Reginald Barlow

Reginald Barlow

Infobox Actor
name = Reginald Barlow

imagesize =
caption =
birthname = Reginald Harry Barlow
birthdate = birth date|1866|6|17|mf=y
birthplace = Cambridge, Massachusetts
deathdate = death date and age|1943|7|6|1866|6|17|mf=y
deathplace = Hollywood, Los Angeles, California
othername = Major Reginald Barlow

Reginald Harry Barlow (June 17, 1866 - July 6, 1943) was a veteran stage and screen character actor, author, and film director. He was a busy performer in Hollywood films of the 1930s.


Early life

Native of Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts, and son of the goodly old-time minstrel, Milt G. Barlow (1843-1904), he made his stage debut at the age of twelve in his father's minstrel troupe of "Barlow, Wilson, Primrose, and West". ref|age

Barlow joined the 2nd (Special Service) Battalion of The Royal Canadian Regiment on 22 October, 1899 for service in South Africa during the Second Boer War. According to newspaper and other accounts, he did also serve in the United States Army during the Spanish-American War and World War I, and eventually rose to the rank of full colonel in 1923.ref|colref|full

Barlow had thoughts of quitting the stage for the church in 1908 and at the time remarked to an interviewer: "All my ancestors have been soldiers, actors, and ministers, and some of them all three. I am a direct descendant of Bishop Barlow of the days of Henry VIII."


A distinguished looking actor who lent an air of dignity to any role he played. In the early part of his stage career he landed leading roles in "The Silver King," "Monte Cristo," "The Sign of the Cross," "Old Lady 31", and "The Little Princess."

Among his early silent films were "The Cinema Murder" of 1919; the 1920s post WWI drama "Love's Flame" in which he plays the father-in-law: "M. De Ronsard"; and in the comedy "Clothes Make the Pirate" of 1925 in which he plays "Captain Montague", a minor roll. Turning to films after the changeover to sound, Barlow usually played men of means; military officers, senators, and bankers, turning up as a chaplain in 1933 "Ann Vickers"; the sheriff in 1939 "Tower of London"; and the "Professor Warwick" ostracizing mad scientist George Zucco in 1942 "The Mad Monster".



* "Headline" (1944)
* "The World Owes Me a Living" (1944)
* "Law of the Northwest" (1943)
* "Old Mother Riley Overseas" (1943)
* "Syncopation" (1942)
* "The Mayor of 44th Street" (1942)
* "The Mad Monster" (1942)
* "Scotland Yard" (1941)
* "The Courageous Dr. Christian" (1940)
* "Tower of London" (1939)
* "Rovin' Tumbleweeds" (1939)
* "The Witness Vanishes" (1939)
* "Dick Tracy's G-Men" (1939)
* "New Frontier" (1939)
* "Wall Street Cowboy" (1939)
* "Colorado Sunset" (1939)
* "The Man in the Iron Mask" (1939)
* "Heritage of the Desert" (1939)
* "Daredevils of the Red Circle" (1939)
* "Mysterious Mr. Moto" (1938)
* "The Adventures of Marco Polo" (1938)
* "It Happened Out West" (1937)
* "Thoroughbreds Don't Cry" (1937)
* "The Toast of New York" (1937)
* "The Road Back" (1937)
* "The Great Barrier" (1937)
* "Lloyd's of London" (1936)
* "The Last of the Mohicans" (1936)
* "The Girl from Mandalay" (1936)
* "Little Lord Fauntleroy" (1936)
* "O'Malley of the Mounted" (1936)
* "I Dream Too Much" (1935)
* "A Tale of Two Cities" (1935)
* "White Lies" (1935)
* "Captain Blood" (1935)
* "The Last Days of Pompeii" (1935)
* "Hooray for Love" (1935)
* "Werewolf of London" (1935)
* "Bride of Frankenstein" (1935)
* "The Red Blood of Courage" (1935)
* "Les Misérables" (1935)
* "Strangers All" (1935)
* "Cardinal Richelieu" (1935)
* "A Dog of Flanders" (1935)
* "Mutiny Ahead" (1935)
* "The Gilded Lily" (1935)
* "Romance in Manhattan" (1935)
* "Fog" (1934)
* "Cheating Cheaters" (1934)
* "Great Expectations" (1934)
* "One Night of Love" (1934)
* "Beyond the Law" (1934)
* "Stamboul Quest" (1934)
* "Operator 13" (1934)
* "Half a Sinner" (1934)
* "The Cat and the Fiddle" (1934)
* "You Can't Buy Everything" (1934)
* "Goldie Gets Along" (1933)
* "Flying Down to Rio" (1933)
* "Day of Reckoning" (1933)
* "Ann Vickers" (1933)
* "Doctor Bull" (1933)
* "Midnight Mary" (1933)
* "His Private Secretary" (1933)
* "The Big Cage" (1933)
* "Fast Workers" (1933)
* "King Kong" (1933)
* "Grand Slam" (1933)
* "Parachute Jumper" (1933)
* "Merry-Go-Round" (1932)
* "The All American" (1932)
* "Call Her Savage" (1932)
* "The Strange Case of Clara Deane" (1932)
* "Rasputin and the Empress" (1932)
* "If I Had a Million" (1932)
* "I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang" (1932)
* "Afraid to Talk" (1932)
* "Evenings for Sale" (1932)
* "The Age of Consent" (1932)
* "Speak Easily" (1932)
* "Horse Feathers" (1932)
* "The Washington Masquerade" (1932)
* "As You Desire Me" (1932)
* "Sinners in the Sun" (1932)
* "Night Court" (1932)
* "The World and the Flesh" (1932)
* "The Wet Parade" (1932)
* "Alias the Doctor" (1932)
* "This Reckless Age" (1932)
* "The Woman from Monte Carlo" (1932)
* "Marked Woman" (1931)
* "Mata Hari" (1931)
* "Clothes Make the Pirate" (1925)
* "Love's Flame" (1920)
* "The Cinema Murder" (1919)
* "Monsieur Lecoq" (1915)

Further, as the American Legion Hollywood Post 43 was often included in the older films without giving any actual credit as to which members of the Post were actually shown within the films, its highly likely that Barlow did also often appear in films in this manner: as an uncredited member of Hollywood Post 43.


