Colin Clive

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Colin Clive
Colin Clive in Mad Love (1935) trailer.jpg
Trailer for Mad Love (1935)
Colin Glenn Clive-Greig

(1900-01-20)20 January 1900
Died25 June 1937(1937-06-25) (aged 37)
Resting placeAshes scattered at sea
EducationStonyhurst College
Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
Years active1925–1937
Evelyn Taylor
(m. 1922; died 1929)

(m. 1929⁠–⁠1937)

Colin Clive (born Colin Glenn Clive-Greig; 20 January 1900 – 25 June 1937) was a British stage and screen actor. His most memorable role was Henry Frankenstein, the creator of the monster, in the 1931 film Frankenstein and its 1935 sequel, Bride of Frankenstein.

Early life[edit]

Clive was born in Saint-Malo, France, to an English colonel, Colin Philip Greig, and his wife, Caroline Margaret Lugard Clive. He attended Stonyhurst College and subsequently Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, where an injured knee disqualified him from military service and contributed to his becoming a stage actor.[1] He was a member of the Hull Repertory Theatre Company for three years.[1]

Clive created the role of Steve Baker, the white husband of racially mixed Julie LaVerne, in the first London production of Show Boat; the production featured Cedric Hardwicke and Paul Robeson. Clive first worked with James Whale in the Savoy Theatre production of Journey's End and subsequently joined the British community in Hollywood, repeating his stage role in the film version.[2]


Clive's first screen role, in Journey's End (1930), was also directed by James Whale. Clive played the tormented alcoholic Captain Stanhope, a character that (much like Clive's other roles) mirrored his personal life. He was an in-demand leading man for a number of major film actresses of the era, including Katharine Hepburn, Bette Davis, Corinne Griffith and Jean Arthur. He starred as Edward Rochester in the 1934 adaptation of Jane Eyre opposite Virginia Bruce. He was a descendant of Clive of India and appeared in a featured role in a film biography of his ancestor in 1935.[3][2]

Colin Clive together with Leo G. Carroll starred in radio play titled The Other Place. It was written by John L. Balderston for the radio program The Fleischmann's Yeast Hour hosted by Rudy Vallee. It was aired on 14 November 1935.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Clive was rumoured to be bisexual.[5] He married Jeanne de Casalis in June 1929, though they were estranged for several years before his death.


Colin Clive suffered from severe chronic alcoholism and died from complications of tuberculosis in 1937 at age 37.[3]

Clive's alcoholism was apparent to his co-stars, as he was often seen napping on set and sometimes was so intoxicated that he had to be held upright for over-the-shoulder shots. Clive was tormented by the medical threat of amputating his long-damaged leg.[6]

Forrest J Ackerman recalled visiting Clive's body: "I actually saw him in death, lying in a bed at a mortuary where it was possible for the public to view his body. He looked remarkably as he had when lying in bed in The Bride of Frankenstein."[7] Over 300 mourners turned out. One of the pallbearers was Peter Lorre.[6] His cenotaph is located at Chapel of the Pines Crematory.[citation needed]


Flyer for Clive's appearance in the 1935 play Libel!


  • Peter and Paul (September 1925)[8][9]
  • Advertising April (November 1925)[10]
Date of 1st performance Title Author(s) City Theater Role
1925 March 20 Rose-Marie Otto Harbach, Rudolf Friml, Herbert Stothart London Drury Lane Edward Hawley[11][12]
1926 May 30 Getting Mother Married Neil Grant London Apollo Capt. Eric Wilbraham[13]
1927 June 30 Fire Arthur Rose London Everyman Theatre St. John Sevening[14]
1928 May 3 Show Boat Oscar Hammerstein II, Jerome Kern London Drury Lane Steve[15][16]
1928 November 4 The Dark Path Evan John London Savoy Theatre James Havilland[17]
1929 January 21 Journey's End R. C. Sherriff London Savoy Theatre Cpt. Stanhope[18]
1929 April 14 Let's Leave It At That Jeanne de Casalis, Colin Clive London Prince of Wales's Theatre Michael Stern[19][20]
1929 April 23 Shall We Join the Ladies? J. M. Barrie London PalaceTheatre Mr. Vaile[21]
1930 February 2 Forty-Seven Sydney Loch London Prince of Wales's Theatre Forty-Seven[22]
1930 April 22 Hamlet William Shakespeare London Haymarket Theatre Laertes[23]
1930 June 30 The Swan Ferenc Molnár London St. James's Theatre Dr. Nicholas Agi[24][25]
1930 December 5 Overture William Bolitho New York Longacre Theatre Karl Ritter[26]
1931 May 21 The Crime at Blossoms Mordaunt Shairp London Playhouse Theatre Christopher Merryman[27]
1932 July 19 Escape John Galsworthy London Garrick Theatre Matt Denant[28]
1932 August 22 Loyalties John Galsworthy London Garrick Theatre Ronald Dancy[29]
1932 September 29 Justice John Galsworthy London Garrick Theatre William Falder[30]
1933 October 28 Eight Bells Percy G. Mandley New York Hudson Theatre Dale[31]
1933 December 26 The Lake Dorothy Massingham and Murray MacDonald New York Martin Beck Theatre John Clayne[32]
1935 December 20 Libel Edward Wooll New York Henry Miller's Theatre Sir Mark Loddon, Bart. M.P.[33]



