February 8, 1902 ~ March 2, 1996 Lyle Talbot
Lyle, up until recently for me used to be that “cute guy” that would show up on many a great old film. He was never really the headliner, didn’t have any scandals to contribute and no Oscar to gain him instant merit, and was the quintessential “B” actor. However, don’t let those things deter you from giving him the respect he deserves. His performance in the pre-code Three on a Match is definitely worth something as he plays the wayward home wrecker, mixed up with the mob. Catching the eye of married rich and proper girl Vivian, his life only gets worse when he decides to kidnap her son for ransom. The movie’s pre-code for a reason kids so I won’t spoil the ending, but it’s an excellent dramatic performance.
Often the third in a love triangle, Lyle played, very well, that guy threatening the Main Character with good looks, a dashing personality, and just enough threat to make you worry. That’s the kind of tension we like in Classic Hollywood. You can also find him opposite Bebe Daniels in Registered Nurse, probably wishing he played more roles as a doctor, and as the guy that never gives up in The Purchase Price with Barbara Stanwyck. So in honor of his birthday, watch a few of his films, you’re sure to love them.