Height: 6' (1,83 m)
Weight: 185 pounds
(1) Ellen Evelyn James (Jan 4. 1915-7 May 1943, his death)
Louis Lanham Loftus (born Aug 19. 1917),
Douglas MacLean (born Jun 28. 1920),
James Clarke (born Jul 8. 1921),
Elizabeth (J.) Edith (born Sep 27. 1923).
Above right: Wade Boteler in 1921.
According to the 1910 census young Boteler worked as a “tool dresser” in a California oil field, but soon relocated to the East Coast. Graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, NYC, 1913. Played in Liberty Stock Co., Pittsfield, Mass., summer seasons, 1912-13. He appeared on Broadway in a play called The Silent Voice (1914-15).
Ellen Evelyn James of San Antonio, Texas (born 1891) was in 1913 a student in sculpture in the Art Students league in New York city destined to become much sought after. In fact, the possession of her picture was to be the ambition of countless millions. Why? Well, because Kenyon Cox had used Miss James as the model for the figure and head of "Plenty," a goddess appearing on one of the new $100 bills (below).
Halfway 1914 Miss James executed a
bust of one of her acquaintances, Wade Boteler. Charles Dana Gibson
pronounced it a marvelous piece of work. Mr. Gibson, who was acquainted
with Mr. Boteler, said that the likeness was as good as that of a
photograph. The model who inspired such a masterpiece must have been
more than an "acquaintance" even then.
After graduation Wade became assistant director of instruction at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, (1914-16); played in N. Y. City winter seasons (1914-16); with Burns Stock Co., Colorado Springs (1916). By 1917 he was back in Texas, where his first son Lanham Loftus was born.
On to California where in films from 1919 onward, the stocky American actor hit his stride in talking pictures. He played in several Mack
Boteler not only acted but also provided the story/ screenplay for several
movies (Introduce Me, 1925; Let it Rain, 1927; ...)
Blessed with a pit-bull countenance, Boteler was in practically every other "B" western made between 1930 and 1935, often cast as a hard-hearted sheriff or crooked land baron. Affecting an Irish brogue, Boteler was also in demand for policeman roles or a gruff authority figure. So no surprise when he played Inspector Queen in the, easily forgettable, Ellery Queen movie The Mandarin Mystery (1937) opposite Eddie Quillan (below left).
He made his first sound serial in 1938–Universal’s cops-and-robbers chapter play Red Barry; based on Will Gould's comic strip, this outing starred Buster Crabbe as the titular police detective. (Above right) Boteler was cast as Inspector “Scotty” Scott, Barry’s police superior–and, unlike most serial officials, wasn’t relegated to simply sitting behind a desk and giving the hero orders; instead, Boteler’s Scotty frequently participated in shootouts and car chases right alongside Crabbe’s Barry. Boteler was easily able to make Scotty seem like a capable and toughly down-to-earth police veteran, and also did an excellent job of handling the character’s more human aspects; he was at once professional, affable, and fatherly in his interactions with Crabbe.
Buck Rogers (Universal, 1939), a futuristic adventure serial that starred Red Barry’s lead Buster Crabbe, gave Boteler a small but important first-chapter role as Professor Morgan–the scientist who, via radio, instructed trapped aviators Buck Rogers (Crabbe) and Buddy Wade (Jackie Moran) in the use of the suspended-animation gas that could alone save their lives (below left).
His most effective lovable-Irishman stint was as conclusion-jumping cop Michael Axford in the 1940 serial The Green Hornet (above right); in fact, when fans of the Green Hornet radio version would ask Detroit station WXYZ for a picture of Axford, the station would send off an autographed photo of Boteler, even though Gil O'Shea essayed the part on radio.
As the 1930s gave way to the 1940s, Boteler remained a very busy feature-film character actor–playing yet more policemen in many crime and mystery pictures for Warners and Fox, and portraying sheriffs and Army officers in several Republic B-westerns. He also worked frequently at Universal.
In the pre-war espionage outing Don Winslow of the Navy (Universal, 1941) Boteler played Navy Intelligence operative Mike Splendor, Boteler served as a secondary sidekick to Navy commander Winslow (Don Terry), backing up both him and his primary sidekick, Lieutenant Pennington (Walter Sande). Boteler used his Axford brogue for the Splendor part, but the Navy character was considerably sharper than the Hornet one; though entertainingly feisty and outspoken (Picture right).
Boteler’s final chapter play was The Secret Code (Columbia, 1942), a wartime crime serial that starred Paul Kelly as a police lieutenant who got himself dishonorably discharged in order to infiltrate and destroy a Nazi spy ring. Boteler played the supporting role of the stern Police Chief Burns.
Wade Boteler died of a heart attack on May 7, 1943 in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. At the time of his death he had 3 sons in the service. Due to the many films he’d completed before his passing he continued to appear in theaters. So Wade Boteler's final film was Warner Bros.' prophetically titled The Last Ride (1944), released one year after Boteler's death.
(4) Wade Boteler part of 'The Files of Jerry Blake'
(5) Patti Boteler
Additional video & audio sources
(1) Red Barry Clip Youtube
(2) The Green Hornet Strikes Again Chapter 10 Blazing Fury
(3) Cheers of a Crowd (1935) Full Movie
|This actor profile is a part of the Ellery Queen a website on deduction. The actor above played Inspector Queen in one of the Ellery Queen movies|
Page first published on November 1. 2017
Last updated September 25. 2018