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George Sanders

George Sanders



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Also Known As: Died: April 25, 1972
Born: July 3, 1906 Cause of Death: overdose of sleeping pills
Birth Place: Russia Profession: Cast ... actor


With his imperious gaze and resonant speaking voice, debonair British expatriate George Sanders was a perfect fit in Hollywood before and after World War II, playing cads, bounders, rogues and even the occasional hero. A contract with 20th Century Fox gave Sanders a home base in Tinseltown but he often did his best work for other studios, including the villains of Alfred Hitchcock's "Rebecca" (1940) for United Artists, Joe May's "The House of the Seven Gables" (1940) for Universal, and as swank soldier of fortune Simon Templar in "The Saint Strikes Back" (1940) and its sequels at RKO Radio Pictures. After the war, Fox slotted the epicene actor into a string of handsomely-mounted period pieces, including John Braham's "Hangover Square" (1945), Albert Lewin's "The Picture of Dorian Gray" (1945) and Joseph L. Mankiewicz's "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" (1947). Sanders won an Oscar for playing an acerbic theatrical critic in Mankiewicz's show biz satire "All About Eve" (1950), but a mania for evading income taxes drove him to accept substandard work in Europe - though his collaboration with neorealist pioneer Roberto Rossellini on the undervalued "Viaggio in Italia" (1954) marked what many considered to be his last great film performance. Widowed in 1969 and hobbled by a debilitating stroke that affected his speech, Sanders took his own life in Spain in 1972, drawing closed the curtain on the life of a consummate actor who could never completely camouflage, and was perhaps even a victim of, his own fierce intelligence.


albatros1 ( 2007-09-27 )

Source: Wikipedia The Internet Encyclopedia

George Sanders (July 3, 1906 – April 25, 1972) was an Academy Award-winning English film and television actor. Sanders was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia, of British parents. In 1917, when he was eleven, the family returned to Britain on the outbreak of the Russian Revolution and, like his brother, he attended Brighton College, a boys' independent school in Brighton. After graduation he worked at an advertising agency. It was there that the company secretary, an aspiring actress named Greer Garson, suggested a career in acting. His older brother, Tom Conway, was also an actor, to whom Sanders later handed over the role of "The Falcon". He made his British film debut in 1934 and after a series of British films made his American debut in 1936 with a role in Lloyd's of London. His British accent and sensibilities, combined with his suave, snobbish and somewhat menacing air were utilised in American films during the next decade. He played supporting roles in prestige productions such as Rebecca, in which he goaded the sinister Judith Anderson as Mrs Danvers, in her persecution of Joan Fontaine. He also played leading roles in lesser pictures such as Rage in Heaven. During this time he was also the lead in both The Falcon and The Saint film series. He played Lord Henry Wotton in a film version of The Picture of Dorian Gray. In 1947 he co-starred with Gene Tierney and Rex Harrison in The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. In 1950 he gave his most widely recognised performance and achieved his greatest success as the acid-tongued, cold-blooded theatre critic Addison DeWitt in All About Eve, winning an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for this role. He moved into the field of television and was responsible for the successful series George Sanders Mystery Theatre. Sanders played an upper crust English villain in a 1965 The Man From U.N.C.L.E. episode. "The Gazebo in the Maze Affair". He also portrayed Mr. Freeze in two episodes of the 1960s live-action Batman TV series. Later, he provided the voice for the malevolent Shere Khan in the Walt Disney production of The Jungle Book. One of Sanders's final screen roles was in the 1972 feature film version of the popular television series Doomwatch. Sanders' smooth voice, urbane manner and upper-class British accent were the inspiration for the Peter Sellers' character "Hercules Grytpype-Thynne" in the famous BBC radio comedy series The Goon Show. Sellers and Sanders appeared together in the Pink Panther sequel, A Shot in the Dark. He was honoured with two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: for Motion Pictures at 1636 Vine St, and for Television at 7007 Hollywood Blvd. In popular culture, he is mentioned in The Kinks' song "Celluloid Heroes" and his ghost makes an appearance in Clive Barker's 2001 novel Coldheart Canyon. Sanders released an album entitled The George Sanders Touch: Songs for the Lovely Lady. He went to great lengths to get himself signed to sing in South Pacific, but was overwhelmed with anxiety over the role he quickly dropped out. Sanders' singing voice can be heard in Call Me Madam and The Jungle Book. 1946 saw the publication of the crime novel, Stranger at Home by George Sanders. In fact, this was published simply to cash in on his screen success; it was ghost-written by Leigh Brackett. In 1940, he married Susan Larson; the marriage ended in divorce in 1949. From 1949 until 1954, he was married to the Hungarian actress Zsa Zsa Gabor. Sanders was married to actress Benita Hume from 1959 until her death in 1967. His last wife was Magda Gabor, his second wife's sister; the marriage lasted a year. It was during this period that he completed his autobiography, Memoirs of a Professional Cad. Sanders committed suicide in Castelldefels (a coastal town near Barcelona, Catalonia) with an overdose of barbiturates, leaving behind a suicide note that attributed his action to boredom. His friend David Niven recorded in his autobiography that Sanders had predicted his own suicide many years earlier. The note read: "Dear World, I am leaving because I am bored. I feel I have lived long enough. I am leaving you with your worries in this sweet cesspool. Good luck."

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