George Brent


Actor
George Brent

About

Also Known As
George Brendan Nolan
Birth Place
Ireland
Born
March 15, 1904
Died
May 26, 1979

Biography

Gentlemanly Broadway lead who made his screen debut in "Under Suspicion" (1930). Initially a slightly tough talking New York type, Brent proved an effective romantic foil to a wide variety of dominant female stars of the 1930s and 40s, most notably at Warner Brothers, where he was tenured from 1932 to 1942. Capable of playing the strong but silent type, or the urbane and cynical, Brent o...

Photos & Videos

The Spiral Staircase - Movie Poster
Baby Face - Scene Stills
Jezebel - Scene Stills

Family & Companions

Ruth Chatterton
Wife
Actor. Married on August 13, 1932; divorced on October 4, 1934.
Constance Worth
Wife
Actor. Briefly married and divorced in 1937.
Ann Sheridan
Wife
Actor. Married in 1942; divorced in 1943.

Biography

Gentlemanly Broadway lead who made his screen debut in "Under Suspicion" (1930). Initially a slightly tough talking New York type, Brent proved an effective romantic foil to a wide variety of dominant female stars of the 1930s and 40s, most notably at Warner Brothers, where he was tenured from 1932 to 1942. Capable of playing the strong but silent type, or the urbane and cynical, Brent often spent his screen time desiring his leading lady or being pursued by her. His playing was invariably professional and amiable if not dynamic or idiosyncratic, and so he proved a natural in "women's films" in which the focus was securely on a more galvanizing female actor who was a bigger star. Among his female paramours over the years were Bebe Daniels ("42nd Street," 1933), Greta Garbo ("The Painted Veil," 1934), Ginger Rogers ("In Person," 1935), Myrna Loy ("The Rains Came," 1939), Barbara Stanwyck ("My Reputation," 1946), and Claudette Colbert ("Bride for Sale," 1949).

Brent most often appeared as romantic lead in deferential support to three of Warners' classiest star actresses: Kay Francis ("Living on Velvet," 1935, "Give Me Your Heart," 1936, "Secrets of an Actress," 1938), Ruth Chatterton ("The Crash," 1932, "Female," 1933), to whom he was married from 1932 to 1934; and, particularly, Bette Davis ("Front Page Woman," 1935, "Jezebel," 1938, "Dark Victory," 1939, "The Great Lie," 1941). He also occasionally enjoyed a role off the beaten path, as in Robert Siodmak's memorable Gothic melodrama, "The Spiral Staircase" (1946). Brent sustained his prolific output after he and Warners parted company, but his films gradually diminished in importance in the later 40s. Very much a leading man type, he never made the transition to character roles, and so left the cinema in 1953 after appearing in a series of minor efforts. Two of his other four wives were actresses Constance Worth and Ann Sheridan (opposite whom he made "Honeymoon for Three," 1941). Brent came out of retirement for 1978's "Born Again."

