|Born||George Brendan Nolan
15 March 1904
Ballinasloe, County Galway, Ireland
|Died||May 26, 1979
Solana Beach, California, U.S.
|Cause of death||Emphysema|
|Years active||1924–1960, 1978|
|Spouse(s)||Helen Louise Campbell
(m. 1925; divorce 1927)
Ruth Chatterton (m. 1932; divorce 1934)
Constance Worth (m. 1937; divorce 1937)
Ann Sheridan (m. 1942; divorce 1943)
Janet Michaels (m. 1947; her death 1974)
|Children||Barry and Suzanne|
George Brent (15 March 1904 – 26 May 1979) was an Irish-born American stage, film, and television actor in American cinema.
Brent was born George Patrick Nolan in Ballinasloe, County Galway, in 1904 to John J. and Mary (née McGuinness) Nolan. His mother was a native of Clonfad, Moore, County Roscommon. During the Irish War of Independence (1919–1922), Brent was involved in the IRA. He fled Ireland with a bounty set on his head by the British government, although he later claimed only to have been a courier for guerrilla leader and tactician Michael Collins. According to Ballinasloe Life (Volume 2, Issue 4, Oct/Nov 2012), it appears that the Irish War of Independence careers of three different men named George Nolan (Brent and two others; one from County Dublin and the other from County Offaly) were conflated, which may explain some of the discrepancies regarding Brent's year of birth, life, and activities during 1919-22. Ironically, in light of his presumed IRA activities, on Brent's 18 March 1935 immigration document (Declaration of Intention, #70088), he listed his race as "Irish" but his nationality as "British", which in the legal sense was quite accurate.
Brent returned to the United States in 1921. Some time later he toured with a production of Abie's Irish Rose. During the next five years, he acted in stock companies in Colorado, Rhode Island, Florida, and Massachusetts. In 1930, he appeared on Broadway in Love, Honor, and Betray, alongside Clark Gable.
He eventually moved to Hollywood, and made his first film, Under Suspicion, in 1930. Over the next two years, he appeared in a number of minor films produced by Universal Studios and Fox, before being signed to contract by Warner Bros. in 1932. He remained at Warner Bros. for the next 20 years, carving out a successful career as a top-flight leading man during the late 1930s and 1940s.
Highly regarded by Bette Davis, he became her most frequent male co-star, appearing with her in 13 films, including Front Page Woman (1935), Special Agent (1935), The Golden Arrow (1936), Jezebel (1938), The Old Maid (1939), Dark Victory (1939), and The Great Lie (1941). Brent also played opposite Ruby Keeler in 42nd Street (1933), Greta Garbo in The Painted Veil (1934), Ginger Rogers in In Person (1935), Madeleine Carroll in The Case Against Mrs. Ames (1936), Jean Arthur in More Than a Secretary (1936), Myrna Loy in Stamboul Quest (1934) and The Rains Came (1939), Merle Oberon in 'Til We Meet Again (1940), Ann Sheridan in Honeymoon for Three (1941), Joan Fontaine in The Affairs of Susan (1945), Barbara Stanwyck in So Big! (1932), The Purchase Price (1932), Baby Face (1933),The Gay Sisters (1942), and My Reputation (1946), Claudette Colbert in Tomorrow Is Forever (1946), Dorothy McGuire in The Spiral Staircase (1946), Lucille Ball in Lover Come Back (1946), and Yvonne De Carlo in Slave Girl (1947).
Brent drifted into "B" pictures from the late 1940s and retired from film in 1953. He continued to appear on television until 1960, having appeared on the religion anthology series, Crossroads. He was cast in the lead in the 1956 television series, Wire Service. In 1978, he made one last film, the made-for-television production Born Again.
In 1960, Brent was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame with two stars. He received a motion pictures star located at 1709 Vine Street, and a second star located at 1612 Vine Street for his work in television.
Brent was married five times: Helen Louise Campbell (1925–1927), Ruth Chatterton (1932–1934), Constance Worth (1937), Ann Sheridan (1942–1943), and Janet Michaels (1947-1974). Chatterton, Worth, and Sheridan were also actresses. Chatterton and Sheridan were both fellow Warner Bros. players. His final marriage to Janet Michaels, a former model and dress designer, lasted 27 years until her death in 1974. They had a son and a daughter.
Brent also carried on a lengthy relationship with his frequent Warner Bros. co-star, actress Bette Davis, who described her last meeting with Brent after many years of estrangement. He was suffering from advanced emphysema, and she expressed great sadness at his ill health and deterioration. George Brent died in 1979 in Solana Beach, California.
