Biography

Dutch-born character actor Charles Judels' expertise with dialects served him well throughout his fifty-year career. After several seasons in vaudeville, Judels made his Broadway debut as a snotty Frenchman in The Ziegfeld Follies of 1912. He went on to provide comedy relief for such stage musicals as Nobody Home (1914) and George M. Cohan's Mary (1920). In films from 1915, Judels was a fixture of the Vitaphone short-subject product in the early 1930s, starring in his own series of 2-reelers and providing support to such comedians as Jack Haley and Shemp Howard. His feature-film assignments found him playing Italians, Greeks, Slavs, Germans and Spaniards (he also served as dialogue director for 1928's Mother Knows Best, which curiously contained no dialect humor whatsoever!) Film buffs will remember Charles Judels as the cheese-store proprietor in Laurel & Hardy's 1938 effort Swiss Miss (his musical number with Stan and Ollie was, alas, left on the cutting room floor), the plot-motivating murder victim in the early "film noir" Stranger on the Third Floor (1940), and the voice of Stromboli and the Coachman in the Disney cartoon feature Pinocchio (1940). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi