[Edward Van Sloan portrait]

Edward Van Sloan

November 1, 1881 - March 6, 1964
Born in San Francisco, California, USA

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A Lot of Favorite Memories of Edward Van Sloan

Dracula (1931), Universal's breakthrough supernatural thriller, co-produced and directed by Tod Browning.
Scripted by Garrett Fort, based on Bram Stoker's classic novel and a play by John L. Balderston and Hamilton Deane.
Edward Van Sloan plays "Professor Abraham Van Helsing," the vampire hunter, strong-willed adversary of the undead Count Dracula.I In the original release Van Sloan also delivered a famous concluding "there are such things" speech which exists as fragments but has not been restored to the film.
Starring Bela Lugosi, Helen Chandler and David Manners, Dwight Frye, Herbert Bunston, and Frances Dade, with bloody great support from Joan Standing, Charles K. Gerrard, Michael Visaroff, Anna Bakacs, Nicholas Bela, Daisy Belmore, Moon Carroll, Anita Harder, Donald Murphy, Josephine Velez, Geraldine Dvorak and Cornelia Thaw and Dorothy Tree (as Dracula's wives), director Tod Browning (offscreen harbormaster's voice), and Carla Laemmle (as the young girl passenger who speaks the first lines). Produced by Carl Laemmle Jr., Tod Browning, and E.M. Asher. Opening title music from "Swan Lake" by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky; ambient concert hall music from Franz Schubert ("Symphony Number 8") and Richard Wagner. Cinematography by Karl Freund. Art direction by Charles D. Hall. Makeup by Jack P. Pierce.

Frankenstein (1931), Universal's archetypal science fiction monster movie, directed by James Whale.
Screenplay by Garrett Fort, Francis Faragoh and (uncredited) Robert Flory, based on John L. Balderston's adaptation of Peggy Webling's play, from Mary Shelley's classic novel.
Edward Van Sloan plays "Doctor Waldman," alarmed former professor of the young medical scientist whose experiments seem to be heading for disaster. As himself, out of character, Van Sloan also delivers a sly prologue speech warning the audience of the films' strong content.
Starring Colin Clive, Boris Karloff (credited as "?" in the opening titles), Mae Clarke, John Boles and Dwight Frye, with monstrously fine support from Frederick Kerr, Lionel Belmore, Marilyn Harris (poor little drowned Maria), Ted Billings, Arletta Duncan, Francis Ford, Mary Gordon, Soledad Jiménez, Michael Mark (as Maria's father), Pauline Moore, Inez Palange, Paul Panzer, Cecilia Parker, Rose Plummer, Cecil Reynolds and Ellinor Vanderveer. Produced by Carl Laemmle Jr. and E.M. Asher. Original music by Bernhard Kaun. Cinematography by Arthur Edeson and Paul Ivano. Art direction by Charles D. Hall. Makeup created by the great Jack P. Pierce. Special Effects by John P. Fulton and electrical wizard Ken Strickfaden.

Behind the Mask, aka The Man Who Dared (1932), a gangster-horror melodrama directed by John Francis Dillon.
Van Slaon plays the evil "Doctor August Steiner," aka "Doctor Alec Munsell," alias "Mr. X," the mysterious head of a drug ring being investigated by a secret service agent (Holt).
Starring Jack Holt and Constance Cummings, with Boris Karloff (as a member of Mr. X's gang), Claude King, Bertha Mann, Willard Robertson, Thomas E. Jackson, Jessie Arnold, Sherry Hall, Martha Mattox, Louis Natheaux and Harry Tenbrook.

The Death Kiss (1932), a murder mystery set in a movie studio, directed by Edwin L. Marin.
Van Sloan plays "Tom Avery," director of the movie that starred the murder victim.
Starring Bela Lugosi, David Manners, Adrienne Ames , and John Wray, with Vince Barnett, Alexander Carr, Harold Minjir, Barbara Bedford, Al Hill, Harold Waldridge, Wade Boteler, Lee Moran, King Baggot, Mona Maris, Clarence Muse, Paul Porcasi and Forrest Taylor.