  1. ^ a b "Colin Clive," The Stage (1 July 1937), p. 7. [obituary]
  2. ^ a b Colin Clive at IMDb
  3. ^ a b "Colin Clive, Actor, Dies in Hollywood". The New York Times. 26 June 1937. Retrieved 26 September 2017.
  4. ^ Jp (9 April 2012). "The Twilight Zone Vortex: "A Nice Place to Visit"". The Twilight Zone Vortex. Retrieved 3 May 2021.
  5. ^ Vieira, Mark A. (2003). Hollywood Horror: From Gothic to Cosmic. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. p. 82. ISBN 0-8109-4535-5.
  6. ^ a b Mank, Gregory William (2001). Hollywood Cauldron: Thirteen Horror Films From the Genre's Golden Age. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company. p. 150. ISBN 978-0-7864-1112-2.
  7. ^ "The Bride of Frankenstein". Famous Monsters of Filmland. Vol. 4, no. 6. Santa Rosa, California: Warren Publishing. February 1963. p. 71.
  8. ^ Rowell, George; Jackson, Anthony; Jackson, Tony (1984). The Repertory Movement: A History of Regional Theatre in Britain. Cambridge University Press. p. 71. ISBN 9780521319195.
  9. ^ "Hull Little Theatre - Performers Who Will Be Seen in Next Week's Play". Daily Mail. No. 12462. Hull, England. 12 September 1925. p. 2.
  10. ^ "Little Theatre Anti-Climax - Unworthy Finish to Highly Successful Season". Daily Mail. No. 12512. Hull, England. 10 November 1925. p. 8.
  11. ^ Wearing 1984, p. 589.
  12. ^ Shared role with Brian Gilmour.
  13. ^ Wearing 1984, p. 740.
  14. ^ Wearing 1984, p. 886.
  15. ^ Wearing 1984, p. 992.
  16. ^ Shared part with Jack Livesey.
  17. ^ Wearing 1984, p. 1057.
  18. ^ Wearing 1984, p. 1087.
  19. ^ Wearing 1984, p. 1119-20.
  20. ^ Revived at the Queen's Theatre on 10 June 1929.
  21. ^ Wearing 1984, p. 1124.
  22. ^ Wearing 1990, p. 10.
  23. ^ Wearing 1990, p. 38.
  24. ^ Wearing 1990, p. 67.
  25. ^ Replaced by Basil Langton and Glen Byam Shaw.
  26. ^ "Overture", Internet Broadway Database.
  27. ^ Wearing 1990, p. 191.
  28. ^ Wearing 1990, p. 359.
  29. ^ Wearing 1990, p. 364.
  30. ^ Wearing 1990, p. 375.
  31. ^ "Eight Bells", Internet Broadway Database.
  32. ^ "The Lake", Internet Broadway Database.
  33. ^ "Libe", Internet Broadway Database.


  • Curtis, James (1998). James Whale: A New World of Gods and Monsters. Boston: Faber and Faber. ISBN 9780571192854.
  • Wearing, J. P. (1984). The London Stage: 1920-1929: A calendar of Plays and Players. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press. ISBN 9780810817159.
  • Wearing, J. P. (1990). The London Stage: 1930-1939: A calendar of Plays and Players. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press. ISBN 9780810823495.

External links[edit]