Albert Edward Anson

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Albert Edward Anson
Albert Edward Anson.JPG
Albert Edward Anson in Arrowsmith (1931)
Born (1879-09-14)14 September 1879
Died 25 June 1936(1936-06-25) (aged 56)
Monrovia, California[1]
Occupation Actor
Spouse(s) Deidre Doyle, Mary Malleson

Albert Edward Anson (14 September 1879 – 25 June 1936) was a British stage and screen actor. Born in London, he made his first appearance onstage in 1895. He left the stage briefly to pursue a degree in engineering and returned to appear with Beerbohm Tree's company in 1904. He gained fame as a Shakespearian actor appearing on London and New York stages.

In 1931, Anson made his screen debut in John Ford's film Arrowsmith. Director Frank Capra cast him to play the "High Lama" in his film Lost Horizon, but Anson died before filming so the role was given to Sam Jaffe. Anson died in Monrovia, California.

Stage career[edit]

His father was the Shakespearean and character actor George W. Anson.[1]

His stage debut was at the Court Theatre in London on 27 April 1895. In 1904 (like his father at around this time) he joined Herbert Beerbohm Tree's company. In 1905 he played Brabantio in Othello, his first major role.[1][2]

In 1905 he toured the USA: he appeared in the play The Toast of the Town by Clyde Fitch, with Viola Allen and Hassard Short.[1][3][4]

The Hudson Theatre, on W 44th St, New York, where Anson appeared in 1912 and 1913[5]

From 1902 until 1930 he appeared in many productions in various theatres in New York, including several plays of Shakespeare: he was in Julius Caesar in 1902; later he played Octavian in Antony and Cleopatra in 1909, and Master Ford in The Merry Wives of Windsor in 1910.[2][5]

The play Romance by Edward Sheldon, in which Anson played Cornelius van Tuyl, ran for 160 performances in 1913 at the Maxine Elliott Theatre, and was revived in 1921 at the Playhouse Theatre where it ran for 106 performances.[5]

He was in the play White Cargo, which ran for 257 performances at the Greenwich Village Theatre, opening in November 1923, Anson playing Witzel. The play was written and staged by Leon Gordon. (It was made into a film in 1942.)[5]

The Martin Beck Theatre, on W 45th St, New York (now the Al Hirschfeld Theatre), where Anson staged and appeared in the play Cape Smoke by Walter Archer Frost in 1925; it ran for 104 performances[5]

He married twice: to actress Deidre Doyle, they were later divorced; secondly to actress Mary Malleson, with whom he appeared in New York in The Barton Mystery by Walter C. Hackett in 1917; he also directed this play. During the 1920s he was engaged to, but did not marry, the actress Marjorie Rambeau with whom he was in two New York productions: As You Like It in 1923, and The Road Together (which closed after one performance) by George Middleton in 1924.[1][6]


In the 1930s he moved to California. He appeared in the 1931 film Arrowsmith, directed by John Ford. The film was based on the novel of the same name by Sinclair Lewis, about the life of Martin Arrowsmith, an idealistic doctor (played by Ronald Colman); Anson played the part of his mentor Dr Gottlieb. Anson had a minor part in the 1931 film The Road to Singapore, directed by Alfred E. Green. (The film, which featured William Powell, was based on the play Heatwave by Denise Robins and Roland Pertwee).[1][7]

He died on 25 June 1936 in Monrovia, and was buried in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "A. E. Anson". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved November 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "A. E. Anson". Shakespeare and the Players; Harry Rusche, Emory University. Retrieved December 2013. 
  3. ^ "Reading Times, 7 November 1905". Retrieved December 2013. 
  4. ^ "Three photographs of Clyde Fitch's play The Toast of the Town". Folger Shakespeare Library. Retrieved December 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "A. E. Anson". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved December 2013. 
  6. ^ "The Ogden Standard-Examiner, 21 March 1926". Retrieved December 2013. 
  7. ^ "Arrowsmith (1931) Review". Pre-Code.Com; reviewing every film, 1930 to 1934. Retrieved December 2013. 
  8. ^ "Albert Edward Anson". Find a Grave. Retrieved December 2013. 

External links[edit]