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

Born Again (1978)
Mexican Manhunt (1953)
David L. Brady
Tangier Incident (1953)
Steve Gordon
Montana Belle (1952)
Tom Bradfield
Man Bait (1952)
John Harman
F.B.I. Girl (1951)
Jeff Donley
The Kid from Cleveland (1949)
Mike Jackson
Illegal Entry (1949)
Dan Collins
Red Canyon (1949)
Mathew Bostel
Bride for Sale (1949)
Paul Martin
Angel on the Amazon (1948)
Jim Warburton
Luxury Liner (1948)
Captain Jeremy Bradford
Slave Girl (1947)
Matt Claibourne, also known as Pierre
Christmas Eve (1947)
Michael Brooks
Out of the Blue (1947)
Arthur Earthleigh
The Corpse Came C.O.D. (1947)
Joe Medford
My Reputation (1946)
Major Scott Landis
The Spiral Staircase (1946)
Professor [Albert] Warren
Temptation (1946)
Nigel Armine
Lover Come Back (1946)
Bill Williams
Tomorrow Is Forever (1946)
Larry Hamilton
The Affairs of Susan (1945)
Roger Berton
Experiment Perilous (1944)
Dr. Huntington Bailey
The Gay Sisters (1942)
Charles Barclay
Twin Beds (1942)
Mike Abbott
Silver Queen (1942)
James Kincaid
You Can't Escape Forever (1942)
Steve Mitchell
In This Our Life (1942)
Craig Fleming
Honeymoon for Three (1941)
Kenneth Bixby
The Great Lie (1941)
Pete [Van Allen]
They Dare Not Love (1941)
Prince Kurt von Rotenburg
International Lady (1941)
[Tom] Hanley
'Til We Meet Again (1940)
Dan Hardesty
South of Suez (1940)
John Gamble [later known as John Bradley]
Adventure in Diamonds (1940)
Capt. Stephen Dennett
The Man Who Talked Too Much (1940)
Stephen Forbes
The Fighting 69th (1940)
"Wild Bill" Donovan
Dark Victory (1939)
Dr. Frederick Steele
Wings of the Navy (1939)
Cass Harrington
The Old Maid (1939)
Clem Spender
The Rains Came (1939)
Tom Ransome
Secrets of an Actress (1938)
Dick Orr
Racket Busters (1938)
Denny Jordan
Gold Is Where You Find It (1938)
Jared Whitney
Jezebel (1938)
Buck Cantrell
Mountain Justice (1937)
Paul Cameron
Submarine D-1 (1937)
Lt. Commander [Dan] Matthews
God's Country and the Woman (1937)
Steve Russett
The Go Getter (1937)
Bill Austin
The Case Against Mrs. Ames (1936)
Matt Logan
Give Me Your Heart (1936)
Jim Baker
More Than a Secretary (1936)
Fred Gilbert
The Golden Arrow (1936)
Johnny Jones
The Golden Arrow (1936)
Johnny Jones
Snowed Under (1936)
Alan Tanner
The Goose and the Gander (1935)
Bob McNear
In Person (1935)
Emory Parks
The Right to Live (1935)
Colin Trent
Front Page Woman (1935)
Curt Devlin
Special Agent (1935)
Bill Bradford
Stranded (1935)
Mack Hale
Living on Velvet (1935)
Terry Parker
Desirable (1934)
[Stuart] McAllister
Stamboul Quest (1934)
[Douglas] Beall
Housewife (1934)
William Reynolds
The Painted Veil (1934)
Jack Townsend
Female (1933)
Jim Thorne
Lilly Turner (1933)
Bob [Chandler]
Baby Face (1933)
[Courtland] Trenholm
The Keyhole (1933)
Neil [Davis]
Luxury Liner (1933)
Doctor Karl Bernhard
From Headquarters (1933)
Lieut. J. [Jim] Stevens
42nd Street (1933)
Pat Denning
The Rich Are Always with Us (1932)
Julian Tierney
The Purchase Price (1932)
Jim Gilson
The Crash (1932)
Geoffrey Gault
They Call It Sin (1932)
Dr. [Tony] Travers
Miss Pinkerton (1932)
Patten
So Big (1932)
Roelf Pool
Week-end Marriage (1932)
Peter Acton
Once a Sinner (1931)
James Brett
Charlie Chan Carries On (1931)
Capt. Ronald Keane
Ex-Bad Boy (1931)
Donald Swift
Under Suspicion (1931)
Inspector Turner
The Homicide Squad (1931)
Jimmy Buckley
Fair Warning (1931)
Lee Haines
The Lightning Warrior (1931)

Cast (Short)

Swingtime in the Movies (1938)
Himself
A Dream Comes True The Making of an Unusual Motion Picture (1935)
Himself
Things You Never See on the Screen (1935)
Himself

Life Events

1931

Film debut in "Under Suspicion"