- Under Suspicion (1930)
- Once a Sinner (1931)
- Fair Warning (1931)
- Charlie Chan Carries On (1931)
- Ex-Bad Boy (1931)
- The Homicide Squad (1931)
- The Lightning Warrior (1931)
- So Big! (1932)
- The Rich Are Always With Us (1932)
- Week-End Marriage (1932)
- The Purchase Price (1932)
- Miss Pinkerton (1932)
- The Crash (1932)
- They Call It Sin (1932)
- 42nd Street (1933)
- Luxury Liner (1933)
- The Keyhole (1933)
- Lilly Turner (1933)
- Baby Face (1933)
- Female (1933)
- From Headquarters (1933)
- Stamboul Quest (1934)
- Housewife (1934)
- Desirable (1934)
- The Painted Veil (1934)
- The Right to Live (1935)
- Living on Velvet (1935)
- Stranded (1935)
- Front Page Woman (1935)
- Special Agent (1935)
- The Goose and the Gander (1935)
- In Person (1935)
- Snowed Under (1936)
- The Case Against Mrs. Ames (1936)
- The Golden Arrow (1936)
- Give Me Your Heart (1936)
- More Than a Secretary (1936)
- Snowed Under (1936)
- God's Country and the Woman (1937)
- Mountain Justice (1937)
- The Go Getter (1937)
- Submarine D-1 (1937)
- Gold Is Where You Find It (1938)
- Jezebel (1938)
- Racket Busters (1938)
- Secrets of an Actress (1938)
- Wings of the Navy (1939)
- Dark Victory (1939)
- The Old Maid (1939)
- The Rains Came (1939)
- The Fighting 69th (1940)
- Adventure in Diamonds (1940)
- 'Til We Meet Again (1940)
- The Man Who Talked Too Much (1940)
- South of Suez (1940)
- Honeymoon for Three (1941)
- The Great Lie (1941)
- They Dare Not Love (1941)
- International Lady (1941)
- Twin Beds (1942)
- In This Our Life (1942)
- The Gay Sisters (1942)
- You Can't Escape Forever (1942)
- Silver Queen (1942)
- Experiment Perilous (1944)
- The Affairs of Susan (1945)
- The Spiral Staircase (1946)
- Tomorrow Is Forever (1946)
- My Reputation (1946)
- Lover Come Back (1946)
- Temptation (1946)
- Out of the Blue (1947)
- The Corpse Came C.O.D. (1947)
- Slave Girl (1947)
- Christmas Eve (1947)
- Luxury Liner (1948)
- Angel on the Amazon (1948)
- Red Canyon (1949)
- Illegal Entry (1949)
- The Kid from Cleveland (1949)
- Bride for Sale (1949)
- FBI Girl (1951)
- The Last Page (1952)
- Montana Belle (1952)
- Tangier Incident (1953)
- Mexican Manhunt (1953)
- Death of a Scoundrel (1956)
- Born Again (1978)
- A Dream Comes True (1935)
- Swingtime in the Movies (1938)
|1940||Lux Radio Theatre||Wings of the Navy|
|1946||Screen Guild Players||Experiment Perilous|
|1953||Stars over Hollywood||Meet the Hero|
- Some sources have cited 1899, but most cite 1904.
- Ballinasloe Life (Volume 2, Issue 4, Oct/Nov 2012 cache) Archived March 26, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.; accessed 22 September 2015.
- Obituary, nytimes.com; accessed 22 September 2015.
- Scott O'Brien, George Brent - Ireland's Gift to Hollywood and its Leading Ladies (2014) BearManor; ISBN 978-1-59393-599-3 (paper back)/978-1-59393-764-5 (hard copy).
- Byrne, James Patrick; Coleman, Philip and King, Jason Francis. (2008). Ireland and the Americas, Vol 2., New York: ABC-CLIO. pp. 119-120.
- Cozad, W. Lee. (2002). Those magnificent mountain movies: (The Golden Years) 1911-1939, p. 160. Lake Arrowhead, CA: Rim of the World Historic Society.
- Karney, Robyn. (1986). The Movie Stars Story, p. 48. New York: Crescent Books.
- Declaration of Intention, #70088, ancestry.com; accessed 22 September 2015.
- George Brent - Ireland's Gift to Hollywood and its Leading Ladies (2014) by Scott O'Brien
- George Brent profile, imdb.com; accessed
- "Hollywood Walk of Fame - George Brent". walkoffame.com/. Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved November 30, 2017.
- George Brent dies in Hollywood, news.google.com; accessed 22 September 2015.
- "Those Were the Days". Nostalgia Digest. 42 (2): 38. Spring 2016.
- "Bennett, Brent, Menjou Star on "Screen Guild"". Harrisburg Telegraph. October 12, 1946. p. 17. Retrieved October 1, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- Kirby, Walter (February 22, 1953). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 40. Retrieved June 23, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
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