William Janney (born Russell Dixon Janney) was an American actor who appeared in 39 films between 1929 and 1937. He was the son of author and theatrical producer Russell Janney, and he attended the School for Professional Children.Janney debuted on Broadway in Merton of the Movies (1922). His other Broadway credits include Great Music (1924) Four O'Clock (1933), Take My Tip (1932), Tommy (1927), and Bridge of Distances (1925). His biggest regret was not taking the role in Tol'able David (1930) after Columbia boss Harry Cohn offered it to him. His mother urged him to let Richard Cromwell have it. "She told me there was this old woman friend of hers whose son had always wanted to play the part. She said I didn't want to play it anyway. To this day, I don't understand her... This really spoiled the whole thing for me, because I might have been offered a contract with Columbia. As it turned out, I never did get a contract, and Harry Cohn never offered me anything else."