Skelton Knaggs

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Skelton Knaggs
Skelton Knaggs.gif
Born Skelton Barnaby Knaggs
(1911-06-27)27 June 1911
Hillsborough Sheffield, West Riding of Yorkshire, England, UK
Died 30 April 1955(1955-04-30) (aged 43)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death cirrhosis of the liver
Years active 1936-1955
Spouse(s) Thelma Crawshaw (1949-?)

Skelton Barnaby Knaggs (27 June 1911 – 30 April 1955) was an English stage actor who also appeared in films, especially in horror films.


Knaggs was born in the Hillsborough district of Sheffield, West Riding of Yorkshire, England, to Beatrice Ellen Skelton and Harry Knaggs, who married in Sheffield in September 1909 [1].

Knaggs moved to London where he attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and became a Shakespearean actor. In addition to appearing on stage in Shakespeare's Cymbeline, Knaggs appeared in a few British films, including an uncredited role as a German orderly in Michael Powell's The Spy in Black.

At some point he moved to Los Angeles, California and found work as a character actor in Hollywood. Diminutive and eccentric-looking, with prominent teeth and a bony, pock-marked face, he was typecast in sinister roles, often in horror films. These ranged from uncredited bit parts to prominent roles in the Sherlock Holmes thriller Terror by Night, the all-star monster rally House of Dracula and three Val Lewton productions including The Ghost Ship. In the latter, a voice-over narrative by Knaggs is heard, representing the thoughts of his character, a mute seaman.

Back in London, he married Thelma Crawshaw in 1949, then returned to Hollywood. The last film in which he appeared was Fritz Lang's period adventure based on J. Meade Falkner's novel Moonfleet. An alcoholic, Knaggs died of cirrhosis of the liver in Los Angeles in 1955, at the age of 43.

Selected filmography[edit]

As Finn the Mute in The Ghost Ship (1943)

External links[edit]