Dick Wessel
Date of Birth
Jan 01, 1913


American actor Dick Wessel had a face like a Mack Truck bulldog and a screen personality to match. After several years on stage, Wessel began showing up in Hollywood extra roles around 1933; he is fleetingly visible in the Marx Brothers' Duck Soup (1933), Laurel and Hardy's Bonnie Scotland (1935), and the Columbia "screwball" comedy She Couldn't Take It (1935). The size of his roles increased in the '40s; perhaps his best feature-film showing was as the eponymous bald-domed master criminal in Dick Tracy vs. Cueball (1946). He was a valuable member of Columbia Pictures' short subject stock company, playing a variety of bank robbers, wrestlers, jealous husbands and lazy brother-in-laws. Among his more memorable 2-reel appearances were as lovestruck boxer "Chopper" in The Three Stooges' Fright Night (1947), Andy Clyde's invention-happy brother-in-law in Eight Ball Andy (1948), and Hugh Herbert's overly sensitive strongman neighbor in Hot Heir (1947). Wessel was shown to good (if unbilled) advantage as a handlebar-mustached railroad engineer in the superspectacular Around the World in 80 Days (1956), and had a regular role as Carney on the 1959 TV adventure series Riverboat. Dick Wessel's farewell screen appearance was as a harried delivery man in Disney's The Ugly Dachshund (1965). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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