Elsa Lanchester
(Movies & TV)
Boris Karloff
(Movies & TV)
Lillian Gish
(Movies & TV)
Robert Mitchum
(Movies & TV)
Shelley Winters
(Movies & TV)

See also

Charles Laughton

Knowledge Identifier: +Charles_Laughton


Charles Laughton

English-American stage and film actor, screenwriter, producer and directoradd

Category: Movies & TV

Born in 1899.

Countries: United States (45%), United Kingdom (33%), France (5%)

Main connections: Elsa Lanchester, Boris Karloff, Quasimodo

Linked to: Capitol Records, Comedie-Francaise, Decca Records, Deutsche Grammophon




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Charles Laughton was born in 1899 add something


Quasimodo - The role of Quasimodo has been played by many actors in film and stage adaptations, including Lon Chaney, Sr. and Charles Laughton , as well as Tom Hulce in the 1996 Disney animated adaptation


Finally allowed by his family to become a drama student at RADA in 1925, Laughton made his first professional stage appearance on April 28, 1926 at the Barnes Theatre, as Osip in the comedy The Government Inspector, in which he appeared at the London Gaiety Theatre in May. Despite not having the looks for a romantic lead, he impressed audiences with his talent and played classical roles in two plays by Chekhov, The Cherry Orchard and The Three Sisters. add something


In 1926, he played the role of the criminal Ficsur in the original London production of Ferenc Molnar's Liliom. add something


In 1927, Laughton began a relationship with Elsa Lanchester, at the time a cast mate in a stage play. add something


Elsa Lanchester - She met the actor Charles Laughton in 1927, and they were married two years later


He appeared in many West End plays in the following few years and his earliest successes on the stage were in roles like Hercule Poirot in Alibi (1928, the first actor to portray Agatha Christie's Belgian detective Hercule Poirot) - a stage adaptation of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd) and William Marble in Payment Deferred, in which he made his Lyceum Theatre debut in 1931. add something


Laughton played the lead role of Harry Hegan in the world premiere of Sean O'Casey's "The Silver Tassie" in 1928 in London. add something


He made a brief appearance as a disgruntled diner in another silent film Piccadilly with Anna May Wong in 1929. add something


The two were married in 1929, became American citizens together in 1950, and remained together until Laughton's death. add something


Elsa Lanchester - Lanchester married Charles Laughton in 1929


Walter Starkie - In light of his previous successes at the Abbey Theatre the rejection caused much controversy and O'Casey severed his relations with the theatre and took the play to London where it premiered on October 11, 1929 at the Apollo Theatre with Charles Laughton and Barry Fitzgerald under the direction of Raymond Massey


Donald Crisp - Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, he appeared in a wide range of roles alongside some of the era's biggest stars, including Katharine Hepburn in "The Little Minister" , Charles Laughton and Clark Gable in "Mutiny on the Bounty" , Bette Davis and Henry Fonda in "That Certain Woman" , Laurence Olivier in "Wuthering Heights" , Errol Flynn in "The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex" and "The Sea Hawk" and Gregory Peck in "The Valley of Decision"


His New York stage debut in 1931 immediately led to film offers and Laughton's first Hollywood film was The Old Dark House with Boris Karloff in which he played a bluff Yorkshire businessman marooned during a storm with other travellers in a creepy mansion in the Welsh mountains. add something


In all, he appeared in six Hollywood films during 1932. add something


Melvyn Douglas - Douglas shared top billing with Boris Karloff and Charles Laughton in James Whale's sardonic horror classic "The Old Dark House" in 1932


His association with film director Alexander Korda began in 1933 with The Private Life of Henry VIII, for which Laughton won an Academy Award, the first British actor to do so. add something


While Laughton is most remembered for his film career, he continued to work in the theatre, as when, after the success of The Private Life of Henry VIII he appeared at the Old Vic Theatre in 1933 as roles Macbeth, Lopakin in The Cherry Orchard, Prospero in The Tempest and Angelo in Measure for Measure. add something


Wendy Barrie - Barrie went on to make a number of motion pictures for London Films under the Korda brothers, Alexander and Zoltan, the best known of which is 1933's "The Private Life of Henry VIII", which starred Charles Laughton, Robert_Donat, Merle Oberon, and Elsa Lanchester


Laughton's voice first appeared on 78-rpm records with the release of five British Regal Zonophone 10-inch discs entitled Voice of the Stars issued annually from 1934 to 1938. add something


Laughton won the New York Film Critics Circle Awards for Mutiny on the Bounty and Ruggles of Red Gap in 1935. add something


Eddie Quillan - Eddie Quillan would remain a popular leading and secondary actor throughout the sound film era and would appear in such notable fims as 1935's "Mutiny on the Bounty" with Clark Gable, Charles Laughton, and Franchot Tone, 1939's "Young Mr. Lincoln" opposite Henry Fonda and Alice Brady, and as 'Connie Rivers' in John Ford's 1940 film adaptation of the John Steinbeck novel "The Grapes of Wrath" opposite Henry Fonda and 1943's "Alaska Highway" and "It Ain't Hay" opposite the comedic duo Abbot


In 1936, he went to Paris and on May 9 appeared at the Comedie-Française as Sganarelle in the second act of Molière's Le Medecin malgre lui, the first English actor to appear at that theatre, where he acted the part in French and received an ovation. add something