Most notably, Barlow functioned as a director of play companies before switching over to film. He was director of the Wright Huntington Players, narrated for the Eveready Hour, and on at least one occasion directed a film itself, though it is apparent that he did play a director's sort of roll in several films much as did Alfred Hitchcock: who was known to have made at least a cameo appearance in every one of his films.

* "The Toy Maker of Leyden" (5 Jun 1915) (his "one" film)NOTE: this film is listed as "The Magic Toy Maker" in: Hanson & Givenson, eds. "American Film Institute Catalogue Index", vol. F1, 1911-1920.


Barlow married at least two times, but he did say on the 1930 Census that he was 22 years old at his first marriage:
* a) The [ service records] for 7012 Lance Corporal R.H. Barlow of The Royal Canadian Regiment showed that he was married, with two children, in 1899 on enlistment for the South African War. His name is presented variously in the service record as "R.H. Barlow", "Reginald H. Barlow", "Reginald Barry Barlow", and "Reginald Harry Barlow".
* b) Clare Danforth, whom he "wed" on April 15 1902 in Charleston, Missouri. This "marriage", however, was subsequently refuted by the family of Bertha Merkel, "infra", and was apparently an extortion attempt as is somewhat common among celebrities.ref|exon
* c) Milwaukee heiress Bertha Merkel (aka: "Selma Rose"), the daughter of George and Mary Merkel, whom he wed 6 August 1903 in Los Angeles, California, and to whom he remained married until her death in 1933.
* d) Carol Brown (of Pasadena, California), to whom he was married at the time of his death, according to his death certificate and according to the Los Angeles Times of 1934 when he married Carol in Tijuana, Mexico. The article goes: "... Barlow marries again ..."


On August 21 1903 the "Chicago Inter Ocean" reported that Barlow had committed bigamy. According to Barlow's first wife, who claimed that he married her under the pseudonym Livingston, the couple were not divorced at the time of his second marriage to Bertha Merkel. However, the Los Angeles Times did subsequently publish an article on 28 August, which completely exhonorated Barlow, who had just recently converted to Catholicism in order to marry Bertha, of any wrong doing. It was actually Barlow's new mother-in-law, Mary Merkel, who had earlier initiated an investigation and upon discovery, prosecution of Barlow, which of course never happened.


* "Los Angeles Daily Times", Monday, 10 Aug 1903, p. 9, col. 1, article: "Lost Heart on Pullman"
* "Los Angeles Sunday Times", 23 Aug 1903, p. 4, cols. 6-7, article: "Bride's Momma After Actor Reggie Barlow"
* "Los Angeles Daily Times", Friday, 28 Aug 1903, p. 4, cols. 3-4, article: "Actor Barlow's Wife"
* "The Stars and Stripes", Vol 1, No 50, France, Friday, 17 Jan 1919, p. 2, col. 4, article: "Show Each Night, Plan of Biggest Booking Agency"
* "Los Angeles Times", Friday Morning, 14 Sep 1934, Part I, p. 15, col. 2, article: "Reginald Barlow to Play Lead in 'Blood on Moon'."
* "New York Times", Wednesday, 7 Jul 1943, p. 19, col. 3, article: "R. Barlow is Dead; Actor and Soldier"
* Frank M. Keffer, "History of San Fernando Valley" (1934), R 979.41 L88Ke, pp. 118-120, bio entitled: "Col. Reginald Barlow"
* "Variety", 14 Jul 1943, article: "Obituaries, Reginald Barlow"

End Notes

1 Confer "Los Angeles Times", Friday Morning, 14 Sep 1934, Part I, p. 15, col. 2, article: "Reginald Barlow to Play Lead in 'Blood on Moon'." The article clearly states that he "began his theatrical career at the age of 12 in his father's troupe." 2 See [ of Barlows link] which clearly shows Reginald, a confirmed member of the American Legion Hollywood Post 43, to be a Colonel. The picture there also shows him presenting Shirley Temple with a certificate as a new "Honorary Colonel" in 1935. The same website also shows that in the "New York Times" of 7 July 1943, Reginald Barlow was a Colonel who commanded the 304th Infantry in WWI for the United States, and was a veteran of two other wars: the Spanish American War and The Second Boer War.

3 See also: Keffer, "History of San Fernando Valley" (1934), pp. 118-120; where it in fact states that Barlow commanded the 302nd Infantry as a Major, and then was later given the command of the 349th as a Lieutenant-Colonel during WWI.

4 Confer "Los Angeles Daily Times", Friday, 28 Aug 1903, p. 4, cols. 3-4, article: "Actor Barlow's Wife".

External links

*amg name|2:3980
*Find A Grave|id=7990327
*South African War [ Service Records] of 7012 LCpl R.H. Barlow of The Royal Canadian Regiment

NAME= Barlow, Reginald
ALTERNATIVE NAMES= Barlow, Reginald Harry
DATE OF BIRTH= June 17, 1866
PLACE OF BIRTH= Cambridge, Massachusetts
DATE OF DEATH= July 6, 1943
PLACE OF DEATH= Hollywood, Los Angeles, California

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