The Mummy (1932), Universal's groundbreaking supernatural horror-romance, directed by Karl Freund.
Screenplay John L. Balderston, based on a story by Nina Wilcox Putnam and Richard Schayer.
Van Sloan plays "Doctor Muller," horrified leader of an Egyptian expedition that uncovers the mummified body of an ancient undead wizard.
Starring Boris Karloff, Zita Johann, David Manners and Arthur Byron, with Bramwell Fletcher, Noble Johnson, Kathryn Byron, Leonard Mudie, James Crane, Leyland Hodgson, Eddie Kane, Tony Marlow, C. Montague Shaw, Pat Somerset and Arthur Tovey.
Produced by Carl Laemmle Jr. and Stanley Bergerman. Opening title music from "Swan Lake" by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky; original music by James Dietrich; stock music by Michel Brusselmans and Heinz Roemheld. Cinematography by Charles Stumar. Art direction by Willy Pogany. Makeup by Jack P. Pierce. Special effects by John P. Fulton.

Infernal Machine (1933), a thriller about ship passengers threatened by a fiend who has set his title device to blow up at midnight.
Directed by Marcel Varnel, from a screenplay by Arthur Kober based on Karl Sloboda's novel.
Van Sloan plays "Professor Hoffman," one of the passengers.
With Genevieve Tobin, James Bell, Chester Morris, Mischa Auer, Victor Jory, J. Carrol Naish, Elise Cavanna, Arthur Hohl, Elizabeth Patterson, Stanley Blystone, Leonard Carey, Robert Littlefield, Harry Shutan and Josephine Whittell.

Trick for Trick (1933), a mystery about a magician accused of murdering his lovely assistant, directed by Hamilton MacFadden.
Van Sloan plays "John Russell," one of the guests invited to a gloomy mansion by the Azrah, the accused magician, to watch him revive the dead girl. Starring Ralph Morgan (Azrah) and Victor Jory (La Tour, a rival magician), with Sally Blane, Luis Alberni, Tom Dugan, John George, Willard Robertson, Adrian Morris, Herbert Bunston, James P. Burtis, Dorothy Appleby, Phillip Trent, Boothe Howard, James B. Leong, Allan Cavan, Hal Price and Harry Cording.

Deluge (1933), a spectacular fantasy centered on the aftermath of a tidal wave that destroys New York City.
Directed by Felix E. Feist, based on E. Fowler Wright's novel.
Van Sloan plays "Professor Carlysle" with Sidney Blackmer, Lois Wilson, Peggy Shannon, Fred Kohler, Matt Moore, Lane Chandler, Ralf Harolde, Samuel S. Hinds, Philo McCullough, Harry Semels, Billy N. Williams, Ronnie Cosby, John Elliott and Edward LeSaint. Cinematography by Norbert Brodine.
Spectacular visual effects of the flood disaster by Russell Lawson (matte artist), Ned Mann (miniatures) and William Williams (special effects cinematographer). Used to great effect in other films, including the climax of Republic's rousing cliffhanger King of the Rocket Men.

Death Takes a Holiday (1934), in which the Reaper poses as "Prince Sirki" to mingle with the mortal guests at a Duke's estate.
A romantic fantasy directed by Mitchell Leisen, based on a stage play by Alberto Casella.
Edward Van Sloan plays "Doctor Valle," one of the unsuspecting guests at the gathering.
Starring Fredric March and Evelyn Venable, with Sir Guy Standing, Katharine Alexander, Gail Patrick, Helen Westley, Kathleen Howard, Kent Taylor, Henry Travers, G.P. Huntley, Otto Hoffman, Hector Sarno, Frank Yaconelli and Anna De Linsky.

