Nifty vintage 8x10-inch black and white publicity portrait, boldly signed and inscribed in blue fountain pen, probably in the late 1940s or early 1950s. In good condition. Following a modestly successful career on stage in the 1920s and early 1930s, and lackluster leading roles in the box office flops Liliom (1930) and The Three Musketeers (1935), leading man Walter Abel was relegated to character work, where he, at long last, found his niche. With his clarion voice, wide smile and ever-present pencil mustache, he spent 60 years playing scores of well-groomed, sincere professional personages, within whom lurked streaks of barely controlled hysteria. Of particular note were his performances as the prosecuting attorney in Fritz Lang's Fury (1936), the dyspeptic newspaper editor in Arise My Love (1940), Inspector Hammock in Hold Back the Dawn (1942), Bing Crosby's and Fred Astaire's long-suffering agent in Holiday Inn (1942), George Trellis in Mr. Skeffington (1944), and Colonel Fuller in Island in the Sky (1953). One of his final roles was that of Mayor Adams in the John Carradine cult horror flick Silent Night, Bloody Night in 1974, his only foray into that genre.