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Hartley Power

Hartley Power


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From 1931 to 1957, American-born British film and television actor Hartley Power appeared in a total of 35 productions. Two roles in particular stand out among Power's work; the first is his performance as the ventriloquist Sylvester Kee in Ealing Studios' 1945 horror feature "Dead of Night." The film obeys an interesting framing device: guests in a creepy manor take turns telling one another scary stories, which take the form of segments shot by different directors (among them Robert Hamer, in his directorial debut). Power appeared in a spooky sequence directed by Alberto Cavalcanti about a ventriloquist who is convinced his dummy has it in for him. "Dead of Night" went on to become a cult film with a stellar reputation; Martin Scorsese ranked it as the fifth scariest movie he had ever seen. The other role Power is especially known for can be found in the most prominent title on his filmography: William Wyler's charming romantic comedy "Roman Holiday." Starring Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn, the 1953 classic continues to garner admiration decades after its release. Power plays Mr. Hennessy, the newspaper editor Gregory Peck's character works for. Power retired from filmmaking in 1957 with the James Mason drama "Island in the Sun."

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