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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.

(Courtesy of Sam Lawson)
With salutation and autograph dated 1951.
Harry Worth

1903 - 1975

Harry Worth circa 1937

Worth circa 1939,
and without his 'stache

(Courtesy of John Nelson)
Harry Worth circa 1962

One of my favorite "slick" villains is Harry Worth. Born in New York City in 1903, Worth began his acting career in stage plays and in the 1930s, he was in Hollywood.

His appearances in westerns and serials ran from the mid 1930s until 1944 and many of his roles are memorable - a few examples:

  • One of the best was the 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 Tim Holt's CYCLONE ON HORSEBACK (RKO, 1941), Worth and cronies try to halt the stringing of telephone wire by Dennis Moore and Marjorie Reynolds.
  • And we can't forget Worth turning up as the 'Scorpion' in one of Republic's finest serials, THE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN MARVEL (Republic, 1941). To keep the audience guessing, Gerald Mohr is the voice of the Scorpian when hooded and cloaked.
Worth's last B western and/or serial role was in the finale of the Three Mesquiteers series, RIDERS OF THE RIO GRANDE (Republic, 1943).

His work at Republic Pictures was relatively short and sweet - from 1936-1943, he did 4 westerns and 2 cliffhangers. And Les Adams reminded me that nearly everything Worth did from about 1942 - 1944 (with a couple of exceptions) was at M-G-M in mostly uncredited roles.

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.)."

In 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? was answered 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 died November 3, 1975 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

However, recent findings include his World War II draft registration which has his occupation as "Free lance picture actor" and born February 6, 1903 in New York City.

The Social Security Death Index (SSDI) has a record for Harry Worth, born February 6, 1903, passed away November, 1975, and his last residence was Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The Social Security Death Index (SSDI) has a record for his sister Beatrice Greig. Note the spelling of her last name as Greig (not Gregg). She was born July 19, 1890, passed away March, 1977, and her last residence was also Albuquerque, New Mexico.

  Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Harry Worth:

The Internet Broadway Database lists several plays with Harry Worth in the cast:
His stage appearances are from 1929-1934 and then again from 1944-1950. That would explain why his film work ends around 1944 - basically, he exited Hollywood and returned to New York theater.

Death notice for 73 year old Harry Worth in the November 4, 1975 Albuquerque Journal newspaper. He was cremated and survivors included sister Beatrice Greig:

Daniel Neyer's "The Files of Jerry Blake" website has a webpage on the CAPTAIN MARVEL serial:

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

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)

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)

L-to-R 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.

(Courtesy of Randy Laing)

L-to-R are Carleton Young, John Bagni, Kenne Duncan, and Harry Worth as the "Scorpion" in THE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN MARVEL (Republic, 1941) cliffhanger. Randy Laing had Young autograph this photo for him.

(Courtesy of Sam Lawson)

Above is a circa 1949 resume from Worth for the annual Theatre World publication which covered stage plays and actors. He identifies his birthplace as New York City. Note the mention of "Detective Story (Current)" in his list of Broadway plays. According to the Internet Broadway Database, "Detective Story" ran for 581 performances from March 23, 1949 - August 12, 1950 at New York's Hudson and Broadhurst theaters. The star was Ralph Bellamy and Worth played "Dr. Schneider".

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