Percy Helton - Rotten Tomatoes

Percy Helton

Highest Rated:   100% The Sons of Katie Elder (1965)
Lowest Rated:   11% Four for Texas (1963)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Not Available
The son of actors, Percy Helton began his own career at age two in a Tony Pastor revue in which his parents were performing. The undersized Helton was a valuable juvenile player for producer David Belasco, making his film debut in a 1915 Belasco production, The Fairy and the Waif. Helton matured into adult roles under the stern guidance of George M. Cohan. After serving in the Army during World War I, Helton established himself on Broadway, appearing in such productions as Young America, One Sunday Afternoon and The Fabulous Invalid. He made his talkie debut in 1947's Miracle on 34th Street, playing the inebriated Macy's Santa Claus whom Edmund Gwenn replaces. Perhaps the quintessential "who is that?" actor, Helton popped up, often uncredited, in over one hundred succinct screen characterizations. Forever hunched over and eternally short of breath, he played many an obnoxious clerk, nosey mailman, irascible bartender, officious train conductor and tremulous stool pigeon. His credits include Fancy Pants (1950), The Robe (1953), White Christmas (1954), Rally Round the Flag Boys (1959), The Music Man (1962) and Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte (1965), as well as two appearances as sweetshop proprietor Mike Clancy in the Bowery Boys series. Thanks to his trademarked squeaky voice, and because he showed up in so many "cult" films (Wicked Woman, Kiss Me Deadly, Sons of Katie Elder), Helton became something of a high-camp icon in his last years. In this vein, Percy Helton was cast as the "Heraldic Messenger" in the bizarre Monkees vehicle Head (he showed up at the Monkees' doorstep with a beautiful blonde manacled to his wrist!), the treacherous Sweetieface in the satirical western Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), and the bedraggled bank clerk Cratchit on the TV series The Beverly Hillbillies.

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet Legend of the Northwest
  • Actor
1978
75% Head
  • Heraldic Messenger
1968
No Score Yet A Big Hand for the Little Lady
  • Arthur's Father
1966
No Score Yet Don't Worry, We'll Think of a Title
  • Fat Man
1966
100% The Sons of Katie Elder
  • Storekeeper Peevey
1965
No Score Yet Zebra in the Kitchen
  • Mr. Richardson
1965
81% Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte
  • Funeral Director
1964
11% Four for Texas
  • Ansel
1963
No Score Yet The Wheeler Dealers
  • the Whipple
1963
94% The Music Man
  • Conductor
1962
93% Ride the High Country
  • Luther Sampson (uncredited)
1962
86% Where the Boys Are
  • Motel Operator
1960
25% Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys!
  • Waldo Pike
1958
79% Jailhouse Rock
  • Sam Brewster
1957
No Score Yet This Could Be the Night
  • Charlie
1957
No Score Yet Shake, Rattle and Rock!
  • Hiram
1957
No Score Yet Trial
  • Youval
1955
97% Kiss Me Deadly
  • Morgue Doctor
1955
No Score Yet Crashout
  • Dr. Barnes
1955
No Score Yet Diane
  • Court Jester
1955
No Score Yet No Man's Woman
  • Otto Peterson
1955
96% A Star Is Born
  • Drunk
1954
No Score Yet About Mrs. Leslie
  • Hackley
1954
No Score Yet Lucky Me
  • Brown
1954
77% White Christmas
  • Conductor
1954
89% 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea
  • Diver
1954
No Score Yet Wicked Woman
  • Charlie Borg
1953
33% The Robe
  • Caleb
1953
No Score Yet Ambush at Tomahawk Gap
  • Marlowe
1953
83% How to Marry a Millionaire
  • Benton
1953
No Score Yet She's Back on Broadway
  • News Vendor
1953
80% Call Me Madam
  • Sen. Wilkins
1953
No Score Yet I Dream of Jeanie
  • Mr. Horker
1952
No Score Yet A Girl in Every Port
  • Drive-In Manager
1952
No Score Yet The Belle of New York
  • Bowery Bum
1952
No Score Yet Night Into Morning (People in Love)
  • Drunk
1951
No Score Yet Three Guys Named Mike
  • Hawkins
1951
No Score Yet The Sun Sets at Dawn
  • Feature Syndicate
1951
No Score Yet Darling, How Could You!
  • Cabby
1951
83% Cyrano de Bergerac
  • Bellerose
1950
No Score Yet Copper Canyon
  • Scamper
1950
No Score Yet Riding High
  • Pawnbroker
1950
No Score Yet A Life of Her Own
  • Hamburger Proprietor
1950
No Score Yet Fancy Pants
  • Maj. Fogarty
1950
No Score Yet My Friend Irma
  • Mr. Clyde
1949
No Score Yet Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff
  • Abernathy
1949
No Score Yet Lust for Gold
  • Barber
1949
No Score Yet Chicken Every Sunday
  • Mr. Sawyer
1949
100% Criss Cross
  • Frank
1949
86% The Set-Up
  • Red
1949
100% Thieves' Highway
  • Proprietor
1949
No Score Yet The Crooked Way
  • Petey
1949
No Score Yet That Wonderful Urge
  • Drunk
1948
73% Call Northside 777
  • Mailman
1948
No Score Yet Hazard
  • Actor
1948
96% Miracle on 34th Street
  • Santa Claus
1947

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Batman
1966-1968
  • Gus
  • 1968
No Score Yet The Twilight Zone
1959-1964
  • Lapham Tom Poulter
  • 1964
  • 1963

Quotes from Percy Helton's Characters