from the trailer for The Miniver Story (1950)
|Born||John Reginald Owen
5 August 1887
Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire, England
|Died||5 November 1972
Boise, Idaho, U.S.
|Cause of death||Heart attack|
|Resting place||Morris Hill Cemetery, Boise.|
Lydia Bilbrook (1908-23; divorced)
Mrs. Harold Austin (stage actress) (19??-56) 2 children
Barbara Haveman (1956-72; his death)
John Reginald Owen (5 August 1887 – 5 November 1972) was a British character actor. He was known for his many roles in British and American films and later in television programmes.
Owen studied at Sir Herbert Tree's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and made his professional debut in 1905. He went to the United States in 1920 and worked originally on Broadway in New York, but later moved to Hollywood, where he began a lengthy film career. He was always a familiar face in many Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer productions.
Owen is perhaps best known today for his performance as Ebenezer Scrooge in the 1938 film version of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, a role he inherited from Lionel Barrymore, who had played the part of Scrooge on the radio every Christmas for years, after Barrymore had broken his hip in an accident.
Owen was one of only four actors to play both Sherlock Holmes and his companion Dr Watson (Jeremy Brett played Watson on stage in the United States prior to adopting the mantle of Holmes on British television, Carleton Hobbs played both roles in British radio adaptations while Patrick Macnee played both roles in US television films).
Owen first played Watson in the film Sherlock Holmes (1932), and then Holmes himself in A Study in Scarlet (1933). Having played Ebenezer Scrooge, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Owen has the odd distinction of playing three classic characters of Victorian fiction only to live to see those characters be taken over and personified by other actors, namely Alastair Sim as Scrooge, Basil Rathbone as Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Watson.
Later in his career, Owen appeared opposite James Garner in the television series Maverick in the episodes "The Belcastle Brand" (1957) and "Gun-Shy" (1958) and in episodes of the series One Step Beyond and Bewitched. He was also featured in the Walt Disney films Mary Poppins (1964) and Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971). He had a small role in the 1962 Irwin Allen production of the Jules Verne novel Five Weeks in a Balloon. In August 1964, his Bel-Air mansion was rented out to The Beatles, who were performing at the Hollywood Bowl, when no hotel would book them.
- Henry VIII (1911)
- The Grass Orphan (1922)
- The Letter (1929)
- Platinum Blonde (1931)
- Downstairs (1932)
- Sherlock Holmes (1932)
- The Man Called Back (1932)
- A Study in Scarlet (1933)
- Double Harness (1933)
- Voltaire (1933)
- Queen Christina (1933)
- The House of Rothschild (1934)
- Stingaree (1934)
- Of Human Bondage (1934)
- Madame Du Barry (1934)
- Music in the Air (1934)
- Escapade (1935)
- The Call of the Wild (1935) - Mr. Smith
- Anna Karenina (1935)
- A Tale of Two Cities (1935) - Stryver
- The Good Fairy (1935)
- The Bishop Misbehaves (1935)
- Rose Marie (1936)
- The Great Ziegfeld (1936)
- Trouble for Two (1936)
- Yours for the Asking (1936)
- Love on the Run (1936)
- Personal Property (1937)
- Madame X (1937)
- Conquest (1937)
- Everybody Sing (1938)
- Paradise for Three (1938)
- Kidnapped (1938)
- Three Loves Has Nancy (1938)
- A Christmas Carol (1938)
- The Real Glory (1939)
- Landazuri, Margaret. Archives Spotlight: Young Dr. Kildare. Turner Classic Movies.com; accessed 7 December 2007
- Alan Barnes (2002). Sherlock Holmes on Screen. Reynolds & Hearn Ltd. p. 39. ISBN 1-903111-04-8.
- Allen Eyles (1986). Sherlock Holmes: A Centenary Celebration. Harper & Row. p. 86. ISBN 0-06-015620-1.
- Alan Barnes (2002). Sherlock Holmes on Screen. Reynolds & Hearn Ltd. p. 60. ISBN 1-903111-04-8.
- Author: A.J.S. Rayl; Book: "Beatles '64"; New York, Doubleday, 1989; page 96
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Reginald Owen.|
- Reginald Owen at the Internet Broadway Database
- Reginald Owen at the Internet Movie Database
- Reginald Owen at Find a Grave