Henry Travers

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For the New Zealand naturalist, see Henry H. Travers.
Henry Travers
Travers in The Bells of St. Mary's (1945)
Born Travers John Heagerty
(1874-03-05)5 March 1874
Prudhoe, Northumberland, England England
Died 18 October 1965(1965-10-18) (aged 91)
Hollywood, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1933–1949
Spouse(s) Amy Forrest-Rhodes (?-1954) (her death)

Henry Travers (5 March 1874 – 18 October 1965) was an English actor. His most memorable role was the angel Clarence Odbody in the 1946 film It's a Wonderful Life.

Early life[edit]

Travers was born Travers John Heagerty in Prudhoe, Northumberland, and was the son of Daniel Heagerty, a doctor. Travers grew up in Berwick-upon-Tweed, and many biographies wrongly report him as being born there.[1] The Travers family lived in Prudhoe for a couple of years, before moving from Woodburn, on the A68 road near Corsenside, Northumberland, in about 1866, to Tweedmouth, Berwick-upon-Tweed, in about 1876. Initially he trained as an architect at Berwick before taking to the stage under the name Henry Travers.


A stage actor in Britain, he emigrated to the United States and appeared in Hollywood film productions beginning in 1933. His first film was Reunion in Vienna. He made his last film in 1949. Travers' most famous role was as the angel Clarence who comes to save James Stewart's character from suicide in Frank Capra's classic It's a Wonderful Life. He was also an Oscar-nominated actor for his role in the film Mrs. Miniver.

Selected filmography[edit]

Travers in his most memorable role, as Clarence Odbody in It's a Wonderful Life

Personal life[edit]

On his death in 1965, Travers was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California, USA.


  1. ^ GRO Register of Births, Marriages and Death and 1881 Census for England & Wales

External links[edit]