Cecil Kellaway

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Cecil Kellaway
Cecil Kellaway in The Postman Always Rings Twice trailer.jpg
from the trailer for
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)
Born Cecil Lawriston Kellaway[1]
(1890-08-22)22 August 1890
Cape Town, Cape Colony (present-day Cape Town, South Africa)
Died 28 February 1973(1973-02-28) (aged 82)
West Hollywood, California, U.S.
Years active 1921–1972
Spouse(s) Doreen Elizabeth Joubert (m. 1919-1973; his death); 2 sons
Children Peter Kellaway, Bryan Kellaway

Cecil Lawriston Kellaway (22 August 1890 – 28 February 1973)[2] was a South African-born American character actor.[3]


Cecil Kellaway was born on 22 August 1890 in Cape Town, South Africa, where he gained an early interest in theatre acting, much to the displeasure of his parents.[4][n 1] He was educated in South Africa and England, before becoming a touring stock company actor.[5] By the early 1920s, he had settled in Australia, becoming a popular character comedian of the local stage.[6]

After receiving acclaim for his main role in the Australian Cinesound film It Isn't Done (1937), for which he also provided the original story, he was screen-tested by RKO Pictures and put under contract.[7]

He returned to Australia for a second Cinesound film, Mr. Chedworth Steps Out (1938), before going on to a long career as a Hollywood character actor, with prominent roles in William Wyler's Wuthering Heights (1939), The House of the Seven Gables (1940), The Letter (1940), Kitty (1945) (giving an excellent performance as painter Thomas Gainsborough), (1945), Love Letters (1945), as the ill-fated husband of Lana Turner's character in The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946), Portrait of Jennie (1948), Harvey (1950), Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964), and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967).[8]

He was twice nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, for The Luck of the Irish in 1948 and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner in 1967.[9]

In 1959, he made a guest appearance on Perry Mason as chemist and murderer Darrell Metcalf in "The Case of the Glittering Goldfish". In 1961, Kellaway guest starred as MacKay in the episode "Incident In The Middle of Nowhere" on CBS's Rawhide.[citation needed]. In 1964, he played Santa Claus in the "Visions of Sugarplums" episode of "Bewitched". In 1967, Kellaway played the part of a lonely, megawealthy much older suitor of Ann Marie (played by Marlo Thomas) in an episode of That Girl.[8]


Kellaway died after a long illness at a West Los Angeles convalescent home on February 28, 1973. He was survived by his wife, two sons, and four grandchildren. His interment was at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery.[8] His cousins were fellow actors Edmund Gwenn and Arthur Chesney.[citation needed]

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ Some sources, including the German Wikipedia page at de:Cecil Kellaway, claim he was born in 1893; the page acknowledges the confusion and claims a majority of sources refer to 1893 as his birth year. Kellaway's Petition for Naturalization as a United States Citizen (#(#175514), filed in 1951, cites 1890.
  1. ^ Cecil Lawriston Kellaway (born 1890) filed a Petition (#175514) for Naturalization as a United States citizen in 1951; certificate #7411287 (per ancestry.com)
  2. ^ "Kellaway, Cecil (1890–1973)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University. Retrieved 1 June 2011. 
  3. ^ Obituary, Variety, 7 March 1973, page 78.
  4. ^ "THE KELLAWAY FAMILY ON STAGE AND SCREEN". The Sydney Morning Herald. 4 August 1938. Retrieved 13 September 2012. 
  5. ^ "Character Actor Cecil Kellaway is Dead at 79.". Daily Times. 1 March 1973. Retrieved 13 September 2012. 
  6. ^ Kellaway's Australian stage credits, ausstage.edu.au; accessed 28 December 2015
  7. ^ "Cecil Kellaway profile". The Sydney Morning Herald. 5 June 1937. Retrieved 13 September 2012. 
  8. ^ a b c Cecil Kellaway at the Internet Movie Database
  9. ^ "Character Actor Cecil Kellaway is Dead". Daily Times. 1 March 1973. Retrieved 13 September 2012. 

External links[edit]