John Hoyt (October 5, 1905 – September 15, 1991) was an American film, stage, and television actor.
Hoyt was born John McArthur Hoysradt. Before becoming an actor with Orson Welles's Mercury Theatre, the Yale Universitygraduate worked as a history instructor, acting teacher, and even (under his birth name) a nightclub comedian. In the latter activity, Hoyt performed impressions of famous entertainers. His impersonation of Noël Coward was so remarkable that he was hired for the original cast of the Broadway comedy The Man Who Came to Dinner, in which he played Beverley Carlton.Hoyt soon shortened his surname when he began his movie career.
Television and film
On the silver screen, he played the chillingly strict Principal Warneke in the 1955 film, Blackboard Jungle, with Glenn Ford.
Hoyt made five guest appearances on CBS's Perry Mason, including the role of defendant Joseph Harrison in the 1958 episode, "The Case of the Prodigal Parent", and as Darwin Norland in the 1963 episode, "The Case of the Libelous Locket." He played an industrialist in the 1951 film, When Worlds Collide. He guest starred on the religion anthology series, Crossroads.
In 1958, Hoyt was cast as rancher Clete Barron in the episode "Trouble in Paradise Valley" of the syndicated western series, Frontier Doctor, with Rex Allen in the starring role as Dr. Bill Baxter.
In 1958 and 1959, Hoyt was cast in two episodes of the CBS crime drama, Richard Diamond, Private Detective, starring David Janssen. He appeared as Burnison in "The George Dale Case" and as Harding, Sr., in "Murder at the Mansion", with James Drury as Harding, Jr.
On November 17, 1959, Hoyt apppeared as the mentally troubled Colonel Brandon in the episode "The General Must Die" on NBC's Laramie western series. Brian Keith appears with Hoyt in the role of Whit Malone, an old Union Army friend of series character Slim Sherman, portrayed by John Smith. Malone and Brandon arrive at the Sherman Ranch and Relay Station with a daring but foiled plan to assassinate General William Tecumseh Sherman, who passes through the station on a stagecoach. Gilman Rankin makes a cameo appearance as General Sherman, who is unrelated to Slim Sherman but under whom Slim had fought in the American Civil War.
Hoyt was cast as Antoine Rigaud in the 1959 episode "About Roger Mowbray" of another NBC western series, Riverboat, starring Darren McGavin and Burt Reynolds. Robert Vaughn held the lead role of Roger Mowbray, a young man accused of marrying his wife, Jeanette (Vera Miles), for her money.
In 1959, Hoyt was cast as John Cavanagh in "The Mourning Cloak" episode of the ABC/Warner Brothers crime drama, Bourbon Street Beat, starring Andrew Duggan. About this time, he also guest starred on the ABC/WB western series, The Alaskans and in Grant Sullivan's syndicated western series, Pony Express. In 1960 and 1961, he appeared in the episodes, "Burnett's Woman" and "The Salvation of Killer McFadden" of another ABC-WB dramatic series, The Roaring 20s.
Hoyt guest starred on at least two CBS sitcoms, Bringing Up Buddy and Hogan's Heroes. He was cast as Dr. Philip Boyce in a pilot episode of NBC's Star Trek ("The Cage"). Hoyt appeared twice during the second season of The Twilight Zone, in the episodes "Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up" and "The Lateness of the Hour". He also appeared as theKAOS agent Conrad Bunny in the Get Smart episode, "Our Man in Toyland", as General Beeker in ABC's Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea episode "Hail to the Chief", and as Dr. Mendoza in NBC's The Monkees episode "I Was a Teenage Monster".
He was also a guest player in an episode of CBS's The Burns and Allen Show. Because of his stentorian demeanor, the writers had him play opposite the usual genre when most strangers become befuddled by Gracie Allen's convoluted behavior. In the teleplay, Hoyt simply would not tolerate Gracie's antics and immediately removed himself from the room — twice.
His last screen role was as Grandpa in Nell Carter's television series, Gimme a Break!.
Hoyt appeared in one Shakespearean film, MGM's Julius Caesar, reprising the role of Decius Brutus (a.k.a. Decimus Junius Brutus Albinus), which he had played in the 1937 Mercury Theatre production. In 1953, he portrayed Elijah in the biblical film Sins of Jezebel.
Hoyt died of lung cancer at the age of eighty-five in 1991 in Santa Cruz, California.