November 19, 1885 (
Trinidad, Colorado, U.S.
July 7, 1969, Los Angeles, California, United States
Citizen Kane, The Lady from Shanghai, The Magnificent Ambersons, Macbeth, Letter from an Unknown
Orson Welles, Robert Wise, Curtis Bernhardt, Max Ophuls, Bernard Herrmann
Erskine Sanford (November 19, 1885 – July 7, 1969) was an American actor on the stage and in radio and motion pictures. A member of Orson Welles's Mercury Theatre company, he also appeared in several of Welles's films, most notably as the bumbling, perspiring newspaper editor Herbert Carter in Citizen Kane.
Erskine Sanford was born in Trinidad, Colorado, and was educated at the Horace Mann School in New York City. He began his acting career with Mrs. Fiske's company, making his professional debut in Leah Kleschna. He appeared in The Blue Bird and The Piper (1910–11) at the New Theatre in New York City, and in Shakespearean repertory with Ben Greet. For some 15 years he was associated with the Theatre Guild, playing a variety of roles on Broadway and on tour, including performances of Porgy and Strange Interlude on the London stage.
In Kenosha, Wisconsin, Sanford first met Orson Welles when the seven-year-old boy came backstage to meet him after a touring performance of Mr. Pim Passes By. Sanford left the Theatre Guild to join Welles's Mercury Theatre company, and made his Mercury debut in the 1938 stage production of Heartbreak House. Appearing as Mazzini Dunn, Sanford reprised the role he had created 18 years before in the Theatre Guild's world premiere production.