• 19 March 1873
  •  Georgetown, Colorado, USA

Arthur Hoyt


Extremely prolific actor/director of the silent screen, on Broadway from 1905. Hoyt joined the acting fraternity through the recommendations of an uncle, who worked as dramatic editor for a Cleveland tabloid. Signed by theatrical producer George C. Tyler (1868-1946), he began on stage (earning $10 per week), playing up to ten different parts. He made his Hollywood debut in 1916 with Universal. Short, balding and usually bespectacled, he managed to forge a 30-year career by playing a succession of 'little men', be they mild-mannered professors, henpecked husbands or easily intimidated minor officials. Looking perpetually befuddled was Hoyt's stock-in-trade. He was particularly effective as Professor Summerlee in The Lost World (1925) (directed by his younger brother Harry O. Hoyt), as the confused motel owner of It Happened One Night (1934) and as Mayor Tillinghast in The Great McGinty (1940). The better part of Hoyt's screen career, however, consisted of uncredited bits. For his last seven years in the business (1940-47), he was regularly employed as a member of Preston Sturges personal entourage of stock players at Paramount.