b. 18 March 1886, New York City, New York, USA, d. 29 September 1970, Encino, California, USA. On stage from 1908, Horton appeared in Gilbert And Sullivan operas and was on Broadway in a supporting role in Elevating A Husband (1912); four decades later he returned to star in Benn W. Levy’s Springtime For Henry (1951). From 1922, he made some 150 films, including Sonny Boy (1929), Holiday (1930 and 1938 versions), Kiss Me Again, which was based on Victor Herbert’s Mademoiselle Modiste (1931, UK title: Toast Of The Legion), Alice In Wonderland (as the Mad Hatter) and Design For Living (both 1933). In 1934 he was in The Merry Widow (starring Jeanette MacDonald and Maurice Chevalier), and The Gay Divorcee UK title: The Gay Divorce (with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, singing ‘Let’s K-nock K-nees’ with Betty Grable). Late 30s films include In Caliente and Top Hat (both 1935), The Singing Kid (1936), The King And The Chorus Girl (1937, UK title: Romance Is Sacred), Shall We Dance and The Great Garrick (both 1937), and College Swing (1938, UK title: Swing, Teacher, Swing). In 1941 Horton was in Ziegfeld Girl (with Judy Garland), and Sunny (with Anna Neagle and Ray Bolger); then came Springtime In The Rockies (1942), Thank Your Lucky Stars and The Gang’s All Here, UK title: The Girls He Left Behind (both 1943), and Brazil (1944).
Mostly active in television from the 50s, Horton still made occasional films, includingPocketful Of Miracles (1961), Sex And The Single Girl (1964), The Perils Of Pauline (1967), and Cold Turkey (1971). On television from 1949, he appeared in dramas, a 1955 presentation of The Merry Widow, I Love Lucy (1952), The Red Skelton Show (1957), The Rosemary Clooney Show (1957), The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show (1958), as well as individual episodes of numerous series, including Holiday Hotel (1950), Dennis The Menace (1962/3), Burke’s Law (1965), F Troop (1965), Batman (1966), The Name Of The Game (1970), Love, American Style (1970), and Nanny And The Professor (1970).