Both of Allen Jenkins' parents were musical comedy performers, and he entered the theater as a stage mechanic after World War I, after having spent time working in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Although his screen persona was that of a not-too-bright Brooklyn tough guy, Jenkins attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and appeared in many Broadway plays before making his film debut in 1931. He found his niche at Warner Brothers, where he perfected his slow-witted but good-natured gangster/taxi driver/cop/etc. character. In the latter part of his career he appeared frequently on TV, and was a regular on the TV series Hey, Jeannie! (1956). He is probably best remembered by "baby boomers" as the voice of the put-upon cop Officer Dibble in the popular cartoon series Top Cat (1961).
He died in Santa Monica, CA, in 1974 after undergoing surgery.