Thursday, January 22, 2009

Fred Kelsey: What a Character

Fred Kelsey, a pioneer character actor in both silent and talking motion pictures, was born in Sandusky on August 28, 1884. Known as “the detective of the screen,” Kelsey’s trademarks were a derby hat, a big cigar, and his thick moustache. He appeared in several Three Stooges movies.

In his listing in the Internet Movie Database his film credits total over four hundred. Kelsey started out directing in 1909, but by the 1920’s he was well-established in his role of the bungling policeman or detective. Fred Kelsey was so typecast as a comedy cop that in 1944 animator Tex Avery patterned the detective in the MGM classic cartoon “Who Killed Who” after Fred’s character.

Fred Kelsey often came back to Sandusky for the annual reunion of the “Quien Sabe” Club, a local men’s organization. The photograph below was taken at the Club’s fiftieth reunion in August, 1953 at the Log Cabin Inn in Bay View.Fred Kelsey died on September 2, 1961. He is buried in Valhalla Memorial Park in North Hollywood, California.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fred Kelsey is a direct descendant of William Kelsey, the founder of Hartford, Connecticut. Also, Fred Kelsey is the cousin of Kelsey Grammer!