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Esther Howard

esther howard, esther howard actress
Esther Howard 4 April 1892 – 8 March 1965 was a stage and film character actress who played a wide range of supporting roles, from man-hungry spinsters to amoral criminals, appearing in 108 films in her 23-year career


  • 1 Career
  • 2 Death
  • 3 Selected filmography
  • 4 Notes
  • 5 External links


Howard was born in Helena, Montana in 1892 and made her Broadway debut in 19171 in a play called Eve's Daughter, which was not a success2 She continued to appear regularly on Broadway for the next twelve years, performing in comedies and musicals, including the hit shows Wildflower 1923 and The New Moon 1929, which was her final Broadway production1

In 1930, Miss Howard was still slender and beautiful when she changed her focus to making movies,3 appearing in a Vitaphone comedy short, The Victim 19304 From that point until her retirement in 1952, she worked regularly – at least one film she appeared in was released every year She was often cast as an oversexed dowager, a decrepit old hag, and, occasionally, a glamorous society dame Known for her versatility and expressive face,5 notable among her many roles were the gorgeous Miss Prescott in Meet the Mayor 1932, frowsy Jessie Florian in Raymond Chandler's Murder My Sweet 1944, a murderer in Laurel and Hardy's The Big Noise 1944, diner waitress Holly in Detour 1945, bawdy Filthy Flora in Dick Tracy vs Cueball, 1946, the determined Mrs Kraft out to solve a murder in Born to Kill 1947, and as Kirk Douglas’ mother in Champion 1949 Miss Howard's lovely singing voice was used to ghost sing dub in for bigger name stars who had no singing talent, but she never sang onscreen for herselfcitation needed

Beginning in the early 1940s, Howard was part of Preston Sturges' unofficial "stock company" of character actors, appearing in seven films written and directed by Sturges6 From 1937, Howard was a regular player in short-subjects produced at Columbia Pictures, where she was frequently cast opposite comedian Andy Clyde5 Her last film was a Columbia comedy short, Caught on the Bounce 1952, in which she played Joe Besser's aunt7


Howard died of a heart attack8 in Hollywood, California on 8 March 1965, aged 72 She is buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, California

Selected filmographyedit

  • Ready for Love 1934
  • Sappy Birthday 1942
  • San Diego, I Love You 1944
  • Murder, My Sweet 1944
  • Detour 1945
  • The Falcon's Alibi 1946
  • Born to Kill 1947


  1. ^ a b Esther Howard at the Internet Broadway Database
  2. ^ Eve's Daughter at the Internet Broadway Database
  3. ^ Esther Howard on Internet Movie Database
  4. ^ The Victim on Internet Movie Database
  5. ^ a b Erickson, Hal Biography Allmovie
  6. ^ Howard appeared in The Great McGinty, Sullivan's Travels, The Palm Beach Story, The Miracle of Morgan's Creek, Hail the Conquering Hero, The Great Moment and The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend, Sturges' last American film She also appeared in I Married a Witch, which Sturges produced
  7. ^ Caught on the Bounce on Internet Movie Database
  8. ^ IMDb bio

External linksedit

  • Esther Howard at the Internet Broadway Database
  • Esther Howard on Internet Movie Database
  • Esther Howard at AllMovie
  • Esther Howard at the TCM Movie Database
  • Esther Howard at Find a Grave

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