Berton Churchill

Berton Churchill

Canadian-born stage and silent film player whose stentorian voice was perfect for talking pictures. He played sour-looking, well-dressed bankers, politicos and other business executive types, both honest and corrupt, with typical crust and blustery imperiousness.

Died just three days before he was to resume his stage career with the opening of "George Washington Slept Here" by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart.

In 1925, he helped found the Masquers club that led to him and five other actors to create the Screen Actors Guild in 1933.

One of the earliest members of Actors Equity, he sat on the union's council. In 1919 he was in charge of the New York headquarters during the Equity strike.

One of the founding members of the Screen Actors Guild.

Radio star Harold Peary claimed he based much of his famous character "The Great Gildersleeve" on the pompous pretensions of Berton's film characterizations.