American stage actor Don Costello was brought to films via an MGM contract in 1939. A valuable screen menace, Costello played such steely-eyed toughies as "Noose" in Red Skelton's Whistling in the Dark (1941). He moved to 20th Century-Fox in 1942, where among other things he was seen as the elderly--but no less criminally inclined--Doc Lake in Laurel and Hardy's A-Haunting We Will Go (1942). Perhaps his frequent association with comedians enabled his screen characters to develop a sense of humor, albeit a wicked one. In the Republic "Red Ryder" western The Great Stagecoach Robbery (1945), he scores several solid laughs as an outlaw leader posing as a schoolteacher, assuring an anxious mother that he'll learn to love her children, then muttering "If they live that long...." Don Costello died suddenly at the age of 44; his last appearance was in the Alan Ladd thriller The Blue Dahlia (1946).