Billy House

Billy House (May 7, 1889 – September 23, 1961) was an US vaudevillian, Broadway performer and feature film actor. After devoting most of his career to live performance, he moved to Hollywood where he became a supporting actor during the 1940s and 1950s. According to admirer Orson Welles, the name "Billy House" was likely an invention for use in burlesque theatres. Breaking into show business as a trumpet player, House worked in circuses, vaudeville, burlesque theatres and radio dramas before adding the occasional Broadway turn and bit part in feature films to his résumé. One of his Broadway co-stars, Pauline Moore, once recalled an incident about his performance in the 1933 Earl Carroll version of Murder at the Vanities: House was also used as a live-action model for the Disney characters of Doc (from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937 film)), and Schmee (from Peter Pan (1953 film)). By the mid 1940s he had begun working more steadily in film. The bulk of his larger film roles came between 1945 and 1952. Although he did appear on television at least once late in his career, he died before television had fully emerged from its infancy.


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