'Snub' Pollard

Birthday: November 9th, 1889   |   Date of Death: January 19th, 1962   |   Place of Birth: Melbourne, Australia

The slight frame (5' 6"), pale, serious countenance, and dark, droopy mustache are unmistakeable, definitive identification badges in recalling silent comedian Harry "Snub" Pollard. Born in Australia as Harry Fraser, he joined a vaudeville troupe, which toured the United States around 1910. The troupe broke up there and Harry decided to stay, dubbing himself with "Pollard" as a last name moniker. He started off at the Essenay Film Studios in 1911 and briefly worked with the Keystone Kops. Hal Roach took an avid interest and, in 1915, had Snub co-starring with Harold Lloyd and Bebe Daniels in the highly successful Lonesome Luke series, which ran for years (86 films in all). In 1919, Snub took a chance and ventured on with his own solo one- and two-reelers with sights gags and gimmicks-a-plenty. Many of them were ably directed by Charley Chase and co-starred Marie Mosquini as his frequent leading lady. His "second banana" status, however, was firmly entrenched, and his vehicles were met with only a modicum of interest. He also made personal appearances on the farcical stage. His production company, created in 1926, eventually folded and he was relegated to supporting other top comedians again, notably Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy and Andy Clyde, or appearing in poverty-row programmers. By the late 1930s, he was (ironically) reduced to silent, atmospheric bits in talking pictures. One last hurrah would be his playing of Pee Wee, sidekick to cowboy Tex Ritter, in a series of minor westerns. Thereafter, Snub continued obscurely in films until his death in 1962 of cancer. His sister was comedy actress Daphne Pollard who also entertained audiences with her own short films.

Date of Death 19 January 1962, Burbank, California  (cancer)