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Charles Butterworth

Charles Butterworth in Second Chorus (1940)
Born July 26, 1896(1896-07-26)
South Bend, Indiana
Died June 14, 1946 (aged 49)
Los Angeles, California
Other name(s) Charlie Butterworth
Occupation Stage and film actor
Years active 1926-1944
Spouse(s) Ethel Kenyon (February 1932 - 1939)

Charles Butterworth (July 26, 1896 – June 13, 1946) was an American actor specializing in comedy roles, often in musicals. In his obituary, he was described as "the man who could not make up his mind". Butterworth's distinct voice was the inspiration for the Cap'n Crunch commercials from the Jay Ward studio. Voice actor Daws Butler based Cap'n Crunch on the voice of Butterworth.



Butterworth's most memorable film role was in the Irving Berlin musical This is the Army (1943) as the bugle-playing Private Eddie Dibble. He generally was a supporting actor, e.g., to Mae West in Every Day's a Holiday, to the Andrews Sisters in What's Cookin'?, Give out, Sisters and Always a Bridesmaid, to Jeanette MacDonald in The Cat and the Fiddle and Love Me Tonight, to Myrna Loy in Penthouse, to Lew Ayres in My Weakness, to Laurel and Hardy and Jimmy Durante in Hollywood Party, to Clark Gable, Robert Montgomery, and Joan Crawford in Forsaking All Others, to Irene Dunne and Robert Taylor in Magnificent Obsession, to Carole Lombard and Fred MacMurray in Swing High, Swing Low, to Bob Hope in Thanks for the Memory, and to Fred Astaire, Paulette Goddard, and Burgess Meredith in Second Chorus. However, he had top billing in We Went to College (1936), played the title role in Baby Face Harrington (1935), and shared top billing (as the Sultan) with Ann Corio in The Sultan's Daughter (1944).

He is credited with the quip "Why don't you slip out of those wet clothes and into a dry martini?" from Every Day's a Holiday.[1] In Forsaking All Others, when Clark Gable, quoting Benjamin Franklin, said, "Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise," Butterworth replied, "Ever take a good look at a milkman?"



Butterworth was killed in an automobile accident on June 13, 1946, when he lost control of his car on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles and crashed.[2] For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Charles Butterworth has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7030 Hollywood Blvd.


Year Title Role Other notes
1929 Vital Subjects Short subject
1930 Ladies of Leisure Party Guest Uncredited
The Life of the Party Col. Joy
1931 Illicit George Evans
The Bargain Geoffrey
Side Show Sidney
The Mad Genius Karimsky
Manhattan Parade Herbert T. Herbert
1932 Beauty and the Boss Ludwig Pfeffer, Jr.
Love Me Tonight Count de Savignac
1933 The Nuisance Floppy Phil Montague
Penthouse Layton Alternative title: Crooks in Clover
My Weakness Gerald Gregory
1934 The Cat and the Fiddle Charles
Hollywood Party Harvey Clemp
Bulldog Drummond Strikes Back Algy Longworth/Mousey
Student Tour Professor Lippincott
Forsaking All Others Shemp "Shempy"
1935 The Night Is Young Willy Fitch
Baby Face Harrington Willie Harrington
Orchids to You Teddy Stuyvesant
Magnificent Obsession Tommy Masterson
1936 The Moon's Our Home Horace Van Steedan
Half Angel Felix
We Went to College Glenn Harvey Alternative title: The Old School Tie
Rainbow on the River Barrett Alternative title: It Happened In New Orleans
1937 Swing High, Swing Low Harry
Every Day's a Holiday Larmadou Graves
1938 Thanks for the Memory Biney
1939 Let Freedom Ring The Mackerel Alternative title: Song of the Plains
1940 The Boys from Syracuse Duke of Ephesus
1940 Second Chorus J. Lester Chisholm
1914 There's Nothing to It
Blonde Inspiration "Bittsy" Conway
Road Show Harry Whitman
Sis Hopkins Horace Hopkins
1942 What's Cookin'? J. P. Courtney Alternative title: Wake Up and Dream
Night in New Orleans Edward Wallace
Give Out, Sisters Professor Woof
1943 This Is the Army Eddie Dibble
Always a Bridesmaid Colonel Winchester
1944 The Sultan's Daughter Sultan
Follow the Boys Louie Fairweather
Bermuda Mystery Dr. Tilford
Dixie Jamboree Professor


  1. ^ Ralph Keyes, The Quote Verifier, p33 (Macmillian 2006)
  2. ^ Brettell, Andrew; King, Noel; Kennedy, Damien; Imwold, Denise (2005). Cut!: Hollywood Murders, Accidents, and Other Tragedies. Leonard, Warren Hsu; von Rohr, Heather. Barrons Educational Series. pp. 262. ISBN 0-764-15858-9.  

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