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Arthur Treacher Biography

  • Profession: Actor
  • Born: Jul 23, 1894
  • Died: Dec 14, 1975
  • Birth Name: Arthur Veary

Of the many candidates for the throne of "Hollywood's favorite butler," Brighton-born Arthur Treacher was the undisputed victor. The son of a British lawyer, the tall, hook-nosed Treacher did not settle upon an acting career until he was 25, after serving in WWI. Starting out as a chorus "boy," Treacher rose to popularity as a musical comedy performer. He came to America in 1928 while he was appearing in a revue titled Great Temptations. Entering films in 1933, Treacher quickly established himself in butler or servant roles, notably in several Shirley Temple films. He was awarded top-billing in Thank You, Jeeves (1936) and Step Lively, Jeeves (1937), both based on the gentleman's-gentleman character created by P.G. Wodehouse. Remaining active on Broadway, Treacher was prominently billed in such stage productions as Cole Porter's Panama Hattie and the 1944 revival of The Ziegfeld Follies. After several years away from Hollywood, Treacher returned in 1964 to portray a constable in Disney's Mary Poppins, which turned out to be his final film. Arthur Treacher enjoyed a latter-day popularity in the 1960s as the acerbic sidekick of TV talk show host Merv Griffin, and through the franchising of his name and image for such business concerns as Arthur Treacher's Fish and Chips and the Call Arthur Treacher Service System (a household help agency). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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