Burt Mustin
Date of Birth
Feb 08, 1882
Birth Place:
Pittsburgh, PA

Biography

Life literally began at 60 for American actor Burt Mustin, who didn't enter show business until that age and didn't make his film debut until Detective Story (1951), at which time he was 68. After a decade of uncredited movie roles as hillbilly patriarchs and Town's Oldest Citizens, Mustin began getting name recognition for numerous TV appearances in the late '50s and early '60s. The actor was a particular favorite of producer/actor Jack Webb, who cast Mustin several times on Dragnet; in one episode Burt was an octogenarian burglar, and in another was a retired detective who solved a murder case - and chewed out a young cop for not knowing the proper way to take fingerprints! Situation comedy producers made good use of Burt Mustin as well, and he was featured in innumerable cameos on such programs as The Dick Van Dyke Show, Get Smart and The Jack Benny Program, usually stealing most of the laughs from the stars. Mustin had regular TV roles as eccentric neighbor Finley on Date with the Angels, Gus the Fireman on Leave It to Beaver, barber shop patron Jud Crowley on The Andy Griffith Show, the amorous senior-citizen husband of Queenie Smith on The Funny Side, and nursing-home refugee Justin Quigley on All in the Family. Mustin got the biggest press coverage of his career when, in character as Arthur Lanson, he married Mother Dexter - played by 82-year-old Judith Lowry - on the December 13, 1976 episode of Phyllis. It was a hilarious and, in retrospect, poignant moment in TV history: Judith Lowry had died a few days before the program was aired, and Burt Mustin, who was too ill to watch the show, passed away six weeks later. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Provided by Rovi