Paul Wexler - Rotten Tomatoes

Paul Wexler

Highest Rated:   100% Suddenly (1954)
Lowest Rated:   98% 101 Dalmatians (1961)
Birthday:   Not Available
Birthplace:   Not Available
Paul Wexler was born to play character roles -- well over six feet tall but seemingly thinner than the young Frank Sinatra, he was no one's idea of a leading man, but he could dominate a scene simply by standing in the shot with his long features and imposing height, and embellish the effect with his deep voice. Born in Oregon, Wexler's screen career began in 1952, when he was 23 years old, with a performance as a hillbilly in the Bowery Boys comedy Feudin' Fools. He had little to do in the movie except look and act like a slow-witted country bumpkin, in tandem with such gifted young players as Robert Easton and veterans like Russell Simpson; he obviously made an impression on the producers, because two years later he appeared in one of the most popular of all the movies in that series, The Bowery Boys Meet the Monsters, playing Grissom, the butler to a household of mad scientists seemingly lifted right out of Arsenic and Old Lace. He was funny in that film, but Wexler's first truly memorable role was much more serious, in Lewis Allen's presidential assassination thriller Suddenly (1954); portraying Slim the deputy, he managed to melt into the scenery despite his appearance, and into the part as well, portraying a tough, no-nonsense peace officer to the hilt, culminating with a violent shootout midway through the movie. In The Kentuckian, released the following year, it was back to playing backwoods roles as one of the murderous Frome brothers, alongside Douglas Spencer. Perhaps owing to his appearance, Wexler tended to get roles with a certain component of the macabre, or an element of threat, but he never had a role stranger or more memorable than his non-speaking part in Edward L. Cahn's The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake (1959). His portrayal of Zutai, the mute Jivaro Indian zombie (his tissues permeated with curare), always ready with a curare-tipped blade to paralyze a victim and a basket for their head, was a brilliantly mimed portrayal and one of the grisliest elements of a very nasty horror film. Seemingly almost as a balance to his mute role in that movie, Wexler's next film involved only speaking, as he was one of the voice actors in Disney's original 101 Dalmatians (1961). He made appearances onscreen in roles of various sizes as late as 1967, in Andrew V. McLaglen's The Way West and the William Castle comedy The Busy Body. He cut back on his acting after that, possibly due to declining health, and gave one last film performance in the 1975 in Michael Anderson's feature Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze. On television, Wexler tended to work in Westerns, including The Rifleman, Gunsmoke, and Death Valley Days, although he also turned up during the later '60s in episodes of Get Smart and made his final onscreen appearance on an episode of Charlie's Angels in 1976. Wexler died of leukemia in 1979.

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Doc Savage---The Man of Bronze
  • Capt. Seas
1975
No Score Yet The Way West
  • Barber
1967
No Score Yet The Busy Body
  • Meriiweather
1967
No Score Yet Billy Rose's Jumbo
  • Sharpie
1962
98% 101 Dalmatians
  • Voice
1961
No Score Yet The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake
  • Zutai
1959
No Score Yet Day of the Outlaw
  • Vause
1959
No Score Yet The Buccaneer
  • Horse-Face
1958
No Score Yet The Kettles in the Ozarks
  • Reverend Martin
1956
No Score Yet The Kentuckian
  • Fromes Brother
1955
No Score Yet Drum Beat
  • William Brody
1955
100% Suddenly
  • Slim Adams
1954
No Score Yet The Bowery Boys Meet the Monsters
  • Grissom
1954
No Score Yet Bloodhounds of Broadway
  • Theopolis Pace
1952

Quotes from Paul Wexler's Characters

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