Archie R. Twitchell was a character actor who appeared in supporting roles in over 40 Hollywood films primarily in the 1930s and early 1940s. Though never becoming a major star, he built a steady career playing minor roles like sheriffs, reporters, hotel clerks, and small town locals.
Born in 1890 in Illinois, Twitchell first got into acting with touring theatre troupes before breaking into silent pictures in the late 1920s after moving to California. With the onset of talking films, his slender build, expressive face, and natural speaking style enabled him to make a smooth transition into talking roles. Twitchell often portrayed nervous, fast-talking men who added comic relief or key plot details.
Some of Twitchell’s more notable credits included playing a hotel manager in the Marx Brothers comedy Monkey Business (1931), a pesky reporter in the madcap newspaper film Meet the Baron (1933) starring Jack Pearl, and the mayor in the Randolph Scott western The Desperadoes (1943).
Twitchell also commonly appeared in Preston Sturges’ comedies like The Palm Beach Story (1942). Like many character actors of Hollywood’s studio system era, Twitchell rarely got screen credit by name but kept busy with his reliable skill at enlivening smaller parts.
What were Archie R. Twitchell’s last words?
American actor and aviator Archie R. Twitchell’s alleged last words via a radio tranmission before he was fatally killed in a plane crash was “Were a midair collision – midair collision, 10 How we are going in-uncontrollable – uncontrollable – we are…we’ve had it boy – poor jet too – told you we should take chutes – say goodbye to everybody”