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Leslie Howard


“The stage is the actor’s medium. The actor controls there. But films, why they’re the director’s and the cutter’s . . . the actor is merely incidental. ”



Son of a London stockbroker, British actor Leslie Howard worked as a bank clerk after graduating from London’s Dulwich School. Serving briefly in World War I, Howard was mustered out for medical reasons in 1918, deciding at that time to act for a living. Working in both England and the U.S. throughout the 1920s, Howard specialized in playing disillusioned intellectuals in such plays as Outward Bound, the film version of which served as his 1930 film debut. Other films followed on both sides of the Atlantic, the best of these being Howard’s masterful star turn in The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934). In 1935, Howard portrayed yet another disenchanted soul in The Petrified Forest, which co-starred Humphrey Bogart as a gangster patterned after John Dillinger. Howard was tapped for the film version, but refused to make the movie unless Bogart was also hired (Warner Bros. had planned to use their resident gangster type, Edward G. Robinson). Hardly a candidate for “Mr. Nice Guy” — he was known to… read more


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