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His New York stage debut, an uncredited role in Jacques Coinis’ ‘Romeo and Juliet’at the 44th Street Theatre in 1915, was followed by another low key credit in ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor’ at the Park Theatre in 1917.
The following year he appeared in the long running ‘The Betrothal’, first at the Shubert, later transferring to the Century Theatre in a cast which also featured the teenaged and prospective Hollywood star, Gladys George.
He found work readily in the now hectic confines of Hollywood, making three films in 1937, the most significant in terms of credit rating being director Albert S. In the last two years of the thirties he had a crash course in screen character playing, working on almost every conceivable narrative theme, including the French period swashbuckler, ‘If I Were King’, with Ronald Colman and Basil Rathbone and a western ,‘Ride a Crooked Mile’, both 1938. Wellman’s star studded and Oscar nominated desert epic, ‘Beau Geste’ 1939, but still entered the forties at the lower end of an increasingly expansive actors stockpile.
Following three largely forgettable films, the best of which was the Abbott and Costello vehicle ‘It Aint Hay’, he saw his star rise briefly with director Andrew L.
Other notable London stage appearances between 1920/22 included an adaptation of George Meredith’s drama ‘ Rhoda Fleming ‘ at the Ambassadors Theatre in 1920 and ‘Angelo: The Romance of a Great Composer ‘ at Drury Lane 1922.
Her 1920 introduction to films was equally significant, taking the female lead in the Welsh/Pearson silent ‘Garryowen’, a horse racing drama directed by George Pearson, going on to appear in several more dramas in the early twenties and had another starring role in her final silent production, ‘Miriam Rozelle’ 1924.
His first taste of the fast and furious world of screen acting came with his 1923 debut as Looney Luke in director Henry King’s adventure yarn ‘Fury’, notable only for the curiosity value of the film’s leading man, Tyrone Power Snr.
After this experience he returned to the New York stage and it would be a period of six years and the advent of sound before his Hollywood journey could resume in earnest.
Before that however he was part of a huge cast convened at the National Theatre New York in 1934 for Sean O’Casey’s drama ‘Within the Gates’, which ran for a total of 141 performances and followed this with the role of Thomas Murphy in Elsie Schauffler’s ‘Parnell’ at the Ethel Barrymore in 1935.
In the latter half of the decade she continued to make a modest impression on the London stage, with roles in ‘The Mayor of Casterbridge’ at the Barnes Theatre 1926 and two West End appearances in 1927, ‘The Great God Brown’ with John Gielgud, at the Strand Theatre and the long running ‘Interference’ at St James’ Theatre.
Her first marriage to actor/writer Reginald Denham ended in 1924 after seven years and soon afterwards she married Edgar Lansbury, the son of Labour party leader George Lansbury.
Born Belfast 10th December 1895 Died Los Angeles 25th November 1975 Obdurate and methodical character player, whose career although not glittering, will probably be forgotten and instead will be unfairly remembered as the mother of Angela Lansbury.
She was on stage at the end of WW1, making her debut in a supporting role in the Somerset Maugham comedy ‘Love in a Cottage’, at the Globe Theatre London in 1918.
In the early twenties he took a number of medial roles in diverse productions such as ‘The Mandarin’ at the Princess Theatre and was Tom Rainey in a decent revival of St.