Richard Haydn (10 March 1905 – 25 April 1985) was an English comic actor in radio, films and television.
Life and career
Born George Richard Haydon in London, he was known for playing eccentric characters, such as Edwin Carp, Claud Curdle (Mr. Music (1950)), Richard Rancyd (Miss Tatlock's Millions (1948)), and Stanley Stayle (Dear Wife (1949)). Much of his stage delivery was done in a deliberate over-nasalized and over-enunciated manner. He was possibly best noted in his performance as the voice of the Caterpillar in the 1951 Disney animated adaptation of Alice in Wonderland. Haydn was particularly memorable as the manservant Rogers in the 1945 adaptation of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. He is also well remembered for his role as 'Uncle' Max Detweiler in The Sound of Music.
According to the DVD commentary of Young Frankenstein, Mel Brooks said that Haydn used gardening and horticulture as a means of escape from the Hollywood grind and eschewed the Hollywood lifestyle.
Haydn died after a heart attack on 25 April 1985 in Los Angeles, California.
Television and film
In The Twilight Zone episode "A Thing About Machines", he portrayed Mr. Bartlett Finchley, a quirky, self-absorbed, technophobe who is confronted by every machine in his home. On 1 April 1964, he reprised the Edwin Carp character, a poet and an expert on fish, in an episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show which saluted severalold-time radio performers.
On 11 April 1968 he appeared as a Japanese businessman on an episode of Bewitched entitled "A Majority of Two".
Perhaps his most acclaimed role was in Rodgers and Hammerstein's 1965 film musical The Sound of Music, in which he played the von Trapps' family friend Max Detweiler.
He was a regular on the Burns and Allen radio show. Haydn authored one book, The Journal of Edwin Carp, in 1954.
He appeared in the TV show The Man From U.N.C.L.E. as Mr. Hemingway in "The Mad, Mad Teaparty Affair", season 1, episode 18, in 1964.