Charles Butterworth almost never made it to Hollywood.
The sad-faced comic, who won fame for his feigned confusion on the screen, graduated from Notre Dame with a degree in law and went to a newsroom instead of the bar. He followed newspaper work in Chicago until, he maintained, he became fed up with a steady diet of chicken patties and canned green pears served at luncheon club meetings.
Abandoning the typewriter, he began his theatrical career by mimicking the very luncheon club speakers he despised in a vaudeville act.
Butterworth became a gag writer and secretary for J.P. McEvoy, and in 1926 landed a role as an actor in a New York show. That led to other roles and in 1930 he came to Hollywood, where he appeared in many pictures.
He died in a single-car accident after leaving a nightclub party in Hollywood. He was engaged to actress Natalie Schafer, who played Mrs. Thurston Howell III on "Gilligan's Island," at the time of his death.