John Loder (actor)

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John Loder
Hedy Lamarr and John Loder.jpg
Hedy Lamarr and John Loder in 1946
Born John Muir Lowe
3 January 1898
London, England
Died 26 December 1988(1988-12-26) (aged 90)
London, England
Years active 1925–1971
Spouse(s) Alba Julia Lagomarsino (1958–1988) (divorced) 1 child
Evelyn Auff Mordt (1949–1955) (divorced)
Hedy Lamarr (1943–1947) (divorced) 2 children
Micheline Cheirel (1936–1941) (divorced) 1 child
Sophie Kabel (?–?) (divorced) 1 child

John Loder (3 January 1898 – 26 December 1988) was a British-American actor. He was born William John Muir Lowe in London.

Early life[edit]

Loder's father was General W. H. M. Lowe, the British officer to whom Patrick Pearse, the leader of the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin, Ireland, surrendered.[1] Both were present at the surrender.[2]

He was born at No.11 Herbert Crescent, Knightsbridge, London[3] educated at Eton and the Royal Military College, and followed his father into the army, being commissioned into 15th Hussars as a second lieutenant on 17 March 1915,[4] and then served in the Gallipoli Campaign, leaving there on 19 December that year. On 21 April 1916 until early May he was in Ireland, then proceeding to Rouen, France to rejoin his regiment. He was engaged in the Battle of the Somme and was taken prisoner by the Germans on 21 March 1918 at the village of Roisel and taken to Le Cateau gaol and then by train to the first of several prisoner-of-war camps, at Tastatt, in Baden, Germany.[5] Upon being released, he stayed in Germany engaged in resumed military duties on behalf of the Inter-Allied Commission in Breslau and Upper Silesia.


Leaving the cavalry he went into business with a German friend, Walter Becker, establishing a pickle factory in Potsdam. Later Loder began to develop an interest in acting, appearing in bit-parts in a few German films at the Tempelhof Film Studios, employed by Alexander Korda.[6] He left Germany to briefly return to England before leaving on the Isle de France bound for Hollywood to try his luck in the new medium, Talkies. He appeared in The Doctor's Secret, which was Paramount's first talking picture—though his very English persona didn't win America over at this time and he returned to England where he co-starred in plush musicals and intrigue such as Love Life and Laughter and Sabotage. He was the male romantic interest in the 1937 original film version of King Solomon's Mines[7]

When World War II started he returned to America where he seamlessly coasted into a career in 'B' movie roles usually playing upper crust characters with occasional appearances on Broadway. He occasionally did play roles, though supporting ones, in major 'A' films such as How Green Was My Valley, in which he was at the same time one of Roddy McDowall's brothers and Donald Crisp's sons, and Now, Voyager, in which he played a wealthy widower engaged to Bette Davis.

In 1947 he became an American citizen; his last screen appearance was in 1971. In 1959 he became a naturalised citizen of the United Kingdom, as he had been of "uncertain nationality".[8]

Personal life[edit]

Loder was married five times; two of his wives were actresses: French star Micheline Cheirel (married 1936–41 – she later married Paul Meurisse), and the Austrian-American Hedy Lamarr (married 1943–47). With Lamarr, he had two children, Denise (born 1945) and Anthony (born 1947), and adopted Lamarr's son James Markey from her previous marriage to screenwriter Gene Markey.

Other wives of Loder were Sophie Kabel, Evelyn Auff Mordt, and his final wife, in 1958, the heiress Alba Julia Lagomarsino of Argentina, where he lived on her 25,000 acre cattle ranch and spent much time at the Jockey Club in Buenos Aires. After they divorced in 1972[9] Loder returned to London and resided for some years in a house opposite Harrods. His general health deteriorated in his eighties and he was admitted in 1982 to the Distressed Gentlefolks Aid Association's Nursing Home in Vicarage Gate, Kensington, where he was well looked after, venturing out by taxi once a week to his London Club, Bucks, in Mayfair, for luncheons. He died in London, aged 90, in 1988.[10] His autobiography, Hollywood Hussar was published in 1977.

John Loder's eldest son, Robin William Lowe (1925 – died suddenly, 29 March 2002[11]), followed his father to Eton and served in the Grenadier Guards. He later became a theatrical and literary agent and was married three times. His last marriage was to British actress Hilary Tindall (1938–1992), who played Ann Hammond in the 1970s BBC TV series The Brothers.[12]

Partial filmography[edit]


  1. ^ "Hedy Lamarr and the Easter Rising". Irish Theatre Institute. 17 August 2006. Retrieved 2009-03-30. 
  2. ^ BBC, 1916 Easter Rising Gallery
  3. ^ Hollywood Hussar by John Loder, London, 1977, p.9, ISBN 0-7030-0121-3
  4. ^ The London Gazette: no. 29102. p. 2632. 16 March 1915. Retrieved 6 April 2009.
  5. ^ Hollywood Hussar pps:30 & 41-52.
  6. ^ Hollywood Hussar pps:70-74.
  7. ^ Hollywood Hussar, p.118.
  8. ^ The London Gazette: no. 41637. p. 1172. 17 February 1959. Retrieved 6 April 2009.
  9. ^ Genealogists' Magazine, vol.27, no.7, Society of Genealogists, London, 2002, pps:332-326, "Another Englishman Abroad - John loder and Hedy Lamarr" by Charles Kidd, editor of Debrett's Peerage & Baronetage.
  10. ^ The Daily Telegraph, Obituary, 29 December 1988
  11. ^ "Times" Death Notices, 3 April 2002
  12. ^ Genealogists' Magazine, Sept 2002

External links[edit]