1932

Joined Warner Brothers

1942

Left Warner Brothers

1953

Left filmmaking

1978

One-shot return to film acting, "Born Again"

Photo Collections

The Spiral Staircase - Movie Poster
Here is the American One-Sheet Movie Poster for The Spiral Staircase (1945), starring Dorothy McGuire. One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
Baby Face - Scene Stills
Here are a few scene stills from the pre-code Warner Bros. film Baby Face (1933), starring Barbara Stanwyck.
Jezebel - Scene Stills
Here are several scene stills from Warner Bros' Jezebel (1938), starring Bette Davis and Henry Fonda.
The Purchase Price - Movie Poster
The Purchase Price - Movie Poster
More Than a Secretary - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for Columbia's More Than a Secretary (1936), starring Jean Arthur and George Brent. One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
More Than a Secretary - Jumbo Lobby Cards
More Than a Secretary - Jumbo Lobby Cards
More Than a Secretary - Lobby Card
More Than a Secretary - Lobby Card
Man Bait - Movie Poster
Man Bait - Movie Poster
The Great Lie - Movie Poster
The Great Lie - Movie Poster
In This Our Life - Scene Stills
Here are a number of scene stills from Warner Bros' In This Our Life (1942), starring Bette Davis, Olivia De Havilland, and Dennis Morgan.
Racket Busters - Movie Posters
Here are a few original release American movie posters for Warner Bros' Racket Busters (1938), starring Humphrey Bogart and George Brent.
The Painted Veil - Movie Poster
Here is an American release movie poster for The Painted Veil (1934), starring Greta Garbo.

Videos

Movie Clip

Special Agent (1935) - Ink On My Nose Again? We know George Brent as Bill is really a federal revenue agent, but Bette Davis, as the notably good-natured Julie, top accountant for gangster Carston, buys his cover as a newspaper man, so their romantic sparring feels pretty natural, in the second of their twelve pictures together, Special Agent, 1935.
Special Agent (1935) - I'm Just A Big Strong Girl Paul Guilfoyle is a mole from the DA’s office, granted admittance by increasingly uncomfortable bookkeeper and girl-Friday Julie (Bette Davis) to see her boss, gangster Carston (Ricardo Cortez), her friend Bill (George Brent, posing as a reporter, though we know he’s really a cop) close behind, in Special Agent, 1935.
Jezebel (1938) - Pleasant Evening Noteworthy work by director William Wyler and cinematographer Ernest Haller, reluctant but resolute Pres (Henry Fonda) arrives at the ball with rebel fianceè Julie (Bette Davis) in her outrageous red dress, former boyfriend Buck (George Brent) taking some heat, in Jezebel, 1938.
Rich Are Always With Us, The (1932) - If You Insist On Being Platonic After prologues establishing Ruth Chatterton as Caroline, the world’s richest woman, married to broker Greg, and George Brent as her smitten journalist-adventurer friend Julian, we join their luncheon, into which Marlbro (Bette Davis) intrudes, in Warner Bros.’ The Rich Are Always With Us, 1932.
Rains Came, The (1939) - Cast Iron Petticoat From the opening scene, Brit artist Ransome (George Brent) and local doctor Major Safti (Tyrone Power) discuss the former's inertia and the state of contemporary India, a missionary mother and daughter (Marjorie Rambeau, Brenda Joyce) visiting, in The Rains Came, 1939, co-starring Myrna Loy.
Rains Came, The (1939) - Have You Become Fond Of Money? Ransome (George Brent), an idle British painter long resident in a fictional Indian state, chats with Lady Edwina (Myrna Loy), after having discovered to their mutual surprise that she, the wife of a visiting lord, is also his old flame, in The Rains Came, 1939, also starring Tyrone Power.
Great Lie, The (1941) - He's A Gay Lad, Really Recovering from the week-long party after their impulsive wedding at her Park Avenue spread, flier Pete (George Brent) gets past agent Mason (Grant Mitchell) and friend James (Thurston Hall) to tell pianist Sandra (Mary Astor) that they're not legally married, early in The Great Lie, 1941.
Great Lie, The (1941) - News About Your Friends Aviator Pete (George Brent) swoops into the Maryland home of long-time girlfriend Maggie (Bette Davis), intercepted by maid Violet (Hattie McDaniel), he alone knowing that his much-publicized hasty marriage to a famous pianist is not legal after all, early in The Great Lie, 1941.
Old Maid, The (1939) - Every Shot Will Make You Richer Civil War troop train leaving Philadelphia, Charlotte (Bette Davis) seeks Clem (George Brent), to the surprise of her cousin Delia (Miriam Hopkins), to whom he was once engaged, and who is now married to a munitions manufacturer, in The Old Maid, 1939, from an Edith Wharton novel.
Painted Veil, The (1934) - The Spell Is Broken Hong Kong man-about-town Jack (George Brent), giving a tour but shameless in his pursuit of newly-arrived doctor's wife Katrin (Greta Garbo), in The Painted Veil, 1934, from the Somerset Maugham novel.
Painted Veil, The (1934) - Admiring Your Garden Left at home during a Hong Kong festival, doctor's wife Katrin (Greta Garbo) is intercepted by her unwelcome suitor Jack (George Brent), then attending together, in The Painted Veil, 1934, from the Somerset Maugham novel.
More Than A Secretary - Stimulates The Liver Secretarial school owner Carol (Jean Arthur), working incognito at "Body And Brain" magazine, with fitness chief Ernest (Lionel Stander) and boss Fred (George Brent), in More Than A Secretary, 1936.

