He is often erroneously credited with the bit role of the bull owner in the Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy film The Devil's Brother (1933). However, it is clearly not him nor is it his voice.
In 1930, although working in New York, his home base was at 328 Sidney Street West, St. Paul, Minnesota.
Of Norwegian parentage.
Though some reference works list his birth name as Oleson or Olson, in actuality Qualen's grandfather changed the family name from Olson to Kvalen long before Qualen's birth. Qualen's father subsequently changed the name from Kvalen to Qualen, after Qualen's birth. Originally pronounced identically to the previous spelling ("Kvah-len"), John Qualen himself changed the pronunciation to "Kway-len."