Born Feb 10, 1892, Alan Hale – Pirates, Cowboys and Much More!
(potato chips anyone?)
Where do I even begin? Alan Hale is just such a wonderful character actor. He’s had quite an impressive career to boot, appearing in over 230 films, silent and sound, (and directed nine more), for a career spanning 40 years. I essentially ‘discovered’ Hale as I watched my favorite Errol Flynn movies — from The Adventures of Robin Hood to The Sea Hawk to Dodge City to Santa Fe Trail and more. But I must say, that perhaps my favorite Hale role is (and it is a SMALL role to say the least) Danker in It Happened One Night – that tinny tiny little scene always has me laughing out loud (what a booming voice!).
Alan Hale was born in 1892 in our capital city, Washington DC. He studied opera, but was unable to make a career out of it, so he pursued acting instead. He started out in silents and worked his way through sound — becoming a popular and very busy character actor in the process. He’s probably best known for his role as Little John in both the 1922 (silent) and 1938 (sound) versions of Robin Hood.
Of course, just about everyone knows that he’s also The Skipper’s father (Alan Hale Jr. played The Skipper in Gilligan’s Island), but I’m thinking that not too many people know that he was also an inventor — and is credited with inventing, holding the patent to, and/or financing the creation of auto brakes, hand-held fire extinguishers, greaseless potato chips — and the folding theater seat!
Robin Hood: Give way, little man.
Little John: Only to a better man than meself.
Robin Hood: He stands before you.
“To England, and the Queen!” – as Carl Pitt in The Sea Hawk, starring Errol Flynn (director, Michael Curtiz 1940)
“He’s the most ‘movin’ on’ man you ever saw. First off, he was in the English army over in India. Then he got mixed up in some kind of a hu-rah Revolution down in Cuba way. Then he started punchin’ cattle in Texas, that is, of course, before he enlisted in the war. So, you see, he’s either the greatest traveler ever lived, or else he is the biggest lier!”
– as Rusty Hart in Dodge City, starring Errol Flynn
(director Michael Curtiz, 1939 )
–Annmarie Gatti for Classic Movie Hub
Note: this was a partial reprint of a longer article covering Erik Rhodes and Alan Hale from the 2012 What a Character Blogathon