Biography

Diminutive American character actor Harlan Briggs was a vaudeville and stage performer since the turn of the century. After spending three years on Broadway appearing with Walter Huston in the stage adaptation of Sinclair Lewis' Dodsworth, Briggs was brought to Hollywood in 1935 to re-create his role. Because of post-production delays, movie audiences first saw Briggs not in Dodsworth but in Selznick's The Garden of Allah (1936). In films until 1952's Carrie, Harlan Briggs most often portrayed small-town big-wigs, usually with an oversized pipe clamped between his teeth; his most memorable role was as the eminently bribeable Doctor Stall in W.C. Fields' The Bank Dick (1940). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi