Taylor Holmes

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Taylor Holmes
Taylor Holmes smiling at the camera
Holmes in 1919
Born (1878-05-16)May 16, 1878
Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
Died September 30, 1959(1959-09-30) (aged 81)
Hollywood, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1899–1959
Spouse(s) Edna Phillips
Advertisement (1919)

Taylor Holmes (May 16, 1878 – September 30, 1959) was an actor who appeared in over 100 Broadway plays in his five-decade career. However, he is probably best remembered for his film roles, which he began in silent movies in 1917. In one of his earliest films, he starred in A Pair of Sixes (1918), produced by George K. Spoor.


Holmes was born on May 16, 1878, in Newark, New Jersey.


Holmes began his stage career in vaudeville and made his first professional appearance at Keith's Theatre in Boston in 1899.[1] In 1900, Holmes appeared George Bernard Shaw's Candida in Chicago, the first production in the United States.[2] Noted British theater critic William Archer saw the production and encouraged Holmes to go to London to further his career.[3] Holmes sought out Archer in London some months later and joined the company founded by Olga Nethersole.[1] He achieved only moderate success before returning to the American stages.[4]

He made his Broadway debut in February 1900 in the controversial play Sapho, which was briefly closed for indecency. Holmes played Rosencrantz with E. H. Sothern in a production of Hamlet and toured with Robert Edeson. He appeared in stage hits such as The Commuters, The Music Master, and His Majesty Bunker Bean.[1]


Early film appearances included Efficiency Edgar's Courtship and Fools for Luck.[5]

By the 1940s, he was working more on film than on stage. Holmes played a number of memorable roles, including the gullible millionaire conned in Nightmare Alley (1947), a shifty lawyer in Kiss of Death (1947), the Bishop of Avranches, who fiercely denounces Pierre Cauchon in the Ingrid Bergman Joan of Arc (1948), Marilyn Monroe's potential father-in-law in the 1953 Gentlemen Prefer Blondes ("I don't want to marry your son for his money, I want to marry him for your money!"), and the voice of King Stefan in Disney's animated feature Sleeping Beauty (1959) - Holmes' last credited screen role. He also played Ebenezer Scrooge in what is largely considered a notoriously bad (and cheaply made) half-hour television version of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, first telecast in 1949.[6]

Only months after the release of his final film, Sleeping Beauty (1959), as King Stefan, Taylor Holmes died on September 30, 1959, at the age of 81.

He was married to actress Edna Phillips and was the father of actors Phillips Holmes, Madeleine Taylor Holmes, and Ralph Holmes.

Holmes has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His interment was is in Culver City's Holy Cross Cemetery.

Partial filmography[edit]


  • Efficiency Edgar's Courtship (1917) (short) as Edgar Bumpus
  • Fools for Luck (1917) as Philander Jepson
  • Two-Bit Seats (1917) as Jimmy Mason
  • The Small Town Guy (1917) as Ernest Gledhill
  • Uneasy Money (1918) as Lord Dawlish
  • Ruggles of Red Gap (1918) as Marmaduke Ruggles
  • A Pair of Sixes (1918) as T. Boggs Johns
  • It's a Bear (1919) as Orlando Wintrhop
  • A Regular Fellow (1919) (*George Eastman preserved) as Dalion Pemberton
  • Taxi (1919) as Robert Hervey Randolph
  • Upside Down (1919) as Archibald Pim
  • Three Black Eyes (1919) as Larry Van Cortlandt
  • Nothing But the Truth (1920) as Robert Bennett
  • The Very Idea (1920) as Gilbert Goodhue
  • Nothing But Lies (1920) as George Cross
  • Twenty Dollars a Week (1924) as William Hart
  • Her Market Value (1925) as Courtney Brooks
  • The Crimson Runner (1925) as Bobo (valet)
  • The Verdict (1925) as Valet
  • Borrowed Finery (1925) as Billy
  • One Hour of Love (1927) as Joe Monahan
  • Should a Mason Tell? (1927) (short) as Henry
  • Their Second Honeymoon (1927) (short) as Henry
  • King Harold (1927) (short) as Henry



  1. ^ a b c "Taylor Holmes, Actor, Dies at 80". New York Times. October 2, 1959. 
  2. ^ Anna Morgan (1918). My Chicago. R. F. Seymour. pp. 73–74. 
  3. ^ W. J. Thorold; Arthur Hornblow; Perriton Maxwell; Stewart Beach (1910). Theatre Magazine. Theatre Magazine Company. p. 158. 
  4. ^ "When Taylor Holmes Went Abroad". Montreal Gazette. May 4, 1912. 
  5. ^ John Willis; Daniel Blum (1 June 1960). Screen World. Biblo & Tannen Publishers. p. 220. ISBN 978-0-8196-0301-2. 
  6. ^ The Christmas Carol (1949) - Review @ EOFFTV

External links[edit]