The Man Who Reclaimed His Head (1934), about a writer who takes drastic revenge on the publisher who betrayed him and stole his wife.
Directed by Edward Ludwig, based on a play by Jean Bart and a script by Bart and Samuel Ornitz.
Van Sloan plays the small part of a board director.
Starring Claude Rains, Joan Bennett and Lionel Atwill, with Juanita Quigley, Henry O'Neill, Henry Armetta, Wallace Ford, Lawrence Grant, William B. Davidson, Norman Ainsley, Bessie Barriscale, Lionel Belmore, Ted Billings, Harry Cording, Grace Cunard, Gilbert Emery, Ferdinand Gottschalk, Valerie Hobson, G.P. Huntley, Doris Lloyd, Tom Ricketts, Rolfe Sedan, C. Montague Shaw and Josef Swickard.
Universal remade the story in 1945 as one of the "Inner Sanctum" series, Strange Confession, starring Lon Chaney Jr., Brenda Joyce and J. Carrol Naish.

A Shot in the Dark (1935), a mystery about a hooded killer stalking victims with a futuristic air gun in an old mansion.
Directed by Charles Lamont, from screenplay by Charles Belden based on Clifford Orr's novel.
Edward Van Sloan plays "Professor Bostwick," a college teacher who is one of the suspects.
Starring Charles Starrett, Marion Shilling and Robert Warwick, with Doris Lloyd, Helen Jerome Eddy, James Bush, Ralph Brooks, Eddie Tamblyn, Robert McKenzie, Jane Keckley, Herbert Bunston, John Davidson , Broderick O'Farrell and Eric Mayne.

Air Hawks (1935), a sci-fi adventure about an aviation mogul using a death ray to crash rival planes.
Directed by Albert S. Rogell.
Van Sloan plays a brief role as "Professor Schulter," a scientist murdered for the electrical ray he invented.
Starring Ralph Bellamy, Tala Birell and Douglass Dumbrille, Robert Allen, Billie Seward, Victor Kilian, Robert Middlemass, Geneva Mitchell, Egon Brecher, Charles King, Joe Sawyer, Harry Strang, Guy Usher, and famous pioneer aviator Wiley Post as himself.

The Black Room (1935), a period melodrama about good and evil twin brothers destined to kill each other.
Directed by Roy William Neill. Van Sloan plays the doctor who delivered the twins.
Starring Boris Karloff in three of his finest performances (one as each twin, and the third as one brother impersonating the other), with Marian Marsh, Robert Allen, Thurston Hall, Torben Meyer, Katherine DeMille, Henry Kolker, Egon Brecher, Robert Middlemass, John Bleifer, John George, Bert Howard, Ivan Linow, George MacQuarrie, Michael Mark, Eric Mayne and Frederick Vogeding.

Dracula's Daughter (1936), Universal's sophisticated and imaginative sequel to Dracula — but sadly made without Bela Lugosi!
Directed by Lambert Hillyer, from a screenplay by Garrett Fort, suggested by David O. Selznick and based on Bram Stoker's novel.
Edward Van Sloan reprises his signature performance as "Professor Von Helsing," here accused of the gruesome murder of Count Dracula at the beginning of the film, which picks up the story where the original Dracula ended.
Starring Gloria Holden, Otto Kruger, and Marguerite Churchill, with Irving Pichel, Gilbert Emery, Halliwell Hobbes, Billy Bevan, Nan Grey , Hedda Hopper, Claud Allister, Edgar Norton, E.E. Clive, Agnes Anderson, John Blood, David Dunbar, Douglas Gordon, Owen Gorin, Gordon Hart, Elsa Janssen, Guy Kingsford, George Kirby, Edna Lyall, Eily Malyon, Paul Mitchell, Clive Morgan, Vesey O'Davoren, John Power, Hedwiga Reicher, Christian Rub, William Schramm, George Sorel, Pietro Sosso, Bert Sprotte, Vernon Steele, Joseph R. Tozer, Silvia Vaughan, Wilhelm von Brincken, Fred Walton, Paul Weigel, Eric Wilton and Douglas Wood.
Score by Heinz Roemheld. Cinematography by George Robinson. Art direction by Albert S. D'Agostino. Makeup by Jack P. Pierce and Otto Lederer. Special effects by John P. Fulton.

