Emory Parnell

Emory Parnell (December 29, 1892 – June 22, 1979) was an American vaudevillian and actor who appeared in over 250 films in his 36 year career. Nicknamed "The Big Swede", Parnell (who was sometimes credited as "Emery" or "Parnel") was married to Effie Laird, and they had two children together, one of whom, James Parnell, also became an actor. Parnell trained as a musician at Morningside College in Iowa and spent his early years as a performer as a concert violinist. He performed on the Chautauqua and Lyceum circuits until 1930, when he went to Detroit where he narrated and acted in commercial and industrial films. Seeking better opportunities in Hollywood, Parnell and his wife moved to California, where, helped by his red-faced Irish look of frustration, he immediately began to appear in films in a variety of role, such as policemen, doormen, landlords, and small town businessmen. Although his appearances were often in "B" films, such as the Ma and Pa Kettle series, he also made credible showings in "A" films as well. One notable part was as a Paramount studio executive who sang about avoiding libel suits to open 1941's Louisiana Purchase.


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