Canadian-born actor who became a popular character actor, playing Norwegians, Swedes and other Scandinavians in 1930's films. After appearing in
He won a scholarship to Northwestern University, which in turn led him to Broadway, where he made his breakthrough role as a Swedish janitor.
He played Muley in the 1940 film adaptation of The Grapes of Wrath.
He was born Johan Kvalen in Vancouver, British Columbia. His father was a Norwegian immigrant who changed the family name to Qualen.
He adopted a Midwestern accent in Howard Hawks' comedy film, His Girl Friday.