Richard Powell

born: 16 July 1897
Brooklyn, New York,
United States of America
died: 01 January 1937
Hollywood, Los Angeles, California,
United States of America
(fractured skull, age 39)

American actor and comedian, not to be confused with the more popular actor, singer, and later director Dick Powell. After acting on stage and in light opera, he settled in Hollywood and began acting in motion pictures in the early 1930s -- a film career which would only last six years before his untimely death. He died on New Year's Day, 1937, from a fractured skull after his automobile collided with a parked vehicle.
Many online sources and databases incorrectly claim that he was born William Richard Powell on 31 December 1896 in Peoria, Illinois, USA. This info, in fact, applies to a completely different person, a newspaper man, who in fact died on 12 January 1968 -- 31 years and 11 days after "our" Richard Powell died.
Real name: Harold Richard Burns
Height: 6'0"
Films listed on this page: complete Hal Roach filmography.


Babes In Toyland

(click any image to enlarge)

Acknowledgements: (birth record) (1900 Census) (WWI draft reg. card) (seamen's certificate app., 1918) (seamen's ID card, 1918) (1926 marriage, Canada) (1927 re-marriage, U.S.) (death certificate) (CA Death Index) (Social Security Numident File) (Hollywood Citizen-News, 01 Jan 1937) (Los Angeles Times, 02 Jan 1937) (Variety, 06 Jan 1937)
1936 L.A. City Dir.: Burns Harold (Estelle) actor h8521 W 3d
1937 L.A. City Dir.: Powell Richd (Estelle) actor h8521 W 3d
Image from TORCHY'S TWO TOOTS (1932) (posted on YouTube by Joseph Blough)
Jesse Brisson (bio noates and research)

This page was last updated on: 02 January 2024