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Everett Sloane

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Everett Sloane
As Mr. Bernstein in the trailer for Citizen Kane (1941)
Born(1909-10-01)October 1, 1909
New York City, U.S.
DiedAugust 6, 1965(1965-08-06) (aged 55)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Resting placeAngelus-Rosedale Cemetery
Years active1927–1965
Lillian Herman
(m. 1933)

Everett H. Sloane (October 1, 1909 – August 6, 1965) was an American character actor who worked in radio, theatre, films, and television.

The cast of Gertrude Berg's radio series House of Glass (1935); Sloane is located second from right in the back row.
With Nancy Olson in the musical television adaptation of High Tor on Ford Star Jubilee (1956)

Early life[edit]

Sloane was born in Manhattan on October 1, 1909, to Nathaniel I. Sloane and Rose (Gerstein) Sloane.[1][2] Aged seven, he played Puck in a production of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream at Manhattan's Public School 46, and decided to become an actor.[3] He completed two years[4] at the University of Pennsylvania, and left in 1927 to join Jasper Deeter's Hedgerow Theatre repertory company. He made his New York stage debut in 1928. Sloane took a Wall Street job as a stockbroker's runner, but when his salary was cut in half after the stock market crash of 1929, he began to supplement his income with radio work. He became the sleuth's assistant on WOR's Impossible Detective Mysteries,[3] played the title character's sidekick, Denny, in Bulldog Drummond[5] and went on to perform in thousands of radio programs.[6]

Sloane married Lillian (Luba) Herman, a stage and radio actress, on January 4, 1933, in Manhattan.[3][7][8]


Sloane made his Broadway debut in 1935, playing Rosetti the agent in George Abbott's hit comedy, Boy Meets Girl.[3][9][10]

Sloane was a member of the repertory company that presented the radio news dramatization series The March of Time.[11]: 13  "It was like a stock company, whose members were the aristocrats of this relatively new profession of radio acting," wrote fellow actor Joseph Julian. At that time Julian had to content himself with being an indistinguishable voice in crowd scenes, envying this "hallowed circle" that included Sloane, Kenny Delmar, Arlene Francis, Gary Merrill, Agnes Moorehead, Jeanette Nolan, Paul Stewart, Orson Welles, Richard Widmark,[12]: 9  Art Carney, Ray Collins, Pedro de Cordoba, Ted de Corsia, Juano Hernandez, Nancy Kelly, John McIntire, Jack Smart, and Dwight Weist. The March of Time was one of radio's most popular shows.[11]: 12–13 

Sloane's radio work led him to be hired by Orson Welles to become part of his Mercury Theatre. Sloane recorded one program with The Mercury Theatre on the Air and became a regular player when the show was picked up by a sponsor and became The Campbell Playhouse. Sloane moved with the rest of the company to Los Angeles to continue recording the show after Welles signed his contract with RKO Pictures. In 1941, Sloane played Mr. Bernstein in Welles' first movie, Citizen Kane. After filming had wrapped, Sloane returned to New York to perform (together with fellow Kane stars Ray Collins and Paul Stewart) in Mercury Theatre's last play, Richard Wright's Native Son, which had 114 performances from March to June 1941.[13] Although he did not appear in Welles's second film, The Magnificent Ambersons, in 1943, he joined fellow Mercury Theatre alumni Welles, Joseph Cotten, Agnes Moorehead, and Ruth Warrick in Journey into Fear. In 1947, Sloane also starred as villainous lawyer Arthur Bannister in The Lady from Shanghai, produced and directed by Welles, who also starred. He played an assassin in Renaissance-era Italy opposite Welles' Cesare Borgia in Prince of Foxes (1949).

Sloane portrayed a doctor for paraplegic World War II veterans in 1950's The Men with Marlon Brando (in his film debut).

Sloane's Broadway theater career ended in 1960 with From A to Z, a revue for which he wrote several songs. In between, he acted in plays such as Native Son (1941), A Bell for Adano (1944), and Room Service (1953), and directed the melodrama The Dancer (1946).

In the 1940s, Sloane was a frequent guest star on the radio theater series Inner Sanctum Mystery and The Shadow (as comic relief Shrevie, the cab driver, among other roles), and was in The Mysterious Traveler episode "Survival of the Fittest" with Kermit Murdock. Sloane co-starred with Tony Curtis and Piper Laurie in Universal's 1951 The Prince Who Was a Thief as a thief who adopts a baby and raises the child as his own. In 1953, he starred as Captain Frank Kennelly in the CBS radio crime drama 21st Precinct. In 1957, he co-starred in the ninth episode of Suspicion co-starring Audie Murphy and Jack Warden. In 1958, he played Walter Brennan's role in a remake of To Have and Have Not called The Gun Runners.

Sloane also worked extensively on television. In 1950, for example, he portrayed Vincent van Gogh in The Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse's production "The Life of Vincent Van Gogh".[14] Later, in November 1955, he starred in the Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode "Our Cook's a Treasure". He appeared on the NBC anthology series The Joseph Cotten Show, also known as On Trial, in the 1956 episode "Law Is for the Lovers", with co-star Inger Stevens.

Sloane performed renditions of passages from The Great Gatsby on the NBC program devoted to F. Scott Fitzgerald in August 1955, part of the "Biography in Sound" series on great American authors.

