Noble (Kid) Chissell, a boxer who appeared on television in many of Bob Hope’s specials, a champion marathon dancer who became a stunt man and actor, and a correctional officer who wanted to be mayor of Los Angeles, is dead.
Chissell, a former Navy middleweight champion boxer, was 82 when he died Sunday in an area rest home, said his longtime friend, Mildena Matthews. He had never completely recovered from injuries he suffered a year ago in an accident, Matthews said.
Born Noble LaPorte Chisman in Indianapolis, the veteran actor and film technical adviser trained to become a professional boxer as a youth. He changed his name to “Kid Chissell” while fighting out of Marriott’s Gym in Cleveland, where another aspiring fighter, Leslie Townes Hope, had also worked out, using the ring name Packy East.
Went to Hollywood
Chisman-Chissell preceded Hope-East to Hollywood, where Leslie Hope was to become Bob Hope, and over the years worked for and with the famous comic in films and on television. Hope said “he was a very likable and nice guy” who approached Hope one day and reminisced about their boxing days in Cleveland.
Chissell joined the Navy and won the 1932 fleet middleweight crown. Even earlier he won the 1928 World Marathon Dance Champion contest. (His skills in that area led to him being made a technical adviser in the 1969 film, “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?” based on the dance craze of the 1920s.)
In Hollywood he portrayed a series of tough cops, gangsters and free-spirited roustabouts in films ranging from “Abe Lincoln in Illinois” to “Guys and Dolls.” He had a small role in “Big Foot,” but was given only an occasional line or two in “Friendly Persuasion,” “Bonnie and Clyde,” “Song of Arizona,” “Hell Cats” and many more.
Twenty TV Shows
He did 20 of Hope’s TV specials and was seen regularly on such television series as “Life of Riley,” “Dragnet,” “Playhouse 90,” “Climax” and “People’s Court.”
In 1953 he was working as a correctional officer when he became one of several losing candidates for mayor of Los Angeles, and in 1962 he made a second unsuccessful run at politics in the old 40th State Assembly District.
He is survived by two sisters. Services are scheduled for 11 a.m. today at Forest Lawn’s Little Church of the Flowers in Glendale.