John Emery (actor)

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John Emery
John Emery 01 Rocketship X-M.jpg
John Emery in Rocketship X-M (1950)
Born May 20, 1905
New York City
Died November 16, 1964, age 59
New York City
Nationality American
Occupation Actor
Known for Roles as a villain
Spouse(s) Tallulah Bankhead (1937-1941)
Tamara Geva
Parent(s) Edward Emery and Isabel Waldron

John Emery (May 20, 1905 – November 16, 1964) was an American stage, film, radio and television actor.

Early years[edit]

Born in New York City, Emery was the son of stage actors Edward Emery (c. 1861 – 1938) and Isabel Waldron (1871–1950). He was educated at Long Island's La Salle Military Academy.[1]


Through the late 1930s to the early 1960s, Emery appeared in supporting roles in many Hollywood films, beginning with James Whale's The Road Back (1937) and touching everything from the sublime - Alfred Hitchcock's Spellbound - to the ridiculous - Rocketship X-M.


Emery appeared on Broadway in John Brown (1934), Romeo and Juliet (1934-1935), The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1935), Flowers of the Forest (1935), Parnell (1935-1936), Alice Takat (1936), Sweet Aloes (1936), Hamlet (1936-1937), Antony and Cleopatra (1937), Save Me the Waltz (1938), The Unconquered (1940), Liliom (1940), Retreat to Pleasure (1940-1941), Angel Street (1941-1944), Peepshow (1944), The Relapse (1950), The Royal Family (1951), The Constant Wife (1951-1952), Anastasia (1954-1955), Hotel Paradiso (1957), and Rape of the Belt (1960).[2]

Peepshow was the first production in which Emery and his wife, Tamara Geva, appeared together.[3]


Emery was also known for his television work, appearing on programs like I Love Lucy and Have Gun Will Travel. In 1946 he starred in a radio program, playing the title character, detective Philo Vance.

Personal life[edit]

The only husband of Tallulah Bankhead, the two married on August 31, 1937 in Jasper, Alabama and were divorced on June 13, 1941 in Reno, Nevada. The two remained friendly after their marriage, with Emery later marrying dancer Tamara Geva. Due to their resemblance, Emery was often rumored to be the illegitimate child of John Barrymore.[4] However as a child Emery did room for a while with Barrymore and his first wife Katherine Corri.[5]

From 1961 to 1964, Emery was romantically involved with actress Joan Bennett, who cared for him during his final illness.[6]


Emery died on November 16, 1964 in New York City, aged 59.[7]

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ "John Emery of 'Angel Street' Had Cauliflower Ear". New York, Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. February 7, 1943. p. 29. Retrieved November 13, 2015 – via  open access publication - free to read
  2. ^ "John Emery". Playbill Vault. Retrieved 14 November 2015. 
  3. ^ "Emerys Are Together First Time on Stage in 'Peepshow'". New York, Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. January 30, 1944. p. 27. Retrieved November 13, 2015 – via  open access publication - free to read
  4. ^ Israel, Lee. Miss Tallulah Bankhead. Page 177. Putnam, 1972.
  5. ^ John Barrymore: A Bio-Bibliography c.1995 by Martin Norden
  6. ^ Kellow, Brian. The Bennetts Page 406. The University Press of Kentucky (2004)
  7. ^ Rainho, Manny (November 2015). "this month in movie history". Classic Images (485): 32–33. 

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