Walter Abel Life story

Walter Abel was an American film, stage and radio actor.

Walter Abel (June 6, 1898 – March 26, 1987) was an American film, stage and radio actor.


Abel was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, the son of Christine (née Becker) and Richard Michael Abel. Abel graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts where he had studied in 1917 and joined a touring company. His brother Alfred died in 1922 from tuberculosis contracted while serving overseas in World War I. Abel was married to concert harpist Marietta Bitter.


Abel made his film debut in 1918 with a small part in Out of a Clear Sky.He made his Broadway debut in Forbidden in 1919. In 1924 he appeared in two Eugene O'Neill plays simultaneously: Bound East for Cardiff at the Provincetown Playhouse and Desire Under the Elms at the Greenwich Village Theater. His many theatre credits include As You Like It (1923), William Congreve's Love for Love (1925), Anton Chekhov's The Seagull (1929-1930), Mourning Becomes Electra (1929), Kaufman and Hart's Merrily We Roll Along (1934), and Trelawny of the 'Wells' (1975). He also appeared in Channing Pollock's play The Enemy (1926) with Fay Bainter. The play was adapted to film as The Enemy (1927) with Lillian Gish and Ralph Forbes. He made his stage debut in London in the 1929 Coquette.

His first major film role was as D'Artagnan in RKO Pictures' 1935 The Three Musketeers. Abel went on to play in more than sixty films. Abel was a vice president of the Screen Actors' Guild. Abel played hyperactive agent Danny Reed in the 1942 musical comedy Holiday Inn, in support of Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire.

Abel also appeared as a concert narrator or reader with Eugene Ormandy the Philadelphia Orchestra in Aaron Copland's Lincoln Portrait in 1951, and in Dylan Thomas' Under Milk Wood in 1953.


Abel died March 26, 1987, of a myocardial infarction at a nursing home in Essex, Connecticut. He was cremated and a memorial service was held at the Little Church Around the Corner in Manhattan. His ashes were combined with those of his wife and scattered in Long Island Sound.




Radio appearances


External links

Walter Abel at IMDb

Walter Abel at the Internet Broadway Database

Walter Abel at AllMovie

"Images related to Walter Abel". NYPL Digital Gallery.

Walter Abel at Find a Grave

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