Trailer

Jezebel - (Re-issue Trailer) Bette Davis received her second Academy Award portraying a fiery Southern belle in Jezebel (1938).
Purchase Price, The (1932) -- (Original Trailer) A night-club singer (Barbara Stanwyck) on the lam becomes a Wyoming farmer's mail-order bride in The Purchase Price (1932).
Wings Of The Navy - (Original Trailer) Pilot brothers (George Brent, John Payne) vie for the same woman (Olivia de Havilland) in Wings Of The Navy (1939).
Goose And The Gander, The - (Original Trailer) An ex-wife (Kay Francis) schemes to expose her former husband's philandering new wife in the comedy The Goose and the Gander (1935).
Golden Arrow, The (1936) - (Original Trailer) A waitress posing as an heiress (Bette Davis) enters a "marriage of convenience" with a writer (George Brent) in The Golden Arrow (1938).
God's Country and the Woman - (Original Trailer) A lady lumberjack falls for one of her workers, not realizing it's a business rival in disguise in God's Country and the Woman (1937).
From Headquarters - (Original Trailer) Police lieutenant George Brent uses forensic science to solve a decadent playboy's murder in From Headquarters (1933).
Female - (Original Trailer) Ruth Chatterton not only runs a major company but also adopts traditionally male sexual perogatives in the notorious pre-code Female (1933).
Experiment Perilous - (Original Trailer) A small-town doctor (George Brent) tries to help a beautiful woman (Hedy Lamarr) with a deranged husband (Paul Lukas).
Miss Pinkerton - (Original Trailer) A private duty nurse (Joan Blondell) gets herself mixed up in a murder investigation in Miss Pinkerton (1932).
Desirable - (Original Trailer) An aging actress tries to keep her teen-aged daughter out of the public eye in Desirable (1934).
Crash, The - (Original Trailer) The stock market crash costs a faithless wife (Ruth Chatterton) her fortune in The Crash (1932).

Family

Peggy Watson
Sister
Married Broadway producer Sam Harris (who was thirty years her senior) in 1939.

Companions

Ruth Chatterton
Wife
Actor. Married on August 13, 1932; divorced on October 4, 1934.
Constance Worth
Wife
Actor. Briefly married and divorced in 1937.
Ann Sheridan
Wife
Actor. Married in 1942; divorced in 1943.

Bibliography