Arthur O'Connell was an American stage and film actor. He appeared in films in 1941 and television programs. Among his screen appearances were Picnic, Anatomy of a Murder, and as the watch-maker who hides Jews during World War II in Corrie ten Boom's The Hiding Place.
A veteran vaudevillian, O'Connell, from New York City, made his legitimate stage debut in the middle 1930s, at which time he fell within the orbit of Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre. Welles cast O'Connell in the tiny role of a reporter in the closing scenes of Citizen Kane, a film often referred to as O'Connell's film debut, though in fact he had already appeared in Freshman Year and had costarred in two Leon Errol short subjects as Leon's conniving brother-in-law.
After numerous small movie parts, O'Connell returned to Broadway, where he appeared as the erstwhile middle-aged swain of a spinsterish schoolteacher in Picnic - a role he'd recreate in the 1956 film version, earning an Oscar nomination in the process. Later the jaded looking O'Connell was frequently cast as fortyish losers and alcoholics; in the latter capacity he appeared as James Stewart's boozy attorney mentor in Anatomy of a Murder, and the result was another Oscar nomination. In 1962 O'Connell portrayed the father of Elvis Presley's character in the motion picture Follow That Dream, and in 1964 in the Presley-picture Kissin' Cousins.