Sloane appeared in Walt Disney's Zorro series in 1957–1958 as Andres Felipe Basilio, in the "Man from Spain" episodes. He also appeared in a few episodes of Bonanza and an episode in Rawhide.

Sloane on the set of Citizen Kane (1941)

On March 7, 1959, he guest-starred in an episode of NBC's Cimarron City titled "The Ratman", appearing alongside the show's star, John Smith.[15] Later that same year, Sloane appeared as a guest in "Stage Stop", the premiere episode of John Smith's second NBC Western series, Laramie.[16] He played the vengeful, grieving father Tate Bradley on "Wanted: Dead or Alive" S2 E10 "Reckless" which aired 11/6/1959.

In 1961, Sloane appeared in an episode of The Asphalt Jungle. In the early 1960s, he voiced the title character of The Dick Tracy Show in 130 cartoons. Beginning in 1964, he provided character voices for the animated TV series Jonny Quest. He also starred in the ABC sci-fi television series Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, in the episode "Hot Line". He wrote the unused lyrics to "The Fishin' Hole", the theme song for The Andy Griffith Show. Sloane guest-starred on the show in 1962, playing Jubal Foster in the episode "The Keeper of the Flame". He starred in both the film and television versions of Rod Serling's Patterns, and in the first season of The Twilight Zone in the episode "The Fever" . He guest starred as a San Francisco attorney in the 1962 Perry Mason episode "The Case of the Poison Pen Pal".

In 1963, he guest-starred on The Dick Van Dyke Show in the episode "I'm No Henry Walden" as writer Henry Walden. That same year he starred in the episode "Quint's Trail" on the TV Western Series Gunsmoke (S9E7) as Cyrus Neff, a concerned father taking his family to Oregon for a new life after his daughter killed a man for forcibly taking her.


Sloane committed suicide at age 55 on August 6, 1965; he took an overdose of barbiturates because he feared he was going blind[17] as a result of glaucoma.[18] Sloane's cremated remains are interred at Angelus-Rosedale Cemetery in Los Angeles.[19][20]

Joseph Cotten, Orson Welles, Everett Sloane, and Erskine Sanford in Citizen Kane

Film & Television[edit]

Radio appearances[edit]

Year Program Episode/source
1948 The Molle Mystery Theater Solo Performance[23]


  1. ^ Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, US: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2002. Retrieved December 30, 2014.
  2. ^ Ancestry.com, California, Death Index, 1940–1996 [database online], Provo, Utah. US: Ancestry.com Operations Inc., 2000. Retrieved December 30, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d "Everett Sloane Dies on Coast; Veteran Character Actor, 55". The New York Times. August 7, 1965.
  4. ^ Ancestry.com, 1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, US: Ancestry.com Operations Inc., 2012. Retrieved December 30, 2014.
  5. ^ Dunning, John (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio (Revised ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. p. 123. ISBN 978-0-19-507678-3. Retrieved November 4, 2019.
  6. ^ Katz, Ephraim; Klein, Fred; Nolan, Ronald Dean (1998). The Film Encyclopedia. New York City: HarperPerennial. p. 1271. ISBN 978-0-06-273492-1.
  7. ^ Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Marriage Index 1866–1937 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, US: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014. Retrieved December 30, 2014
  8. ^ "Studio One Radio Program Biographies – Everett Sloane". The Digital Deli Too. Retrieved December 31, 2014.
  9. ^ "Boy Meets Girl". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved December 31, 2014.
  10. ^ "Who's Who in the Cast". Playbill for Native Son, April 13, 1941. Archived from the original on October 31, 2014. Retrieved December 30, 2014.
  11. ^ a b Fielding, Raymond (1978). The March of Time, 1935–1951. New York City: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-502212-2.
  12. ^ Julian, Joseph (1975). This Was Radio: A Personal Memoir. New York City: Viking Press. ISBN 978-0-670-70299-2.
  13. ^ "Native Son". Internet Broadway Database. n.d. Retrieved September 21, 2016.
  14. ^ "Television Shows". The Kansas City Star. March 26, 1950. p. 15E. Retrieved November 2, 2022.
  15. ^ "TV-Radio Notes". The Town Talk. March 6, 1959. p. 22. Retrieved November 2, 2022.
  16. ^ "Television". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. September 15, 1959. p. 35. Retrieved November 2, 2022.
  17. ^ "Blindness fear cited in suicide". The Pittsburgh Press. August 7, 1965. p. 6. Retrieved July 27, 2018 – via Google News.
  18. ^ Sculthorpe, Derek (2018). Edmond O'Brien, Everyman of Film Noir. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company. p. 174. ISBN 978-1-4766-7443-8.
  19. ^ "Everett Sloane". San Francisco Examiner. August 9, 1965. p. 55. Retrieved November 7, 2022.
  20. ^ "Notable Interments & Their Families". Angelus Rosedale Cemetery. Retrieved November 7, 2022.
  21. ^ Steinhauser, Si (March 5, 1950). "Look & Listen: Pittsburgh's TV Viewers Miss Variety of Better Programs; Today's Features". The Pittsburgh Press. p. 66. Retrieved November 2, 2022.
  22. ^ "Tele Followup Comment". Variety. March 8, 1950. p. 34. Retrieved November 2, 1922.
  23. ^ "Those Were the Days". Nostalgia Digest. 39 (1): 32–41. Winter 2013.

External links[edit]