88 (passed away Sep. 24th, 2003)
Feb. 13th, 1915
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Lyle Bettger's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Handsome, blond-haired, steely-eyed villain in many film Westerns. He was never the grizzled outlaw, covered in trail dust. No, he was the immaculate-looking, "respectable" (but two-faced) dandy in silk damask vest, often puffing suavely on a cheroot, whose ashes he then might contemptuously flick in the hero's face. He could confront an antagonist wearing a wry smile, even while neatly inserting his dirk between the latter's ribs. One wonders why Bettger, with his Aryan looks and menacing sneer, never became typecast as the stereotypical Nazi SS officer or Gestapo interrogator. (Perhaps the man was just fortunate in that regard.)
- He had three children: Lyle Jr., Frank and Paula.
- In 1974, he moved to Paia, on the island of Maui, and retired from acting six years later.
- The son of Franklin Bettger, a third baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals.
- He met his wife, radio and stage actress Mary Rolfe, while both studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. They appeared together in the Broadway play "Dance Night" in 1938 and married two years later.
- Attended Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in 1937.
- Son of St. Louis Cardinals third baseman 'Franklin Bettger'.
- Probably best remembered for his role playing Klaus, the jealous and mean-spirited Elephant trainer in "The Greatest Show on Earth".
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