|Born||George Brendan Nolan
15 March 1904
Ballinasloe, County Galway, Ireland
|Died||26 May 1979 (aged 75)
Solana Beach, California, U.S.
|Cause of death||Emphysema|
|Years active||1924–1960, 1978|
|Spouse(s)||Helen Louise Campbell (married 1925–1927)
Ruth Chatterton (married 1932–1934)
Constance Worth (married and divorced in 1937)
Ann Sheridan (married 1942–1943)
Janet Michaels (married 1947–1974, her death; 2 children)
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 Brendan Nolan in Ballinasloe, County Galway in 1904 to John J. and Mary (née McGuinness) Nolan. His mother was a native of Clonfad, County Westmeath. During the Irish War of Independence (1919–1922), Brent was part of 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".
Brent returned to the United States in 1921. Some time later touring 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 1927, 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 Brothers in 1932. He would remain at Warner Bros for the next twenty 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 thirteen 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.
George Brent received two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the first, at 1709 Vine St., for his film contributions, the second star, at 1614 Vine St., for his work in television.
Brent carried on a lengthy relationship with his frequent Warner Bros co-star, actress Bette Davis. He was married five times: Helen Louise Campbell (1925–1927), Ruth Chatterton (1932–1934), Constance Worth (1937) and Ann Sheridan (1942–1943). Chatterton, Worth, and Sheridan were also actresses. Chatterton and Sheridan were both fellow Warner Brothers 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.
In her final years, Davis herself described her last meeting with Brent after many years of estrangement. Brent was suffering from advanced emphysema, and Davis expressed great sadness at his ill health and deterioration. George Brent died in 1979 in Solana Beach, California.
- The Sacred Flame (1929)
- 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)
- 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)
|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); 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
- George Brent dies in Hollywood, news.google.com; accessed 22 September 2015.
- "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.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to George Brent.|
- George Brent at the Internet Movie Database
- George Brent at the TCM Movie Database
- George Brent at the Internet Broadway Database
- George Brent at Find a Grave
- Photographs and literature