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Sloane, Everett

SLOANE, Everett



Nationality: American. Born: New York City, 1 October 1909. Education: Attended Public School No. 46; Townsend Harris High School, New York; University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. Family: Married Luba Herman, 1933, son: Ned, daughter: Erika. Career: 1927—joined Jasper Deeter's stock company, Moylan, Pennsylvania; 1928—New York stage debut; then worked for a Wall Street broker; 1929—radio actor: over the next few years appeared in The Goldbergs, The Crime Doctor, and, for eight years, The Shadow; 1935—Broadway debut in Boy Meets Girl; 1938—joined Orson Welles's Mercury Theatre, and appeared in many of its radio productions; 1941—film debut in Welles's Citizen Kane; 1944—on Broadway in A Bell for Adano; 1950s—in many television series and plays, notably Rod Sterling's Patterns and Noon on Doomsday; directed the stage plays Twilight Bar and The Dancer. Died: Suicide, 6 August 1965.


Films as Actor:

1941

Citizen Kane (Welles) (as Bernstein)

1942

Journey into Fear (Foster) (as Kopeikin)

1948

The Lady from Shanghai (Welles) (as Arthur Bannister)

1949

Prince of Foxes (King) (as Belli)

1950

The Men (Zinnemann) (as Dr. Brock)

1951

The Enforcer (Windust) (as Albert Mendoza); Bird of Paradise (Daves) (as beachcomber); The Prince Who Was a Thief (Maté) (as Yussef); Sirocco (Bernhardt) (as General LaSalle); The Blue Veil (Bernhardt) (as District Attorney); The Desert Fox (Hathaway) (as General Burgdoff)

1952

The Sellout (Mayer) (as Nelson Tarsson); Way of a Gaucho (Tourneur) (as Falcon)

1955

The Big Knife (Aldrich) (as Nat Danziger)

1956

Patters (Cook) (as Walter Ramsey); Somebody Up There Likes Me (Wise) (as Irving Cohen); Lust for Life (Minnelli) (as Dr. Gachet)

1958

Marjorie Morningstar (Rapper) (as Arnold Morgenstern); The Gun Runners (Siegel)

1960

Home from the Hill (Minnelli) (as Albert Halstead)

1961

By Love Possessed (Sturges) (as Reggie)

1962

Brushfire (Warner) (as Chevern McCase)

1963

The Man from the Diner's Club (Tashlin) (as Martindale)

1964

The Patsy (Lewis) (as Caryl Ferguson); Ready for the People (Kulik) (as Paul Boyer); The Disorderly Orderly (Tashlin) (as Mr. Tuffington)

Publications


By SLOANE: article—

Interview in Film (London), no. 37, 1965.

On SLOANE: articles—

"One of Radio's Best and Highest-Priced Actors," in Newsweek, 4 September 1944.

Current Biography 1957, New York, 1957.

Coulson, A., "Everett Sloane," in Film (London), Autumn 1963.

Obituary in New York Times, 7 August 1965.

Letter from Roy Pickard in Films in Review (New York), July 1972.


* * *

Everett Sloane ranks as one of Hollywood's great character actors. His subtle performance as Bernstein in Citizen Kane guarantees him a secure niche in any history of film. Indeed, when Everett Sloane's name is mentioned the image which comes to mind is "Bernstein," the thin, little man with huge piercing eyes, and the vitriolic voice. Sloane will also long be remembered for his work in The Lady from Shanghai, The Men, and The Big Knife.

But Sloane had another distinguished acting career before he ever made his way to Hollywood. A native New Yorker, he first gravitated to the stage at age seven and from then on vowed to become an actor. But try as he might, initially he could not "make it" on Broadway. So like many of his generation he gravitated to the then-fledgling world of radio drama.

During the 1930s Sloane was a fixture on America's airwaves. He acted in everything from Buck Rogers to Crime Doctor to The Goldbergs, and appeared for eight years in The Shadow. In this last show he met up with the then-radio wunderkind Orson Welles and joined the Mercury Theatre of the Air in 1938. Sloane went on to act in the most famous of the Mercury radio productions, including War of the Worlds.

Subsequently Welles took Sloane with him to Hollywood in 1940. Their first collaboration was Citizen Kane. Many critics have commented upon Sloane's crucial role in that classic film. Sloane's best scene comes when Bernstein (reflecting upon his career as Kane's business manager) remembers a girl with a white dress and parasol whom he only saw for a second "but I'll bet a month hasn't gone by since, that I haven't thought of that girl." Memory is at the core of Citizen Kane, and Welles provided Sloane with the film's most unforgettable line.

Sloane acted for Welles again in Journey into Fear and The Lady from Shanghai. This success in Hollywood led to what he always wanted—a triumph on Broadway, in this case in Native Son. But like that of his mentor, Orson Welles, Sloane's later career never matched its early triumphs. He slipped into the category of top-flight character actor in such vehicles as Lust for Life and Marjorie Morningstar and ended his movie career in two of Jerry Lewis's most acclaimed films, The Patsy and The Disorderly Orderly.

Yet film was never Sloane's first love, He continued (unsuccessfully) to try Broadway. To this end he supported himself with work on the radio, and later as an active participant in numerous early television anthology programs. His death by suicide in 1965 robbed the entertainment world of one of its most distinguished performers.

—Douglas Gomery

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