|Died||April 16, 1959 (aged 83)|
Charles Halton (March 16, 1876 – April 16, 1959) was an American character actor who appeared in over 180 films.
Halton trained at the New York Academy of Dramatic Arts. He made his Broadway debut in 1901, after which he appeared in about 35 productions during the next 50 years. From the 1920s, Halton's thinning hair, rimless glasses, stern-looking face and officious manner were also familiar to generations of American moviegoers. Whether playing the neighborhood busybody, a stern government bureaucrat or weaselly attorney, Halton's characters tried to drive the "immoral influences" out of the neighborhood, foreclose on the orphanage, evict the poor widow and her children from their apartment, or any other number of dastardly deeds, all justified usually by "...I'm sorry but that's my job."
Among his highest profile roles were Mr. Carter, the bank examiner in Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life (1946), the Polish theatre producer Dobosh in Ernst Lubitsch's To Be or Not to Be (1942), and a county official from Idaho in Alfred Hitchcock's Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941). In Enemy of Women (1944), the story of Joseph Goebbels, Halton played against type as a kindly radio performer of children's stories who is arrested by the Nazis.
Although his career slowed down in the 1950s, he also played roles in numerous television series. His 40-year film career ended with High School Confidential (1958), after which he retired.
On April 16, 1959, Halton died of hepatitis in Los Angeles. He was 83.