Barton Yarborough

Barton Yarborough

Highest Rated: 81% Saboteur (1942)

Lowest Rated: 75% Ghost of Frankenstein (1942)

Birthday: Oct 2, 1900

Birthplace: Not Available

A bad heart and bad luck cost character actor Barton Yarborough a shot at pop-culture immortality on television, after two decades in radio. He also led an early life colorful enough to have been made into a movie. Born in the small central Texas town of Goldthwaite, Yarborough was bitten by the performing bug as a young teenager and ran away from home to pursue work in vaudeville. With the advent of radio in the 1920s, he turned his efforts to the new medium, and in 1932 debuted in the role of Cliff Barbour on the series One Man's Family -- a series on which he continued working right up to his death nearly two decades later. He became a fixture on radio in a multitude of roles, one the advantages of that medium being that a truly versatile actor could handle all the work for which they could physically get to the studio. In 1938, he debuted as Doc Long, the physician partner to the hero in the series I Love A Mystery. Two years later, he made his big-screen debut in the "Dr. Christian" film series entry They Meet Again (1941), in a cast that included Jean Hersholt and Neil Hamilton, playing the central role of accused bank embezzler Bob Webster. That same year he showed up in the Universal "B" comedy Let's Go Collegiate, starring Frankie Darro, Mantan Moreland, and Gale Storm, and a year after that was back at Universal in The Ghost of Frankenstein as Dr. Kettering, the kindly physician whose death at the hands of the Frankenstein monster sets in motion the plot. He shows up as an FBI man in Alfred Hitchcock's Saboteur (1942), and then left pictures for the next three years. In 1945, Yarborough returned to movies when I Love A Mystery made the leap to the big-screen, in the part of Doc Long in I Love A Mystery, teamed with Jim Bannon. He did two more films in the series, in between other roles, and continued in radio, where he also began appearing on Dragnet in the role of Sgt. Ben Romero, the partner to Jack Webb's Sgt. Joe Friday. Webb, who created, produced, and directed the series, kept Yarborough as his on-air partner when the series made the jump to television in late 1951. Alas, Yarborough became ill during the shooting of the second episode, and died less than a week later of a heart attack. His character was written out of the show with the same cause of death. The year after he passed away, Yarborough was seen in his final film role, a small, uncredited part as a secretary in Richard Brooks' Deadline -- USA (1952), starring Humphrey Bogart and Ethel Barrymore.

Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet Wife Wanted (Shadow of Blackmail) Walter Desmond 1946
No Score Yet The Unknown Doc Long 1946
No Score Yet The Devil's Mask Doc Long 1946
75% Ghost of Frankenstein Dr. Kettering 1942
81% Saboteur 1st FBI Man at Mason's House 1942
No Score Yet Let's Go Collegiate Coach 1941
No Score Yet They Meet Again Bob Webster 1941
No Score Yet Before I Hang Stephen Barclay 1940


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