TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (5)
|Also Known As:||Elwood Dagger Cromwell||Died:||September 26, 1979|
|Born:||December 23, 1888||Cause of Death:||pulmonary embolism|
|Birth Place:||Toledo, Ohio, USA||Profession:||Director ... director producer actor|
Theater success (as actor, director, producer) who went to Hollywood in the late 1920s at the age of 40, and subsequently proved a capable craftsman of polished, occasionally exceptional studio fare, with a gift for eliciting surprisingly solid performances from even mediocre actors.
Initially with Paramount, he moved to RKO in 1933, before branching out to work for various producers, most notably the autocratic David O. Selznick. Among Cromwell's better efforts are "Of Human Bondage" (1934), which made Bette Davis a star; the finest version of the swashbuckler "The Prisoner of Zenda" (1937); the slice of Americana, "Abe Lincoln in Illinois" (1940), which owes much of its success to Robert Sherwood's play basis; the WWII homefront tribute, "Since You Went Away" (1944), mostly the vision of producer Selznick; the sensitive, but not overly sentimental, romantic fantasy, "The Enchanted Cottage" (1945); and the visually rewarding "Anna and the King of Siam" (1946), which won Oscars for the cinematographer and production designer.
After leaving Selznick in the post-war period, and being blacklisted in the early 1950s, Cromwell brought a grittier, more realistic edge to such later films as "Dead Reckoning" (1947); the women's prison expose, "Caged" (1950); and the Marilyn Monroe-like saga, "The Goddess" (1959). He appeared in character parts in Robert Altman's "Three Women" (1977) and as the semi-senile priest in "A Wedding" (1978). Married to actresses Alice Indahl, Marie Goff, Kay Johnson and Ruth Nelson and father of actor James (Jamie) Cromwell.
Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.Click here to contribute