Huntz Hall

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Henry Richard "Huntz" Hall
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Henry Richard "Huntz" Hall (August 15, 1920; – January 30, 1999) was an American radio, theatrical, and motion picture performer noted primarily for his roles in the "Dead End Kids" movies, such as Angels with Dirty Faces (1938), which gave way to the "The Bowery Boys" movie franchise, a prolific and highly successful series of comedies in the 1940s and 1950s.

Henry Richard Hall was born in 1920 in New York City to Joseph Patrick Hall, an Irish immigrant air-conditioner repairman, and his wife Mary Ellen (Mullen). The 14th of 16 children, he was nicknamed "Huntz" because of his Teutonic-looking nose.

Hall attended Catholic schools and started performing on radio at age 5.

He appeared on Broadway in the 1935 production of Dead End, a play written and directed by Sidney Kingsley. Hall was then cast along with the other Dead End Kids in the 1937 film Dead End, directed by William Wyler and starring Humphrey Bogart.

Hall later played the increasingly buffoonish Horace DeBussy "Sach" Jones in 48 "Bowery Boys" films, gaining top billing when his longtime partner, Leo Gorcey, left the series in 1956.

He also appeared in other films, including his portrayal of Private Carraway in the war film, A Walk in the Sun, in 1945.

In 1967, he became one of the celebrities featured on the cover of The Beatles' album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

By 1976, Hall drove a brand-new Rolls-Royce, thanks to his offshore oil well investments. However, plans to produce a movie series, "The Ghetto Boys" (a take on "The Bowery Boys"), fell through. His son Gary (born Leslie Richard Hall) --who holds degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, the Episcopal Divinity School at Cambridge, Mass., and UCLA--became an Episcopal priest and in 2012 was appointed Dean of Washington National Cathedral. Huntz Hall himself remained active in Catholic lay affairs. In 1973, Hall took part in Princess Grace of Monaco's Council for Drug Abuse, which was part of the Catholic Office of Drug Education.

In 1977 he played movie mogul Jesse Lasky in Ken Russell's film Valentino. He performed in dinner theater productions before retiring in 1994.


Hall died from congestive heart failure on January 30, 1999 at the age of 79 in North Hollywood, California. He was interred in a niche at All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, California.


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