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Gareth Hughes

Gareth Hughes

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Also Known As: Died: October 1, 1965
Born: August 23, 1894 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Llanelly, Wales Profession: Cast ...
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tommysands ( 2008-11-07 )

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He was Wales’ first Broadway and Hollywood star! He appeared in many productions such as Little Miss Llewellyn, Change and a play by J.M.Barrie called The New Word, and later went onto star in a film based on another book written by Barrie entitled Sentimental Tommy, which was made in 1921. Even though he had already appeared in many films before, he always regarded Sentimental Tommy as his favourite and most successful. He was earning as much as $2000 a week. He was under contract to the big film studios of the time including Fox and MGM, who are still big players in the film world today. In 1929 like many others he lost his fortune in the Wall Street crash and was left penny less, but he carried on making films until 1931 when he appeared in Scarce Heads. In the early 1940’s he now wanted to change and instead give something back to others. Adopting the name of Brother David he became a missionary to the Paiute Indians on the Pyramid Lake Reservation of Nevada. He spent almost 14 years (1944 to 1958) with his “children”, as he liked to call them and is still loved and remembered as Bro to this day. He went on to spend his retirement at the Motion Picture Home in Woodland Hills, California where he died on October 1st. 1965 after a long illness.

tommysands ( 2009-12-16 )

Source: not available

Gareth Hughes Wales’ First Hollywood Silent Film Star! What connects Sir Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta Jones, Richard Burton, Sian Phillips, Michael Sheen, Shirley Bassey, Ray Milland, Tom Jones,…. and Dylan Thomas. Have you spotted a connection? Correct! The answer….. They were all born and raised in South Wales. A regional noted for its extraordinarily talented people who have - and continue to – punched way above their weight in stage and screen entertainment. But who was the VERY first Welsh star? Who was the man that as a penniless teenager that didn’t ‘fit in’ and walked over 200 miles to London in search of his dream…. A man who learnt his stage craft from the glory names that crowded the golden era that included Chaplin, Lugosi, Novello, Woolfit , Ellen Terry, Guilgud, May McAvoy, Valentino, Clara Kimball Young, Gary Cooper to name a handful….. The same man who later inspired an established ex actor and former President of the USA to attempt to make a movie based on the life of our hero.. The man whose closest friends Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, Marion Davis, William Randolph Hearst, (who incidentally gave him a cottage of his own in the grounds of San Simeon) I’ve known of this man most of my life through tales handed down through the family and fading photos of a small Welshman surrounded by huge stars and the paraphernalia of the motion picture dream machine. He was my grandmother’s first cousin! The world knew him as the actor, Gareth Hughes. Born in, Llanelli, near Swansea, Wales in 1895. He died in Los Angeles at the Woodland Hills retirement home for actors in 1965. He began acting at a very young age, firstly here in Wales, then later at 17 years of age he was allowed to go to London to pursue his passion for acting. After a time, he joined the Welsh Players and travelled on tour with them to New York. When they returned to the UK (the tour was a flop) he decided to stay on in America and became very successful on Broadway. He appeared in many productions such as Little Miss Llewellyn, Change and a play by J.M.Barrie called The New Word, and later went onto star in a film based on another book written by Barrie entitled Sentimental Tommy, which was made in 1921. Even though he had already appeared in many films before, he always regarded Sentimental Tommy as his favourite and most successful. In total he made forty five films spanning 1918 to 1931, and was also the Welsh dialect coach, on The Corn Is Green made in 1945 starring Bette Davis (another welsh connection). "Sheer genius and poetry," Wilder wrote to describe Gareth Hughes. "And when his glasses are off, he is the divinest thing to look upon that I have ever seen." Thornton Wilder (1897-1975) Ceil.B.DeMille called him “a young idealist”. Fulton Ousler describes him as” the charm boy to end all charm boys” I’ve called him “A Forgotten Welsh Hero” At the height of his popularity he was earning as much as $2000 a week. He was under contract to the big film studios of the time including Fox and MGM, who are still big players in the film world today. In 1929 like many others he lost his fortune in the Wall Street crash and was left penny less, but he carried on making films until 1931 when he appeared in Scarce Heads. He then decided to leave the world of film and return to theatre, which he had always been his first love. His last performance ran for 18 weeks in 1938 at the Hollywood Playhouse and University of Michigan where he starred as Shylock in the Merchant of Venice. In the early 1940’s he decided it was time to leave this life style behind, having led a full and exciting but also lavish and selfish life he now wanted to change and instead give something back to others. Adopting the name of Brother David he became a missionary to the Paiute Indians on the Pyramid Lake Reservation of Nevada. He spent almost 14 years (1944 to 1958) with his “children”, as he liked to call them and is still loved and remembered as Bro to this day. In 1958 he decided to return to Llanelli to spend his last years here. But he longed for the sunshine of California and after 5 months he returned to the states. His life was full of very colour full people and places! Hedda Hopper who he starred with Gareth while filming “The Isle of Conquest” in 1919! She later went on to write about Gareth in one of her last columns for the L.A.Times in December 1963! Rudolph Valentino, who costarred with Gareth in the film “Eyes of Youth”, made 1919 which also starred Clare Kimball Young! William Desmond Taylor, Gareth Hughes was reportedly implicated in the William Desmond Taylor murder by statements attributed to Honore Connette. William Desmond Taylor, a top Paramount film director in early Hollywood who was shot to death on February 1, 1922. His unsolved murder was one of Hollywood's major

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