Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Edward Van Sloan

Edward Van Sloan was a character actor best known for his roles in Universal Studios' horror films. He is best known for his roles in Dracula (1931) as Dr. Van Helsing, Frankenstein (1931) as Dr. Waldman, and The Mummy (1932) as Dr. Muller.

His close-cropped gray hair, thick spectacles, and clipped, ominous tones would serve memorably as the nemesis and antagonist of evil-doers and monsters played by Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff and Erich von Strotheim.

Edward Van Sloan had a style of playing horror roles that was unmistakably his, speaking his lines in a slow, exaggerated style of elocution.

Edward Van Sloan was born on November 1, 1882 in Minnesota and passed away on March 6, 1964 at the age of 81.

After a lengthy career as a commercial artist, Van Sloan turned to the stage and movies after World War I.

He made his film debut in 1916 playing Joseph Tremaine in Slander. He did not appear in another movie until 1931.

From 1916 to 1927, Edward Van Sloan had a successful career on Broadway appearing in The Unknown Purple, Polly Preferred, Morals, Schweiger, Juarez and Maximilian, Remote Control, and Lost.

In 1927 he would be cast as Dr. Abraham Van Helsing in the Broadway production of Dracula starring Bela Lugosi as Dracula.

His broadway role would lead to his successful film career as a character actor. He was cast to play Dr. Abraham Van Helsing in the 1931 film Dracula. He would later recreate the role of Dr. Van Helsing in Dracula's Daughter (1936).

Edward's third movie credit was playing Dr. Waldman in Frankenstein (1931) starring Boris Karloff. Right before the opening credits of Frankenstein, he stepped out in front of a curtain to warn the audience that they now had a chance to escape the theater if they were too squeamish.

Edward was also a successful character actor in mystery films of the era including The Death Kiss (1932), Trick or Treat (1933), Murder on Campus (1934), and Danger on the Air (1938).

He also appeared in such classics as Baby Face (1933), Manhatten Melodrama (1934), The Woman in Red (1935), Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1940), and Love Crazy (1941).

In the late 1940s, Edward would return to the Broadway stage in The Vigil.

Edward Van Sloan retired from both the stage and movies in 1950 after a final performance in an uncredited movie role as a Minister in The Underworld Story.

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