The Phantom Creeps (1939), Universal's serial adventures of a mad scientist using a giant robot and other inventions to take over the world.
Directed by Ford Beebe and Saul A. Goodkind.
Edward Van Sloan plays "Chief Jarvis," the head G-man who sends his operatives on the trail of the crazed inventor.
Starring Bela Lugosi (as Dr. Alex Zorka), Robert Kent, Dorothy Arnold, Edwin Stanley, Regis Toomey, Jack C. Smith, Dora Clement, Anthony Averill, Hugh Huntley, Monte Vandergrift, Frank Mayo, Jim Farley, Eddie Acuff, Reed Howes, Hooper Atchley, Roy Barcroft, Robert Blair, Al Bridge, Don Brodie, Lane Chandler, Edmund Cobb, Lee J. Cobb, Eddie Dunn, Jerry Frank, Karl Hackett, Charles King, George Magrill, Monte Montague, Pat O'Malley, David Sharpe, Tom Steele, Forrest Taylor, Harry Wilson and Edward Wolff (as The Robot). Dr. Zorka's robot was faithfully recreated for the video of rock star Rob Zombie's song "Dragula."

Before I Hang (1940), a science-fiction horror crime B-movie directed by Nick Grinde.
Van Sloan plays "Dr. Ralph Howard," a prison physician who injects a death row inmate (Karloff) with an experimental serum to stop aging, but is killed when his test subject goes mad.
Starring Boris Karloff, Evelyn Keyes and Bruce Bennett, with Ben Taggart, Pedro de Cordoba, Wright Kramer, Bertram Marburgh, Don Beddoe, Robert Fiske, Kenneth MacDonald, Frank Richards, Ernie Adams, Stanley Brown, Frederick Burton, Jack Cheatham, Edward Earle, Richard Fiske, Eddie Laughton, James T. Mack, George McKay, Edmund Mortimer, Charles Trowbridge, John Tyrrell, Gohr Van Vleck and Barton Yarborough.

The Monster and the Girl (1941), about a framed man executed for murder, getting revenge after his brain is transplanted into a gorilla!
The greatest "gorilla suit" movie ever made, directed by Stuart Heisler, from a screenplay by Stuart Anthony.
Van Sloan plays the warden at the prison where the condemned young man is executed.
Starring Charles Gemora (uncredited but brilliant as the Gorilla), with an incredible cast including Phillip Terry, Ellen Drew, Robert Paige, Paul Lukas, Joseph Calleia, Onslow Stevens, George Zucco, Rod Cameron, Marc Lawrence, Gerald Mohr, Tom Dugan, Willard Robertson, Minor Watson, George Meader, Cliff Edwards, Abner Biberman, John Bleifer, Sammy Blum, Harry C. Bradley, John Dilson, Florence Dudley, Emma Dunn, Fern Emmett, Matty Fain, Ruth Gillette, Jayne Hazard, Al Hill, Maynard Holmes, Bud Jamison, Ethelreda Leopold, Paul McVey, Bert Moorhouse, Corbet Morris, Anne O'Neal, Emory Parnell, Al Seymour, Oscar Smith, Frank M. Thomas, Emmett Vogan, Eleanor Wesselhoeft and Dave Willock.

Valley of Hunted Men (1942), a B-western pitting a famous "trigger trio" against escaped Nazis.
A late feature in Republic's "Three Mesquiteers" series, directed by John English.
Edward Van Sloan plays "Dr. Steiner," whose nephew is killed by a Nazi who masquerades as the young man.
J Starring Bob Steele, Tom Tyler and Jimmie Dodd as the Mesquiteers, with Roland Varno, Anna Marie Stewart, Edythe Elliott, Arno Frey, Richard K. French, Bob Stevenson, George N. Neise, Louis Adlon, Billy Benedict, Rand Brooks, Budd Buster, Bob Card, Kenne Duncan, Charles Flynn, Jack Kirk, Kermit Maynard, Jack O'Shea, Hal Price and Hank Worden.

