Tower of London

1939

In the 15th century Richard Duke of Gloucester, aided by his club-footed executioner Mord, eliminates those ahead of him in succession to the throne, then occupied by his brother King Edward IV of England. As each murder is accomplished he takes particular delight in removing small figurines, each resembling one of the successors, from a throne-room dollhouse, until he alone remains. After the death of Edward he becomes Richard III, King of England, and need only defeat the exiled Henry Tudor to retain power.

Cast:
Basil Rathbone .... Richard, Duke of Gloucester (later King Richard III)
Boris Karloff .... Mord
Barbara O'Neil .... Queen Elyzabeth
Ian Hunter .... King Edward IV
Vincent Price .... Duke of Clarence
Nan Grey .... Lady Alice Barton
Ernest Cossart .... Tom Clink
John Sutton .... John Wyatt
Leo G. Carroll .... Lord Hastings
Miles Mander .... King Henry VI
Lionel Belmore .... Beacon, a chamberlain
Rose Hobart .... Anne Neville
Ronald Sinclair .... Boy King Edward
John Herbert-Bond .... Boy Prince Richard
Ralph Forbes .... Henry Tudor
Frances Robinson .... Duchess Isobel
G.P. Huntley .... Prince of Wales
John Rodion .... Lord Devere
Walter Tetley .... Chimney Sweep
Donnie Dunagan .... Baby Prince Richard

Barbara O'Neil

From a socially prominent New England family, she graduated from Sarah Lawrence college. Her acting career began on stage with a summer stock company called the Cape Cod University Players, which was co-founded (1928) by future director/screenwriter Joshua Logan. She was married briefly to Logan in the 30s. During the summer season, she acted with the Provincetown Players, often in the company of her first husband, producer Joshua Logan. Barbara O'Neil was 21 when she made her first Broadway appearance. She made her film debut in 1937, marking time in traditional leading lady roles until cast as Scarlett O'Hara's mother in Gone With the Wind (1939), delivering an utterly convincing performance despite the fact that she was exactly three years older than her "daughter" Vivien Leigh. Her finest screen showing was as Charles Boyer's spiteful, dangerously neurotic wife in All This and Heaven Too (1940), for which she earned an Oscar nomination. Barbara O'Neil made only a handful of film appearances after that, retiring from show business after a successful run in the Broadway production Little Moon of Alban. Was artist-in-residence at the University of Denver between 1958 and 1960. Retired shortly after to the family home in Cos Cob, Connecticut.

Nan Grey

Born: July 25, 1918, Houston, Texas, Likable, extremely beautiful leading lady of mostly B-films, almost exclusively with Universal during a film career which included over two dozen films between 1934 and 1941. Grey is probably best remembered as one of Deanna Durbin's sisters in one of her few A-budget pictures, the delightful comedy "Three Smart Girls" (1936); she later reprised her role in a charming and popular sequel, "Three Smart Girls Grow Up" (1939). Grey also worked for director Joe May on "The Invisible Man Returns" and "The House of the Seven Gables" (both 1940) and contributed a highly touching vignette as the victim of the lesbian vampire countess in "Dracula's Daughter" (1936). She also played the leading role of Kathy Marshall on the popular radio soap opera "Those We Love" from 1938 to 1945. Grey's first husband was jockey Jackie Westrope, and she retired from acting in 1950 upon marrying her second, pop singer Frankie Laine.

Rose Hobart

The daughter of a cellist with the New York Symphony Rose was born in New York City on 1 May 1906. Rose Hobart's first brush with the arts was a model for several Woodstock-based artists like George Bellows. Splitting her time with her divorced parents, Hobart was educated in boarding schools all over the country. At 15, she began her stage career as a performer in the Chautaqua tent-show circuit. During the 1920s, she appeared on stage with such notables as Eva Le Gallienne, Noel Coward and Ina Claire; in 1929, she replaced Katharine Hepburn in the first Broadway staging of Death Takes a Holiday. She came to films in 1930, once again as a replacement, this time for Janet Gaynor in Frank Borzage's production of Liliom. She went on to appear in over 40 additional films, both in the A and B category. When artist Joseph Cornell re-cut "East of Borneo"(1931) into an avant-garde silent short, he re-titled it "Rose Hobart" after the female lead. Many of her leading lady roles were decorative but colorless (e.g. the "good" girl in 1931's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde); she became a much more fascinating screen presence when she began portraying spiteful other women, castrating wives and subtle villainesses. After 1949's Bride of Vengeance, Rose Hobart was involuntarily retired from films, the victim of the Hollywood blacklist. She spent the rest of her professional life as an acting counselor,she returned to acting in the 1960s on TV's "Peyton Place." She appeared in a student film, "Rancho California", in 1988. n 1994 she wrote her autobiography titled "A Steady Digression to a Fixed Point." For many years she has resided at the Motion Picture and Television Country House, where she edited "Haven News", the journal of the Motion Picture Country Home. Rose Hobart died 29 August 2000 inWoodland Hills, California, of natural causes.

 

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