Godfrey Cass

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Godfrey Cass starred as Ned Kelly in the 1920 film The Kelly Gang.

Godfrey Cass (1867 – 14 May 1951) was an Australian actor in the silent era. Between 1906 and 1935 he acted in nineteen film roles. He played Ned Kelly three times, and also had roles in a number of other bushranger movies including A Tale of the Australian Bush (1911) and Moondyne (1913).

Biography[edit]

The son of the Governor of Melbourne Gaol, John Buckley Castieau (1855–1884), Godfrey Cass was born Godfrey Castieau in 1867, one of seven children. As a child he spent a lot of time around the gaol and met Ned Kelly just before Kelly was hung.[1]

He began acting in late 1883 or 1884 for J.C. Williamson Ltd. He married Hilda Fraser, with whom he often appeared on stage, in 1894. His peak years as an actor were from 1903 to 1914, usually playing the villain in melodramas.[2]

Cass appeared in his first film in 1911 for the Australian Life Biography Company, and followed it with two more movies for the same company. Two years later he partnered with W. J. Lincoln to make films as Lincoln-Cass Films. The company survived for only one year, but in that time it made eight films, with Cass playing roles in six of them.[3]

He then returned to the stage appearing in Sealed Orders for J.C. Williamson Ltd.

Cass enlisted in the Army for World War I on 27 January 1915, dropping his age by eleven years, and was discharged on 25 August 1917, suffering from shell shock.[4][5]

He returned to theatre, working as an actor and director. He also appeared in several films, including playing as Ned Kelly in Harry Southwell's The Kelly Gang. He died in 1951.

Filmography[edit]

  1. A Tale of the Australian Bush (1911) - actor
  2. One Hundred Years Ago (1911) - actor
  3. A Ticket in Tatts (1911) - actor
  4. The Sick Stockrider (1913) - actor, producer
  5. Moondyne (1913) - actor, producer
  6. The Remittance Man (1913) - actor, producer
  7. Transported (1913) - actor, producer
  8. The Road to Ruin (1913) - actor, producer
  9. The Crisis (1913) - actor, producer
  10. The Reprieve (1913) - actor, producer
  11. The Wreck (1913) - actor, producer
  12. The Kelly Gang (1920) - actor
  13. The Hordern Mystery (1920) - actor
  14. The Dingo (1923) - actor
  15. When the Kellys Were Out (1923) - actor
  16. Jewelled Nights (1925) - actor
  17. Jungle Woman (1926) - actor
  18. The Mystery of a Hansom Cab (1925) - actor
  19. The Rushing Tide (1927) - actor
  20. Tiger Island (1930) - actor
  21. Heritage (1935) - actor

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Mary Bateman, 'Godfrey Cass', Cinema Papers, June–July 1980 p 170
  2. ^ Mary Bateman, 'Godfrey Cass', Cinema Papers, June–July 1980 p 171
  3. ^ "PICTURE FILM PRODUCTION,.". The Prahran Telegraph (Vic. : 1889 - 1930). Vic.: National Library of Australia. 16 August 1913. p. 5. Retrieved 18 June 2015. 
  4. ^ Army records of Cass' enlistment under the name of Castieau
  5. ^ "IN THE BARBER'S SHOP.". The Prahran Telegraph (Vic. : 1889 - 1930). Vic.: National Library of Australia. 1 September 1917. p. 6. Retrieved 26 October 2014. 

References[edit]