German-born Henry Brandon was a character actor in American films, most often seen in villainous roles. His parents emigrated to the US shortly after his birth. His early interest in acting led him to study at the acclaimed Pasadena Community Playhouse. He landed the lead villain role in the Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy film March of the Wooden Soldiers (1934), and rapidly became a familiar and reliable heavy in pictures both large and small. In 1936 he adopted the stage name Henry Brandon after several years of being billed as either Henry or Harry Kleinbach. He captivated thriller audiences as the sinister Dr. Fu Manchu in Drums of Fu Manchu (1943), yet balanced things by playing a sizable number of sympathetic roles as well, such as the skilled foreman Joe Dombrowski in Black Legion (1937). He continued to work on stage throughout his film career, playing the villain for many years in the record-length run of the melodrama “The Drunkard”. His sharp features led him rather incongruously to be cast as Indian chiefs in two John Ford features, The Searchers (1956) and Two Rode Together (1961). He kept busy in films and occasional television roles, as well as reprising his role in “The Drunkard” onstage in the 1980s, until the end of his life. Brandon was a confirmed bachelor.
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