Howard Wendell

Highest Rated: 100% The Big Heat (1953)
Birthday: Jan 25, 1908
Birthplace: Not Available
Stoutly proportioned yet dignified character actor Howard Wendell was known for his skill and reliability in a screen career lasting three decades -- according to his grandson, he was referred to by those who knew his work as "one-take Wendell." Born Howard David Wendell in Johnstown, Pennsylvania in 1908, though he considered Elyria, Ohio, where he was raised, to be his home. His acting career began with work in a minstrel show, and he later appeared on a radio show broadcast out of Cleveland, Ohio. Wendell worked with the Elyria Playmakers, and was later an apprentice at the Cleveland Playhouse. Later, while traveling across the midwest as an actor, he also began directing plays and acting in summer stock, and subsequently moved on to road show productions in the northeast. By the end of the 1940s, he'd amassed some Broadway credits as well, and made his small-screen debut on Colgate Theatre. By 1952, he was in Hollywood and working in feature films, most notably Fritz Lang's The Big Heat (1953). Wendell proved adept at older character parts, including politicians, doctors, business executives, judges, and other authority figures -- in Lang's film, he was memorable as an incompetent and crooked police chief, who is seen harassing the honest members of his force and kowtowing to his city's worst gang elements. Perhaps Wendell's strangest appearance was in Edward L. Cahn's The Fourt Skulls of Jonathan Drake (1958), in which he portrayed a medical doctor whose skill at saving lives gets him killed -- his character appears, decidedly postmortem, in the guise of a severed head in the vault of the villain. Wendell could also do comedy, and appeared in his share of sitcoms, including The Dick Van Dyke Show. Although he officially retired in 1963, Wendell went on to do appearances in episodes of I Dream of Jeannie Batman in the later 1960s, and he gave his final screen performance on an episode of Adam-12 in 1971.

Highest Rated Movies



85% The Cincinnati Kid Howard, Poker Player 1965
69% How to Murder Your Wife Actor 1965
No Score Yet Where Love Has Gone Mr. Carruthers 1964
No Score Yet My Blood Runs Cold Mayor 1964
No Score Yet King of the Roaring Twenties Mr. Simmons 1961
No Score Yet The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake Dr. Bradford 1959
No Score Yet Storm Center Sen. Bascomb 1956
No Score Yet A Day of Fury Vanryzin 1956
No Score Yet Never Say Goodbye Harry 1956
No Score Yet Athena Mr. Grenville 1954
No Score Yet Prince Valiant Morgan Todd 1954
No Score Yet The Black Dakotas Judge Baker 1954
98% Gentlemen Prefer Blondes Watson 1953
No Score Yet By the Light of the Silvery Moon Mr. Harris 1953
100% The Big Heat Commissioner Higgins 1953
No Score Yet Affair in Trinidad Anderson 1952
No Score Yet You for Me Oliver Wherry 1952


No Score Yet I Dream of Jeannie
  • 1969
  • 1966
93% Batman
  • 1967
No Score Yet Get Smart
  • 1966
No Score Yet The Dick Van Dyke Show
Dr. Torrance Hayworth Ezra John Gerber Judge Henry Dr. Lemler Chambers
  • 1966
  • 1965
  • 1964
  • 1963
  • 1962
No Score Yet Green Acres
  • 1965
83% The Munsters
  • 1965
No Score Yet Bonanza
Willis Banker Harrison's Advisor Prosecutor Albright Hennessy
  • 1965
  • 1963
  • 1961
  • 1960
No Score Yet Gunsmoke
Judge Lucious C. Brooking Judge
  • 1964
  • 1963
No Score Yet The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet
Harris Judge Dean
  • 1961
  • 1960
No Score Yet Leave It to Beaver
Mr. Heller
  • 1959
No Score Yet Zorro
Don Marcos
  • 1959


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