$19.99


This is an ORIGINAL PHOTOGRAPH direct from the HAL ROACH STUDIOS. This Photo is OVER 80 YEARS OLD!!!

It is a Photo DIRECT from the HAL ROACH Studio Archives in HOLLYWOOD. This terrific shot measures 8" x 10". with press snipe still attached to the back!

This photo was used to promote the Hal Roach Comedy film stars:

Billy Gilbert and Billy Bletcher

Great rare item on 80 years old, featuring the two cast members!!!

It has the ORIGINAL stamp PLEASE CREDIT PHOTO BY J ELDEE HESTER on the back. It does have slight yellow and curling with age a rare photograph for the true Hal Roach or vintage Hollywood collectors!

Shop with confidence! This is part of our in-store inventory from our shop which is has been located in the heart of Hollywood where we have been in business for OVER 40 years!

MORE INFO ON BILLY GILBERT: William Gilbert Barron (September 12, 1894 "?? September 23, 1971), known as Billy Gilbert, was an American comedian and actor known for his comic sneeze routines. He appeared in over 200 feature films, short subjects and television shows starting in 1929.

Born in Kentucky, the child of singers with the Metropolitan Opera, he was born in a dressing room at the Hopkins Opera House in Louisville, Kentucky. Gilbert began working in vaudeville at the age of 12.

Gilbert was spotted by Stan Laurel, who was in the audience of Gilbert's show Sensations of 1929. Laurel went backstage to meet Gilbert and was so impressed by him he introduced him to comedy producer Hal Roach. Gilbert was employed as a gag writer, actor and director, and at the age of 35 he appeared in his first film for the Fox Film Corporation in 1929.

Gilbert broke into comedy short subjects with the Vitaphone studio in 1930 – he appears without billing in the Joe Frisco comedy The Happy Hottentots, recently restored and released on DVD. Gilbert's burly frame and gruff voice made him a good comic villain, and within the year he was working consistently for producer Roach. He appeared in support of Roach's comedy stars Laurel and Hardy, Charley Chase, Thelma Todd, and Our Gang. One of his Laurel and Hardy appearances was the 1932 Academy Award-winning featurette "The Music Box". Gilbert generally played blustery tough guys in the Roach comedies, but could play other comic characters, from fey couturiers to pompous radio announcers to roaring drunks. Gilbert's skill at dialects prompted Roach to give him his own series: big Billy Gilbert teamed with little Billy Bletcher as the Dutch-comic "Schmaltz Brothers." in offbeat musical shorts like "Rhapsody in Brew". Gilbert also directed these.

Like many other Roach contractees, Gilbert found similar work at other studios. He appears in the early comedies of the Three Stooges at Columbia Pictures, as well as in RKO short subjects. These led to featured roles in full-length films, so that from 1934 on Gilbert became one of the screen's most familiar faces.

One of his standard routines had Gilbert progressively getting excited or nervous about something, and his speech would break down into facial spasms, culminating in a big, loud sneeze. He used this bit so frequently that Walt Disney thought of him immediately when casting the voice of Sneezy in 1937's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Gilbert and Disney would later work together again in Mickey and the Beanstalk, with Gilbert voicing Willie the Giant in a very similar way to Sneezy. Gilbert did the sneeze routine in a memorable cameo in the Paramount comedy Million Dollar Legs (1932) starring W.C. Fields, Jack Oakie, Susan Fleming, and Ben Turpin.

Gilbert is prominent in most of the movies he appeared in. He appeared as "Herring" - a parody of Nazi official Hermann Göring - the minister of war in Charlie Chaplin's The Great Dictator. He danced with Alice Faye and Betty Grable in Tin Pan Alley; he stole scenes as a dim-witted process server in the fast-paced comedy His Girl Friday; playing an Italian character, he played opposite singer Gloria Jean in The Under-Pup and A Little Bit of Heaven. All choice Gilbert roles, and all filmed the same year (1940), which indicates how prolific and talented Billy Gilbert was. He was also the soda server to Freddie Bartholomew in Captains Courageous. He was featured prominently in the 1940 John Wayne, Marlene Dietrich film Seven Sinners.

Gilbert seldom starred in movies but did have occasional opportunities to play leads. In 1943 he headlined a brief series of two-reel comedies for Columbia Pictures. That same year Monogram Pictures teamed him with the urbane stage comedian Frank Fay for a comedy series; Fay left the series after the first entry, and was replaced by a more appropriate foil, fellow vaudeville veteran Shemp Howard, who had been the original third member of the Three Stooges before leaving to pursue a solo career, and being replaced by his brother Curly.

