopsy
1935 Two-Fisted as Chick Moran
1935 Front Page Woman as Toots O'Grady
1935 Alibi Ike as Carey
1935 Four Hours to Kill! as Johnson
1935 Red Hot Tires as Bud Keene
1935 Wings in the Dark as Nick Williams
1934 I Sell Anything as Monk
1934 Shoot the Works as Sailor Burke
1934 Twentieth Century as Owen O'Malley
1934 It Happened One Night as Oscar Shapeley
1934 Come On, Marines! as Spud McGurke
1933 Alice in Wonderland as Tweedledee
1933 The Women in His Life as Aloysius Lester
1933 One Sunday Afternoon as Snappy Downer
1933 Gambling Ship as Blooey
1933 Grand Slam as Contest Radio Announcer
1933 A Lady's Profession as Tony
1933 Today We Live as McGinnis
1933 Lawyer Man as Merritt - Reporter (uncredited)
1932 If I Had a Million as Private O'Brien
1932 Under-Cover Man as Dannie
1932 They Call It Sin as Brad - Rehearsal Director (uncredited)
1932 Night After Night as Leo
1932 One Way Passage as S.S.Maloa Bartender (uncredited)
1932 The Crooked Circle as Harry Carter
1932 Two Against The World as Segall, reporter
1932 The Roadhouse Murder as Dale
1932 Play Girl as Gambler (uncredited)
1932 Stowaway as Insp. Redding
1931 Ladies of the Big House as Frank - Twenty Questions player (uncredited)
1931 Left Over Ladies as 'Scoop'
1931 Pleasure as Arnie
1931 Laughing Sinners as Fred Geer
1931 Dirigible as Sock McGuire
1930 The Gorilla as Simmons
1930 The Costello Case as Blair
1930 Man Trouble as Scott
1930 Little Accident as Gilbert
1930 Safety in Numbers as Bertram Shapiro
1930 Troopers Three as Bugs
1929 New York Nights as Johnny Dolan
1929 Copy as City Editor John Mack
1929 The Flying Fleet as Shipwrecked Radio Operator (uncredited)
1928 The Shopworn Angel as Dance Director
1928 Jazz Mad as Sol Levy
1928 Warming Up as Hippo
1928 The Vanishing Pioneer
1928 The Desert Bride as Pvt. Terry
1928 The Trail of '98 as Man on Ship
1928 Beau Sabreur
1927 The Jazz Singer as Agent
1927 Wings as Lieutenant Cameron
1926 You'd Be Surprised as Party Guest
1924 The Midnight Express as Switch Hogan
1923 The Ten Commandments as The Boy in the Rain (uncredited)
1920 Life of the Party as Sam Perkins

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