Edward Everett Horton was an American character actor. He had a long career in film, theater, radio, television and voice work for animated cartoons. He is especially known for his work in the films of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
Horton was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Isabella S. Diack and Edward Everett Horton. His mother was born in Matanzas, Cuba to Mary Orr and George Diack, immigrants from Scotland. Many sources state that Edward Everett Horton's grandfather and namesake was Edward Everett Hale, author of The Man Without a Country. Horton attended the Boys' High School, Brooklyn, and Baltimore City College high school in Baltimore, Maryland, where he was inducted into that school's Hall of Fame. He attended college at Brooklyn Polytechnic and Columbia University, where he was a member of Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity.
Horton started his stage career in 1906, singing and dancing and playing small parts in Vaudeville and in Broadway productions. In 1919, he moved to Los Angeles, California, and started getting roles in Hollywood films. His first starring role was in the 1922 comedy film Too Much Business, and he portrayed the lead role of an idealistic young classical composer in Beggar on Horseback in 1925. In the late 1920s he starred in two-reel silent comedies for Educational Pictures, and made the transition to talking pictures with Educational in 1929. As a stage trained performer, he found more movie work easily, and appeared in some of Warner Bros.' early talkies, including The Hottentot and Sonny Boy. His distinctive voice was one of his trademarks.
Horton originally went under his given name, Edward Horton. His father persuaded him to adopt his full name professionally, reasoning that there might be other actors named Edward Horton, but only one named Edward Everett Horton.