Donn Van Tassel Barclay was an American actor, artist, and caricaturist, who for Walt Disney Pictures appeared, most notably, in Mary Poppins as Mr. Binnacle. Walt Disney apparently regarded him as something of a 'good luck charm' and would do voice roles for his films, as well as being a performance model for the animators working on the projects such as King Hubert in Sleeping Beauty.
Barley was born in 1892, Barclay began his career as a caricature artist and worked for the San Francisco Examiner before transitioning to performing. He was a well-known, zany comedian for vaudeville and burlesque and even appeared as a part of the Keystone Cops from 1914 to 1915. By 1918, he appeared in a series of silent film shorts, including Air Fright and Mixed Nuts.
While appearing in films, he was also an active military service in World War II. He spent time with General Claire Lee Chennault's 14th AAF famous Flying Tigers unit (then known as the "China Blitzers") where he illustrated every person in the group and did a one-man USO show No. 302 for the troops; touring every base in North Africa, Arabia, India, and China with his act and drawing caricatures of the men as he went.
After the war, Barclay continued to draw and act in small film roles in movies, like Mexican Spitfire Sees a Ghost, My Sister Eileen, The Falcon's Brother, Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, Good Morning, Judge, In Society, Thunder Town, My Darling Clementine, and Whispering Smith.
In 1970, Barclay retired and bought a home in the Desert Park Estates neighborhood of Palm Springs, California. He died on October 16, 1975. Many of his humorous drawing can be found in countless art galleries, museums, bars and restaurants across the United States; including 'SkiNose' which is displayed at the Library of Congress.
|1951||Alice in Wonderland||Other Cards|
|1959||Sleeping Beauty||live action model: King Hubert|
|1961||One Hundred and One Dalmatians||voices|
Live action model: Nanny
|1964||Mary Poppins||Mr. Binnacle|
|1971||Bedknobs and Broomsticks||Portobello Road Passerby - uncredited|