Louis Jean Heydt (April 17, 1903, Montclair, New Jersey - January 29, 1960, Boston, Massachusetts) was an American character actor in film, television and theatre, most frequently seen in hapless, ineffectual, or fall-guy roles.
Heydt was born in 1903 (not 1905, as many sources have it) in Montclair, New Jersey, the son of German parents George Frederick Heydt, a jeweler and the secretary and executor for Louis Comfort Tiffany, and the former Emma Foerster.
He was educated at Worcester Academy and Dartmouth College. He initially wanted to be a journalist and worked as a reporter for The New York World. Heydt received his start in the theatre while visiting a classmate backstage while The Trial of Mary Dugan was in rehearsal. As an actual reporter, he caught the attention of the producers and was offered the role of a reporter in the play. He made his stage debut therein and went on to appear in a dozen plays, including Strictly Dishonorable, Before Morning and Happy Birthday. He also played in the London company of The Trial of Mary Dugan.
Film and TV career
In the 1930s, Heydt traveled to Hollywood where he appeared in more than a hundred films, most notably The Big Sleep, Gone With the Wind, Abe Lincoln in Illinois, The Great McGinty andThirty Seconds Over Tokyo. Other films he appeared in include I Am the Law, They Made Me a Criminal, Mr Smith Goes to Washington, Manila Calling, Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet, Zombies on Broadway, They Were Expendable, and Rawhide.
Heydt appeared as the outlaw Tom Horn on the 1950s western television series Stories of the Century, starring and narrated by Jim Davis. He was cast in the series Waterfront and in eleven episodes of Richard Carlson's 1958-1959 western series, Mackenzie's Raiders, Other "raiders" cast in the series were Morris Ankrum and Brett King.
Heydt guest starred on the Adventures of Superman, Treasury Men in Action, Cavalcade of America, TV Reader's Digest, Crossroads, Lux Video Theatre, Fury, The Man from Blackhawk, Wagon Train, and Maverick.
Personal life and death
Heydt married Leona Maricle, an actress in the Broadway company of The Trial of Mary Dugan, on August 13, 1928.
Heydt died of a heart attack on January 29, 1960, in Boston, where he collapsed immediately after leaving the stage following the first scene of a pre-Broadway performance of the play, There Was a Little Girl, in which he appeared opposite Jane Fonda. Actor Joseph Curtiss carried him to his dressing room, but it was apparent that he had died instantly. Heydt's understudy, William Adler, finished the performance and the run.
Heydt was survived by his wife Dora (maiden name unknown). He is interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.