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|Also Known As:||George Crisp,James Needham||Died:||May 25, 1974|
|Born:||July 27, 1882||Cause of Death:|
|Birth Place:||London, England, GB||Profession:||Cast ... actor director assistant director|
British born Donald Crisp became one of cinema's most reliable and beloved character actors, but few moviegoers who enjoyed his work were likely aware of just how far reaching and involved his career really was. Crisp really hit his stride in the 1930s when he became one of Warner Brothers' most prized contract players, but he had actually already been in the entertainment business for 30 years by that point. After starting off as an opera singer on the East Coast, Crisp journeyed to California and in association with D.W. Griffith, became a seasoned actor and director in the early days of silent features. He also went on to be a key figure in the world of motion picture financing, but continued to accept movie assignments out of his love for performing. The enthusiasm and considerable skill with which he conveyed both dramatic nuance and broad farce kept him of interest to the studios and Crisp enlivened such classics as "Mutiny on the Bounty" (1935) and "The Charge of the Light Brigade" (1936). In the 1940s, he was an Oscar winner for "How Green Was My Valley" (1942) and provided fine support in such MGM classics as "Lassie Come Home" (1943) and "National Velvet" (1944). Over a career that spanned more than 50 years, Crisp proved to be a venerable performer and, with his wide-ranging background in front of the camera and behind the scenes, was one of the true renaissance men of Golden Age Hollywood.
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