Charles Thomas Barton
May 25, 1902
|Died||December 5, 1981 (aged 79)|
Burbank, California, United States
Charles Barton (May 25, 1902 – December 5, 1981) was a film and vaudeville actor and film director. He won an Oscar for best assistant director in 1933. His first film as a director was the Zane Grey feature Wagon Wheels, starring Randolph Scott, in 1934.
Barton worked in various Hollywood B-movie units. From 1946 on, he was a principal director of the Abbott and Costello comedies, such as The Time of Their Lives, Buck Privates Come Home, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, and Africa Screams. He later directed Walt Disney films such as The Shaggy Dog and Toby Tyler. His extensive career directing on television included every episode of Amos 'n' Andy in the 1950s, a total of 90 episodes of Dennis the Menace in the 1960s, and 106 episodes of Family Affair from 1967 to 1971. One obituary said he directed 580 television episodes, 70 feature films and dozens of commercials.
Barton began acting at the age of thirteen. He worked on stage and was signed to United Artists where he starred in The County Fair (1921). He grew to five foot two inches, and his height limited the amount of work he could get so in the mid 1920s Barton decided to move into directing.
In 1927 Barton worked as an assistant director on Wings (1927), directed by William Wellman; he also played a small role.
Barton was an assistant director for a number of years before moving into directing at Paramount in the mid 1930s.
He returned to acting briefly for Wellman's Beau Geste (1939).
Barton began directing Abbott and Costello in 1946 with The Time of Their Lives. He directed eight of their films, including their last movie as a team, Dance With Me, Henry, in 1956.
Barton's wife of seven years, Nancy, died at their home in 1951 after a two year illness.
In 1958, during divorce proceedings with his new wife Lee, Barton claimed he earned a net figure of $2,000 a month.