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Percy Helton
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    (January 31, 1894-September 11, 1971)
    Born in New York City, New York
    Percy Alfred Michel Helton
    Acted in 'The Set-Up,' 'My Friend Irma,' 'Cyrano de Bergerac,' 'Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer,' 'Miracle on 34th Street,' 'Spook Chasers,' 'Hazard,' and 'How to Marry a Millionaire'
    Appeared in Broadway plays 'Young America' (1915), 'Three Live Ghosts' (1920 - 21), 'Happy' (1927 - 28), ' 'One Sunday Afternoon' (1933), and 'All the Comforts of Home' (1942)
    Portrayed Homer Cratchit in The Beverly Hillbillies (1968 - 69)
    Regularly guested on episodes of 'Gunsmoke,' 'Bonanza,' 'Green Acres', 'Petticoat Junction,' 'Laramie,' 'Mister Ed, and 'Alfred Hitchcock Presents'
    Trademark was his hoarse, raspy voice and breathy delivery
    He began his career as an infant, in his father's Vaudeville act.
    He was typecast as effeminate clerks and book-keepers.
    He made a cameo in The Monkees' disastrous 1968 adventure film - 'Head.'
    His biography claimed that 'he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his duty with the 305th Field Artillery of the American Expeditionary Forces' 77th Division' during World War I, but no record exists to back this up.
    His cringy falsetto was attributed to a stage play in which he was required to 'shout and scream' his lines. The stress rendered his voice permanently hoarse.
    He was married to the same woman for forty years.
    He was mentored by George M. Cohan.
    His last television appearance was a Japanese commercial with Charles Bronson.
    His small but memorable role as a drunken Santa impersonator in 'Miracle on 34th Street' secured him a career as a reliable character actor - which lasted over twenty years.
    He has a cult following among film noir buffs, particularly due to his hilarious performance in 'Wicked Woman,' as a smitten neighbor manipulated by the movie's femme fatale ('could I offer you a glass of shewwy?')
    He usually went uncredited for his film roles, although he had a sizable role in 'The Sons of Katie Elder,' with John Wayne, as Mr. Peevey the storekeeper.
    He remained an instantly recognizable presence guesting on various television shows, even if viewers rarely could identify him by name.

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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