Henry Brandon was born in Berlin in 1912 as Henry Kleinbach. When 17 years old, he went to California to become an actor. He was discovered by Hal Roach, who saw him in a stage production of "The Drunkard". Roach thought he would make the perfect villain for the new Laurel & Hardy feature, Babes in Toyland (1934). Henry was only 21 years old when playing that villain, Silas Barnaby, so he needed heavy makeup. In fact, Hal Roach didn't know he was that young, and he was very surprised to find out during an appointment that he was only 21!