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Brad’s Musings and Meanderings

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"Those aren't pillows!" - Neil Page, "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles"

henry.jpgHenry Brandon became one of the staples of the Sons of the Desert conventions throughout the 1980’s. Although one of the kindest and gentlest men you would ever hope to meet, the Sons took his role as the evil Silas Barnaby in Laurel and Hardy’s Babes in Toyland to heart. Everytime he would enter a room, he would be greeted with scores of boos and hisses. I always wondered if that would eventually get on his nerves, but he was always a great sport about it and treated the Sons member like they were long-lost family at his convention at his five consecutive convention appearances.

His first was at Hollywood ’80 and it was here that I first met him. Henry almost looked younger than he did in his ‘old-man-makeup’ in the 1934 film, at which time he was actually only twenty-one. I was well aware of who he was and yet I have no specific memories of our 1980 encounter. The only autograph that I obtained from him was in my little blue autograph book (as seen below). I did not revisit collecting his signature until the convention in 1986 where I obtained the two autographed photos that follow.

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 Henry’s handsome inscription in my album signed on August 2, 1980

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 Henry leads the bogeymen out of Toyland

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A great shot of Laurel and Hardy, Henry, Florence Roberts, and Charlotte Henry

The celebrities of Hollywood ’80 will conclude in the next posting

One Response to “Henry Brandon 1980”

  1. Henry was a wonderful guy, a fine actor and a great interview subject. I’m so grateful that he became an enthusiastic member of the Sons–he had a fine, retentive memory and told us all some wonderful behind the scenes stories about working on “Babes in Toyland.” I saw him onstage just a few days before he passed away, appearing as some sort of underwater evil ruler (dressed in green tights!) in one of Tony Hawes’ English pantomimes (wacky adaptations of children’s stories). Henry was really in his element, and although we were very saddened at his passing, we were happy to know that he was a vibrant and compelling actor and earning cheers and applause to the very end.

    Randy Skretvedt

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