When the first dress rehearsal of "The Desperate Hours"
occurred at the Barrymore Theatre, a new young
doorman, thinking he was an interloper, barred the way to
Wyrley Birch who appeared in the not so natty costume he
wears in the play. Had the attendant been somewhat older
he might have recognized the gentleman as a
distinguished veteran. In fact, Mr. Birch is celebrating his
fifty-fifth year as a professional actor, all of which he says
have been glorious ones. They brought him associations
and friendships with many of the great stage names and if
cajoled, he will regale his colleagues with colorful tales of
the old days before radio, television and even motion
pictures were popular. During this epic span of time, he
has appeared in more than twenty successful New York
productions. He was in the original casts of "Another
Language," "Arsenic and Old Lace," "How I Wonder,"
"Chicken Every Sunday;" also in "Whiteoaks" and "School
For Scandal" with Ethel Barrymore, "All For All" with Jack
Pearl, "Harvey" both in New York and on tour with Joe E.
Brown, "What Every Woman Knows" with Olivia de
Havilland, and the Arthur Hopkins production of "The Old
Soak." Among his more than twenty-five motion pictures,
the most outstanding were "Lost Horizon," "Mr. Deeds
Goes To Town," "The Last Days of Pompeii," "Love Me
Forever" and "Boomerang." He is also a well known figure
on the various video dramas.