He made several other spoken-word recordings, one of his most famous being his one-man album of Charles Dickens's Mr. Pickwick's Christmas, a twenty-minute version of the Christmas chapter from Dickens's The Pickwick Papers. add something


In 1937, for Korda, he starred in an ill-fated film version of the classic novel, I, Claudius, by Robert Graves, which was abandoned during filming owing to the injuries suffered by co-star Merle Oberon in a car crash. add something


Claudius - In 1937, director Josef von Sternberg attempted a film version of "I, Claudius", with Charles Laughton as Claudius


Walter Hampden - Hampden appeared in a few silent films, but did not really begin his film career in earnest until 1939, when he played the good Archbishop of Paris in "The Hunchback of Notre Dame", starring Charles Laughton as Quasimodo


Cedric Hardwicke - He played Dr. David Livingstone opposite Spencer Tracy's Henry Morton Stanley in the 1939 film "Stanley and Livingstone" and was memorable that year as Frollo in "The Hunchback of Notre Dame", with Charles Laughton as Quasimodo


Deutsche Grammophon - It is releasing some of American Decca Records' albums from the 1940s and 1950s, such as those that Leonard Bernstein made for Decca in 1953, and the classic ! Christmas album that features Ronald Colman's starring in "A Christmas Carol" and Charles Laughton's narrating "Mr


He played sympathetically an impoverished composer-pianist in Tales of Manhattan and starred in an updated version of Oscar Wilde's The Canterville Ghost in 1944. add something


In 1943, Laughton recorded a reading of the Nativity story from St. Luke's Gospel, and this was released in 1995 on CD on a Nimbus Records collection entitled Prima Voce: The Spirit of Christmas Past. add something


Jean Renoir - In 1943, he co-produced and directed an anti-Nazi film set in France, This Land Is Mine, starring Maureen O'Hara and Charles Laughton.


This Land Is Mine (film) - "'This Land Is Mine"' is a 1943 American war drama film directed by Jean Renoir and starring Charles Laughton, Maureen_O'Hara and George Sanders


Laughton played the title role at the play's premiere in Los Angeles on 30 July 1947 and later that year in New York. add something


Laughton made his first color film in Paris as Inspector Jules Maigret in The Man on the Eiffel Tower and, wrote the Monthly Film Bulletin, "appeared to overact" alongside Boris Karloff as a mad French nobleman in a version of Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Door in 1951. add something


Laughton had one of his most notable successes in the theatre by directing and playing the Devil in Don Juan in Hell beginning in 1950. add something


Shelley Winters - Throughout the 1950s, Winters continued in films, including "Meet Danny Wilson" as Frank Sinatra's leading lady, most notably in Charles Laughton's 1955 "Night of the Hunter", with Robert Mitchum and Lillian Gish, and the less successful "I Am A Camera" starring opposite Julie Harris and Laurence Harvey


Laughton directed a staged reading in 1953 of Stephen Vincent Benet's John Brown's Body, a full-length poem about the American Civil_War and its aftermath. add something


Stephen Vincent Benet - His play "John Brown's Body" was staged on Broadway in 1953, in a three-person dramatic reading featuring Tyrone Power, Judith Anderson, and Raymond Massey, and directed by Charles Laughton


Judith Anderson - In 1953, she was directed by Charles Laughton in his own adaptation of Stephen Vincent Benét's "John Brown's Body" with a cast featuring Raymond Massey and Tyrone Power


His most notable box-office success as a director came in 1954, with The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, a full-length stage dramatization by Herman Wouk of the court-martial scene in Wouk's novel The Caine Mutiny. add something


In 1955, Laughton directed The Night of the Hunter, starring Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters and Lillian Gish. add something


The Night of the Hunter (film) - "'The Night of the Hunter"' is a 1955 American thriller film directed by Charles Laughton and starring Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters and Lillian Gish


Although a British production of A Midsummer Night's Dream did air on television around this time, it was not the one with Laughton, but rather a 1958 production with Paul Rogers as Bottom. add something


Laughton returned to the London stage in May 1958 to direct and star in Jane Arden's The Party at the New Theatre which had Elsa Lanchester and Albert Finney in the cast. add something


Jane Arden (director) - In 1958 her play "The Party", an intense family drama set in Kilburn, was directed at London 's New Theatre by Charles Laughton


He made his final theatre appearances as Nick Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream and as King Lear at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in 1959, although failing health resulted in both performances being disappointing, according to some British critics. add something


One of his last performances was on the TV series Checkmate, in which he played a missionary recently returned from China. add something


Vanessa Redgrave - In 1959 she appeared at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre under the direction of Peter Hall as Helena in "A Midsummer's Night Dream" opposite Charles Laughton as Bottom and "Coriolanus" opposite Laurence Olivier , Albert Finney and Edith Evans


Although he did not appear in any later plays, he continued to tour the US with staged readings, including a very successful appearance on the Stanford University campus in 1960. add something


A two-LP Capitol Records album was released in 1962, the year of Laughton's death, entitled The Story Teller: A Session with Charles Laughton. add something


Charles Laughton died 15 December 1962, after a battle with renal cell carcinoma , aged 63 add something


Simon Callow's 1987 biography quotes a number of contemporary reviews of Laughton's performances in these films add something


Playhouse 90 - An indifferently received TV movie production of "In the Presence of Mine Enemies", starring Armin Mueller-Stahl in the Charles Laughton role, was shown on cable TV in 1997 by Showtime


Both stories were released together on a Deutsche Grammophon CD for Christmas 2005 add something