skip navigation
H. B. Warner

H. B. Warner

Up
Down

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (1)

Recent DVDs

 
 

H. B. Warner - NOT AVAILABLE

Find what your looking for faster use the search field below to shop for titles.

SEARCH TCM.COM/SHOP


OR ... Click here to VOTE > for this person to be released on Home Video



Also Known As: Henry Byron Charles Stewart Warner-Lickford Died: December 21, 1958
Born: October 26, 1876 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: London, England, GB Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A character lead in silent films and a character player in sound films, H.B. Warner is best recalled for three roles: Jesus Christ is Cecil B. DeMille's "King of Kings" (1927), Chang, assistant to the High Lama, in "Lost Horizon" (1937), and Mr. Gower the pharmacist is the perennial "It's a Wonderful Life" (1946). He received a best supporting actor nomination for "Lost Horizon," and in all appeared in more than 100 films. The son of noted British stage actor Charles Warner, H. B. Warner made his stage debut at age seven in 1883, but at first chose to study medicine. But within a few years he was back on stage in both England and the U.S. Warner made his film debut in "The Lost Paradise" (1914). One of his best silent vehicles was "Zaza" (1923), in which he was the married man who falls for Gloria Swanson. Warner was almost 50 years old when he played the 30ish Christ in "King of Kings" (1927), but the result was nevertheless a resounding success. In order to play the role, Warner had to sign an agreement saying he would live an exemplary life not only during production, but for one year after the film's release he would not be involved with any scandal, not even divorce. Even before so-called...

A character lead in silent films and a character player in sound films, H.B. Warner is best recalled for three roles: Jesus Christ is Cecil B. DeMille's "King of Kings" (1927), Chang, assistant to the High Lama, in "Lost Horizon" (1937), and Mr. Gower the pharmacist is the perennial "It's a Wonderful Life" (1946). He received a best supporting actor nomination for "Lost Horizon," and in all appeared in more than 100 films. The son of noted British stage actor Charles Warner, H. B. Warner made his stage debut at age seven in 1883, but at first chose to study medicine. But within a few years he was back on stage in both England and the U.S. Warner made his film debut in "The Lost Paradise" (1914). One of his best silent vehicles was "Zaza" (1923), in which he was the married man who falls for Gloria Swanson. Warner was almost 50 years old when he played the 30ish Christ in "King of Kings" (1927), but the result was nevertheless a resounding success. In order to play the role, Warner had to sign an agreement saying he would live an exemplary life not only during production, but for one year after the film's release he would not be involved with any scandal, not even divorce. Even before so-called "modern" acting techniques such as "The Method" permeated Hollywood, DeMille chose to isolate Warner from the rest of the cast so that he might better "feel" the role. Reportedly, Warner took to drinking because of the overwhelming nature of the part. While no "scandal" of which DeMille was so afraid (especially with Hollywood's reputation) erupted, Warner was said to have struggled with alcoholism for the rest of his life. A well-trained and well-versed stage actor, Warner thrived during the sound era. He was the chief magistrate in "Liliom" (1930), estranged from Sylvia Sidney in "Jennie Gerhardt" (1933), Gabelle in "A Tale of Two Cities" (1935), and was a favorite of Frank Capra for whom he performed in "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town" (1936), as the judge who listens to Gary Cooper's tale of tuba playing, "Lost Horizon" (1937), "You Can't Take It With You" (1938), as Ramsey, "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" (1939) as the corrupt Senator Fuller, and, of course, "It's a Wonderful Life" (1946). Warner can also be seen in one of screen history's most macabre scenes: as himself, one of "the waxworks," playing cards with Anna Q. Nilsson (his leading lady from "Sorrell and Son," 1927), Buster Keaton, and Gloria Swanson in "Sunset Boulevard" (1950). He finished his career playing a small role in "The Ten Commandments" for his "King of Kings" director Cecil B. DeMille (1956), and in a cameo in "Darby's Rangers" (1958) for director William Wellman. In 1939, Warner published his autobiography, "Hollywood Saga".

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 The Ten Commandments (1956) Amminadab
2.
 Journey into Light (1951) Wiz, wino
3.
 Here Comes the Groom (1951) Uncle Elihu
4.
 Savage Drums (1951) Maou
5.
 The First Legion (1951) Father [Jose] Sierra
6.
 Sunset Blvd. (1950) Himself
7.
 El Paso (1949) Judge Fletcher
8.
 Hellfire (1949) Brother Joseph
9.
 The Judge Steps Out (1949) Chief Justice Haynes
10.
 The Prince of Thieves (1948) Gilbert Head
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Studied medicine for several years
1883:
Made stage debut
1914:
Made film debut in "The Lost Paradise"
1923:
Was leading man to Gloria Swanson in "Zaza"
1927:
Had greatest screen role playing Jesus Christ in "The King of Kings"
1930:
Firmed status in sound era with "Liliom"
1937:
Nominated for an Academy Award for his work in "Lost Horizon"
1939:
Published memoir, "Hollywood Saga"
1946:
Played Mr. Gower, the druggust, in "It's A Wonderful Life"
1950:
Played himself in "Sunset Boulevard"
1956:
Appeared again for DeMille, "The Ten Commandments"
1958:
Made final film, "Darby's Rangers"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

University College: -

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Mrs F R Hamlin.
wife:
Rita Stanwood. Actor.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Charles Warner. Actor.

Bibliography close complete biography

"Hollywood Saga" Dutton

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute