Huntz Hall, the comic actor best known for being one of the Bowery Boys on film, but whose screen persona was launched on Broadway, died Jan. 30 of heart failure, the Los Angeles Times reported. He was 78.
Hall, whose hangdog face is remembered in films featuring the wisecracking, street-smart Dead End Kids, the East Side Gang and the Bowery Boys, got his start in the Broadway play, Dead End, about New York slum life. He also appeared in the film version of the Sidney Kingsley play, introducing the Dead End Kids to movie audiences.
The characters, created by Hall, Leo Gorcey and others, were softened over the years and put in popular comic films.
Hall also worked in plays such as The Odd Couple and The Sunshine Boys into the 1990s.
Born Henry Hall in New York City, he attended New York’s Professional Children’s School. He worked in vaudeville and in radio. Hall is survived by his son, Rev. Gary Hall of All Saints Church of Pasadena, Ca., and a grandson, Oliver.
-- By Kenneth Jones