In the 1950s, Gilbert worked in television, including a memorable pantomime sketch with Buster Keaton. He appeared regularly on the children's program Andy's Gang with Andy Devine. He retired from the screen in 1962, following his appearance in the feature Five Weeks in a Balloon.

After an unhappy first marriage, Gilbert married Ella McKenzie in 1938. She had appeared as an ingenue in short-subject comedies. Fellow film comedian Charley Chase was the best man. In late 1943, Gilbert appeared with his wife in a USO show, entertaining the US Marines stationed in Derry, Northern Ireland.

Gilbert died in the hospital after suffering a stroke at the age of 77. He was cremated and his ashes scattered within the rose gardens of the Odd Fellows Cemetery, in Los Angeles. A plaque of remembrance was erected in his name nearby.

For his contributions to the motion picture industry, Billy Gilbert has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6263 Hollywood Boulevard, at Vine Street on the northeast corner.

MORE INFO ON BILLY BELTCHER: William "Billy" Bletcher (September 24, 1894 – January 5, 1979) was an American actor, voice actor and comedian. He is best known for providing the voice of Mickey's rival, Pete, for Disney from 1932 to 1954.

Bletcher appeared on-screen in films and later television from the 1910s to the 1970s, including appearances in several Our Gang and The Three Stooges comedies.

He was most active as a voice actor. His voice was a deep and strong-sounding baritone.

Bletcher provided the voices of various characters for Walt Disney Pictures (Black Pete, Short Ghost and the Big Bad Wolf in Three Little Pigs and its spin-offs). He auditioned to play one of the dwarfs in Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. However, Walt Disney disapproved in fear that people would recognize Bletcher from the studio's Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck short subjects.

In MGM films, he voiced Spike the Bulldog and on some occasions even Tom and Jerry, in Tom and Jerry, and in Warner Bros. many characters, most notably the Papa Bear of Chuck Jones' The Three Bears after Mel Blanc had performed the role in the initial entry. He portrayed another villainous wolf in Little Red Riding Rabbit.

His booming voice can also be heard as "Dom Del Oro" the Yacqi Indian god in the 1939 Republic serial, Zorro's Fighting Legion. He also provided voice work for Ub Iwerks as the Pincushion man in 1935's Balloon Land, as well as Owl Jolson's disciplinarian violinist father in the 1936 Warner Bros. short subject based on the song I Love to Singa and the menacing spider in Bingo Crosbyana.

In 1939, Billy Bletcher and Pinto Colvig were hired to perform ADR work for the Emerald City munchkins in The Wizard of Oz.

Both he and Mel Blanc did voice acting for the 1944 Private Snafu WWII training film "Gas", where Bletcher plays the villainous Gas Cloud (with Mel Blanc voicing Private Snafu and a cameo of Bugs Bunny) as an opponent of Snafu. Bletcher also played The Captain in Captain and the Kids with MGM cartoons.

In 1950, he played several characters on The Lone Ranger radio program as well as appearing in episode 27 of the TV series.

In 1971, Bletcher played one of his final roles, Pappy Yokum in a television adaptation of Lil Abner.

Bletcher died on January 5, 1979 at the age of 84 in Los Angeles, California. His interment was at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery.

MORE INFO ON HAL ROACH: Hal Roach was born in Elmira, New York in 1892. After working as, among other things, a gold prospector, he wound up in Hollywood and began picking up jobs as an extra in comedies, where he met comedian Harold Lloyd. He began producing, directing and writing a series of short film comedies starring Lloyd around 1915. These were quite successful, and Roach started his own production company and eventually bought his own studio. By the early 1920s he had eclipsed Mack Sennett as the King of Comedy and created many of the most memorable comic series of all time, even by today's standards. These include the team of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, Charley Chase and The Little Rascals. By the late 1930s Roach's formula for success was jeopardized by audience demands for bigger, feature-length productions, and he was forced to try his hand at making full-length screwball comedies, musicals and dramas, although he still kept turning out two-reel comedies. By the 1950s he was producing mainly for television. In 1983 his company developed the first successful digital colorization process. Roach then became a producer for many TV series on the Disney Channel, and his company still produces most of their films and videos.

This item is part of Backlot Movie Memorabilia and collectibles in-store inventory from our shop which is located in the heart of Hollywood, where we have been in business for OVER 40 years!!!

BILLY BLETCHER Billy GILBERT Original HAL ROACH Studio Photo by J.ELDEE HESTER
Item #BMM0003514