Born John Hoysradt, John Hoyt (1905-1991) had a long career on stage and screen.
John was 40 before he made his first screen appearance in “OSS”, with Alan Ladd.
Alan Ladd, Richard Webb, Geraldine Fitzgerald, John Hoyt, Patric Knowles.
His stern demeanour and clipped tones led to typecasting in supporting roles, but, as John said, “Well, you have to accept typecasting to a point, because it’s your daily bread.”
And yet he appeared in many different roles – a sympathetic policeman in THE UNFAITHFUL; an undercover Treasury agent in TRAPPED; a prison inmate in BRUTE FORCE; an Apache Indian in DUAL AT DIABLO; a school principal in BLACKBOARD JUNGLE.
In WINTER MEETING, John is the society friend of Bette Davis – his performance was reminiscent of Clifton Webb as ‘Waldo Lydecker’ in LAURA.
As a German general on death row in SEALED VERDICT, John had third billing after Ray Milland and Florence Marly.
In his long stage career, John had been a member of Orson Welles’ Mercury Theatre company and had played in “JULIUS CAESAR” in 1937.
16 years later, he would reprise the very same role of ‘Decius Brutus’ in the 1953 film of “Julius Caesar”.
He played the Roman general who leads Caesar into the hands of the conspirators.
John fitted well into costume drama and also appeared in THE DESERT FOX, SPARTACUS and CLEOPATRA.
In the 1940s, he was averaging three or four films a year.
John got to display some comic touches in LOAN SHARK, as the gangster up against George Raft.
John was in the pilot episode of STAR TREK (‘The Cage’) – as ‘Dr. Boyce’.
In an episode of TWILIGHT ZONE entitled, “Will The Real Martian Stand Up”, John humorously played a 3-armed alien!
In his pre-Hollywood days, John was known as “The Master of Satire” . His nightclub act was popular , with his impersonations of celebrities.
In 1946, Variety called him: “the Broadway legiter and nightclub entertainer.”
His impression of Noel Coward led to his casting in Broadway’s THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER (1939) , playing ‘Beverley Carlton’.
But he lost out when Hollywood came to film “The Man Who Came to Dinner” in 1942 (,Reginald Gardiner took over the role).
In 1969, John had a one-man show – if only we could find some reviews.
John Hoyt died of lung cancer – he had been part of the cast of THE CONQUEROR in 1956.
He was a skilled actor whose career covered five decades, both in cinema and television. Like so many of the other dependable supporting actors, he was never out of work.
And to think he was in the cast of the Ziegfeld Follies of 1936, alongside Fanny Brice, Bob Hope, Gypsy Rose Lee,Eve Arden!
Quite a career. Quite a character.
Be sure to check out all the other entries on January 8th. in the WHAT A CHARACTER BLOGATHON . https://aurorasginjoint.com