H. B. Warner
|H. B. Warner|
ad for One Hour Before Dawn (1920)
|Born||Henry Byron Charles Stewart Warner-Lickford
26 October 1875
St John's Wood, London, England, UK
|Died||21 December 1958
Woodland Hills, California, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||F.R. Hamlin (?-?) (divorced)
Rita Stanwood (1919-33) (divorced) 2 children
He was born Henry Byron Charles Stewart Warner-Lickfold in St John's Wood, London, England in 1875. His father, Charles Warner, was an actor, and, although young Henry had initially thought about studying medicine, he eventually followed in his father's footsteps and performed on the stage.
Warner began his film career in silent films in 1914, when he debuted in The Lost Paradise. He played lead roles, culminating in the role of Jesus Christ in Cecil B. DeMille's silent film epic, The King of Kings in 1927. Following that film, he was usually cast in dignified roles, in such films as the 1930 version of Liliom (as the Heavenly Magistrate), Grand Canary (1934, as Dr. Ismay), the 1935 version of A Tale of Two Cities (as Charles Darnay's servant), Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936) (as the judge), the original 1937 version of Lost Horizon (as Chang, for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor), You Can't Take It With You (1938), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), The Rains Came (1939), and The Corsican Brothers. In It's a Wonderful Life (1946) he played what was for him, an atypical role, as the drunken druggist. He also appeared in Sunset Boulevard (1950) (in which he played himself) and The Ten Commandments (1956). Occasionally, Warner was seen in sinister roles, as in the 1941 film version of The Devil and Daniel Webster, in which he played the ghost of John Hathorne. Also that year he played the villanous role of Mr. Carrington in Topper Returns.
Warner was married twice, to Rita Stanwood in 1919 and to F.R. Hamlin.
On 21 December 1958 Warner died in Los Angeles, California of heart attack, and he is buried in the Chapel of the Pines Crematory in Los Angeles, California. Warner has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at 6600 Hollywood Blvd.
- Rothwell-Smith, Paul. Silent Films! The Performers (2011) ISBN 9781907540325
- H.B. Warner at the Internet Movie Database
- H. B. Warner at the Internet Broadway Database
- Photographs and literature