Lionel Atwill

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Lionel Atwill
Lionel Atwill.jpg
Atwill in 1934
Born (1885-03-01)1 March 1885
Croydon, London, England, U.K.
Died 22 April 1946(1946-04-22) (aged 61)
Pacific Palisades, California, U.S.
Cause of death Pneumonia
Occupation Actor
Years active 1905–1946
Spouse(s) Phyllis Relph (1913-1919) (divorced) 1 child
Elsie Mackay (1920-1928) (divorced)
Henrietta Louise Cromwell Brook MacArthur (1930-1943) (divorced)
Mary Paula Pruter (1944-1946) (his death) 1 child

Lionel Alfred William Atwill (1 March 1885 – 22 April 1946) was an English stage and film actor.[1]

Life and career[edit]

Lionel Atwill, Alla Nazimova, Amy Veness and Harry Mestayer in the 1918 English-language production of Ibsen's The Wild Duck—one of six leading roles Atwill played on Broadway that season

Atwill was born on 1 March 1885 in Croydon, London, England. He studied architecture before his stage debut at the Garrick Theatre, London, in 1904.[1]

He became a star in Broadway theatre by 1918 and made his screen debut in 1919.[2]

He acted on the stage in Australia before becoming involved in U.S. horror film roles in the 1930s, such as the crazed, disfigured sculptor in Mystery of the Wax Museum (Warner Brothers, 1933), and as Inspector Krogh in Son of Frankenstein (1939).[1]

His other roles include The Wrong Road (1937) for RKO and Dr. James Mortimer in 20th Century Fox's film version of The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939), and Professor Moriarty in the Universal Studios film Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon (1943).[1]

Personal life[edit]

Lionel Atwill and Elsie Mackay (1922)

Atwill married four times. His first wife was Phyllis Ralph; the couple married in 1913 and divorced in 1919. In 1941 their son, John Arthur Atwill (born 1914), was killed in action aged 26.[3] Atwill married the American actress Elsie Mackay in 1920. He married Louise Cromwell Brooks in 1930, after her divorce from Douglas MacArthur; they divorced in 1943.[4] Atwill married Paula Pruter in 1944, and their marriage continued until his death.[1] Their son, Lionel Anthony Atwill, is a retired writer.

In 1942, Atwill was indicted for perjury by a jury investigating the 1941 proceeding of a grand jury relative to the alleged occurrence of a sex orgy at his home.[5][6]

Atwill died on 22 April 1946 of pneumonia at his Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles home.[1] At the time of his death, he was filming the serial Lost City of the Jungle, playing the mastermind villain. Universal Pictures retained the footage already filmed, adapted the story to enhance the villainous role of another character, and used a double for Atwill in some scenes.

Filmography[edit]

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Mank, Gregory William (1998). Hollywood's Maddest Doctors. A Biography of Lionel Atwill, Colin Clive and George Zucco. Baltimore MD: Midnight Marquee Press. ISBN 188766422X. 
  • Smith, Ronald L. (2010). Horror stars on radio, The broadcast histories of 29 chilling Hollywood voices. Jefferson NC: McFarland. ISBN 978-0786445257. 
  • Pitts, Michael R. (1981). Horror Film Stars. Jefferson NC: McFarland. ISBN 0-89950-004-8. 
  • Stuart, Ray; Banasiewicz, Czeslaw Z. (1965). Immortals of the Screen. New York: Bonanza Books. ASIN B000OGH3S2. 
  • Twomey, Alfred E.; McClure, Arthur F. (1969). The Versatiles, A Study of Supporting Character Actors and Actresses in the American Motion Picture, 1930-1955. South Brunswick NJ: A.S. Barnes & Company. ISBN 978-0498067921. 

External links[edit]