Riders of the Rio Grande (1943), 51st and last of the long-running "Three Mesquiteers" western series.
Directed by Howard Bretherton and (uncredited) Albert DeMond.
Van Sloan plays town banker "Pop Owens," who arranges to have himself killed to cover the indiscretions of his no-good son, but mistakes our heroes for the gunmen hired to do the job; they set about setting things right as only B-western heroes can.
Starring Bob Steele, Tom Tyler and Jimmie Dodd as the heroic saddle pards, with Lorraine Miller, Rick Vallin, Harry Worth, Roy Barcroft, Charles King, Jack Ingram, Bud Osborne, Budd Buster, Henry Hall, John James, Yakima Canutt, Chester Conklin, Curley Dresden, Bob Kortman, Jack O'Shea and Charles Sullivan.

The Masked Marvel (1943), Republic thrilling wartime serial about a mysterious hero (revealed in the last chapter) fighting Japanese saboteurs.
Directed by action-ace Spencer Gordon Bennet.
Van Sloan has a small part as "Profesor A.M. MacRae."
Starring uncredited Tom Steele as the masked thugbuster, while four other actors (Richard Clarke, David Bacon, Bill Healy and Rod Bacon) dressed exactly alike, are hero suspects throughout the cliffhanger, and one of them is revealed as the Marvel at the end. With Republic's usual hard-hitting supporting cast, including Louise Currie, William Forrest, Johnny Arthur (evil Sakima), Anthony Warde, Howard C. Hickman, Kenneth Harlan, Thomas Louden, Eddie Parker, Duke Green, Dale Van Sickel, Wendell Niles, Lester Dorr, Ernie Adams, Sam Ash, Roy Barcroft, Brooks Benedict, Sam Bernard, Lynton Brent, Bill Cody, Sam Flint, Bud Geary, Fred Graham, Nolan Leary, George J. Lewis, Tom London, Forbes Murray, Jack O'Shea, George Pembroke, Stanley Price, Herbert Rawlinson, Lee Roberts, Ken Terrell, Crane Whitley, Robert J. Wilke, Harry Woods and Joe Yrigoyen. Terrific special effects (as always) by Howard and Theodore Lydecker.

Captain America (1944), Republic's WWII superhero slugfest, pitting Cap against a supervillain played by Lionel Atwill!
Directed by Elmer Clifton and John English, (roughly) based on the comic book character created by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon.
Edward Van Sloan plays the small part of "Gregory, Lyman's Aide."
Starring Dick Purcell (hero), Lorna Gray (later Adrian Booth, heroine), and Lionel Atwill (Dr. Cyrus Maldor, aka "The Scarab"). A knockout cast of supporting players including Charles Trowbridge, Russell Hicks, George J. Lewis, John Davidson, Frank Reicher, Hugh Sothern, Tom Chatterton, Robert Frazer, John Hamilton, Crane Whitley, Edward Keane, John Bagni, Jay Novello, Lynton Brent, Ed Cassidy, George DeNormand, Kenne Duncan, Terry Frost, Bud Geary, Fred Graham, Ralf Harolde, Tom London, LeRoy Mason, Jack O'Shea, Gil Perkins, Stanley Price, Tom Steele, Robert Strange, Ken Terrell, Dale Van Sickel, Robert J. Wilke and Joe Yrigoyen.

The Mask of Diijon (1946), a moving drama about a crazed magician who tries to kill his wife and her lover, his former assistant.
Directed by Lew Landers, from a screenplay by Griffin Jay based on a story by Arthur St. Claire.
Van Sloan plays "Sheffield," a creator of stage illusions for magicians.
Starring Erich von Stroheim (Diijon), with Jeanne Bates, William Wright, Denise Vernac, Hope Landin, Mauritz Hugo, Shimen Ruskin, Antonio Filauri, George Chandler, Mickey Daniels, Roy Darmour, Robert Malcolm and Anthony Warde.

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Last revised August 22, 2005 by George "E-gor" Chastain.

Maintained by George "E-gor" Chastain (E-mail: chastain@mail.wvnet.edu)