|The 'brains' and 'action' heavies who had meaty roles and lots of dialog ... and the players who were fathers, ranch owners, lawman, mayors, judges, lawyers, storekeepers, newspaper editors, wardens, etc.|
Harry Worth circa 1935
Worth circa 1939, and without his 'stache
(Courtesy of John Nelson)
Harry Worth circa 1962
One of my favorite "slick" villains is Harry Worth. His western and serial film career seemed to run from the mid 1930s until roughly 1943-44.
Les Adams has Worth identified in 53 films, and that includes 14 westerns and 3 serials. Les also notes that nearly everything he did from about 1942-1944 (with a couple of exceptions) was at M-G-M in mostly uncredited roles. His work at Republic Pictures was relatively short and sweet --- from 1936-1943, he did 4 westerns and 2 serials.
Not a whole bunch of filmwork. Yet many of his appearances are memorable.
One of the best of his early roles was in the lengthy Tim McCoy oater, LIGHTNIN' BILL CARSON (Puritan, 1936). In this one, a posse mistakenly hangs Rex Lease, and milquetoast Worth reeks revenge on the posse members but meets up with McCoy at the end. In THE ADVENTURES OF RED RYDER (Republic, 1940) chapterplay, the superb trio of villains consists of Worth, Noah Beery, Sr. and Bob Kortman. In the early Hopalong Cassidy adventure, BAR 20 RIDES AGAIN (Paramount, 1935), Worth portrays outlaw leader George 'Nevada' Perdue who wears a smoking jacket, sniffs snuff and idolizes Napoleon Bonaparte. In the Tim Holt CYCLONE ON HORSEBACK (RKO, 1941) Worth and cronies try to halt the stringing of telephone wire by Dennis Moore and Marjorie Reynolds.
And who can forget Harry Worth turning up as the 'Scorpion' in the chapterplay, THE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN MARVEL (Republic, 1941).
Worth's last B western and/or serial work was in the swan song of the Three Mesquiteers series, RIDERS OF THE RIO GRANDE (Republic, 1943).
In 2002, John Nelson e-mailed and asked "Whatever Happened To Harry Worth?" Ye Old Corral webmaster recalled something about Harry Worth passing away around 1950. John wrote back:
"I have a copy of the 1962 Academy Players Directory sitting in front of me, and Harry Worth is listed with two different photographs, one of which looks almost identical to the photo he used in the 1937 Players Directory, which I also have, except that he simply looks older. I have several other editions of the Players Directory, but that's the most recent one I have that he's in. He was with the Walter Meyers Agency in that particular 1962 volume. And I've seen him in TV shows as late as 1963 (HAZEL, DENNIS THE MENACE, etc.)."
(Note: Worth is listed in the Players Directory issue 93 for 1962.)
In March-April, 2005, John Seyb and I exchanged some e-mails about Harry Worth in Albuquerque, New Mexico. John writes:
"Chuck, I found your website today, and was intrigued about the rumor that Harry Worth died in 1950. I knew Harry Worth. He was my landlord in Albuquerque, NM in 1970-72, and he was very much alive then. He showed me a scrapbook of his movie roles, which included a small part in WARLOCK released in 1959. Your information on his participation with Hopalong Cassidy and as the Scorpion are correct. He was an elderly man in 1970 and was living with his older sister, Beatrice Gregg, who was a former actress." The name Beatrice Gregg didn't strike a bell and I asked John if he had any further info on Worth's sister including her screen or stage name: "No, I do not know of another name. I do know that she played Roxanne on Broadway in "Cyrano de Bergerac". I have not been able to find any other information on her."
The question "Whatever Happened To Harry Worth? has also been confirmed by Boyd Magers, Bob Nareau and Bobby Copeland in their Best Of The Badmen book - they report that Harry J. Worth was born in England on February 6, 1903 and passed away in Albuquerque, New Mexico on November 3, 1975.
The Social Security Death Index (SSDI) has a record for: Harry Worth, born 6 February 1903, passed away in November, 1975, and his last residence was Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The Social Security Death Index (SSDI) has a record for Beatrice Greig, and that is probably Harry Worth's sister. Note the spelling of her last name as Greig (not Gregg). She was born 19 July 1890, passed away March, 1977, and her last residence was Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) has information on Harry Worth: http://us.imdb.com/name/nm0941678/
The Internet Broadway Database lists several plays which include Harry Worth among the cast members: http://www.ibdb.com/person.asp?id=65662
Assuming this is our B western and serial Harry Worth, note that his stage appearances are from 1929-34 and then again from 1944-1950. That would explain why his western/serial film work ends around 1943 - basically, he exited Hollywood and returned to the New York theater.
(Image courtesy of Les Adams)
Above from L-to-R are William Boyd, Harry Worth and Nora Lane in HOPALONG RIDES AGAIN (1937). Worth was the brains heavy doing a rather quirky role, operating as a phony Professor of Paleontology.
(Courtesy of Les Adams)
Above from L-to-R are Glenn Strange (as Cole Younger), Forrest Dillon (as Bob Younger), Don Barry (as Jesse James), Carl Sepulveda (as Jim Younger), and Harry Worth (as Frank James) in DAYS OF JESSE JAMES (Republic, 1939), which starred Roy Rogers. In this film, Harry Worth was billed as "Michael Worth".
(Courtesy of Les Adams)
Above from left to right are Don Barry, Harry Worth and Milton Kibbee in a scene from Barry's KANSAS CYCLONE (Republic, 1941). In the background between Barry and Worth are Augie Gomez and Matty Roubert. And if you look closely between Worth and Kibbee, you might make out Eddie Dean, about five years before he became PRC's resident singin' cowboy. Milt Kibbee's brother was Hollywood character actor Guy Kibbee.