"Maybe he's only a little crazy, like painters or artists, or those men in Washington," Philip Tonge's apprehensive toy-department head, Mr. Shellhammer, pleaded in defense of Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn) in the holiday perennial Miracle on 34th St. (1947), perhaps the veteran stage actor's most memorable screen assignment. Tonge was a former child performer and lifelong friend and associate of Noël Coward (who publicly claimed to have had his initial sexual encounter with him at the age of 13). The British-born actor had originated the part of Dr. Bradman in the initial Broadway production of Blithe Spirit in 1941, a role he would re-create for an early television presentation five years later. Noticeable by his prominent proboscis and a receding chin, Tonge also added memorable moments to such diverse films as Witness for the Prosecution (1957) as the inspector, and the sci-fi thriller Invisible Invaders (1959). He ended his long career playing the recurring role of General Amherst on television's Northwest Passage (1958-1959).