(1896–1946). Stage and film performer. A comic character actor, he polished his shy, awkward stage persona into a series of routines that delighted audiences on Broadway and then in Hollywood. Butterworth was born in South Bend, Indiana, and received a law degree from Notre Dame, but went into journalism before pursuing an acting career. After many years touring in vaudeville and perfecting his act, he was featured in Broadway revues, such as Americana (1926), Allez-oop (1927), Flying Colors (1932), and Count Me In (1942), where he delivered comic monologues. Butterworth also played comic supporting roles in Good Boy (1928) and Sweet Adeline (1929) before going to Hollywood where he played meek and indecisive characters in over thirty movies, including the musicals Love Me Tonight (1932), The Cat and the Fiddle (1934), Hollywood Party (1934), The Night Is Young (1935), Swing High, Swing Low (1937), The Boys From Syracuse (1940), and This Is the Army (1943). He was still in great demand when he died prematurely in a car crash at the age of forty-eight.
From The Oxford Companion to the American Musical in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Music Theatre.