Actor, producer, and writer Bryant Halliday founded Janus Films, the first American distributor of foreign classics. Movies he brought stateside include those of Federico Fellini and Ingmar Bergman. Halliday grew up in a Benedictine monastery and was slated to become a priest, but at age 21, the acting bug bit and Halliday joined Cambridge's Brattle Theatre Company. While with the troupe, Halliday appeared in a wide variety of shows, including Shakespeare. He and associate Cyrus Harvey launched Janus Films in the early '50s. Halliday also ran the 55th Street Playhouse in New York and used it as a primary location for exhibiting Janus-distributed films. He returned to acting in 1963, making his feature film debut as an evil ventriloquist in the cult-favorite Devil Doll (1964). Halliday then starred in such films as Curse of Simba and Tower of Evil. Upon selling Janus, Halliday spent the rest of his career involved in French television. Halliday died on July 28, 1996, following a stroke; he was 68.