Born Oct. 25th, 1909 – Died Mar. 5th, 1996
While I may have seen Bissell in something else, the first movie that I remember him from was from one of my favorites, I Was a Teenage Frankenstein (1957). Not only was this a very different take on the classic Frankenstein story I knew, Bissell’s character truly was an evil S.O.B.!
After Teenage Frankenstein, I would see him everywhere, from other films to a ton of different TV appearances. His IMDB list 300 credits! He started his acting career in 1940, appearing in several titles though uncredited. He appeared in titles like Lost Continent (1951), Target Earth and Creature from the Black Lagoon (both in 1954), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), I Was A Teenage Werewolf (1957), and in both the original 1960 version of The Time Machine as well as the 1978 version.
Bissell, with a very distinct voice, often used as an authority figure because of it, was an actor that always was on mark. He could go over the top if needed, or just be a quiet character on the side. But anytime we seen him on screen, it always brought a smile to our face. Outside of being a working actor, he served on the Screen Actors Guild board of directors for 18 years. So the next time you’re watching an old B&W sci-fi or horror film, and this guy’s face pops up, now you’ll know just who he is.