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|on the radio show Three Thirds of the Nation, 3 June 1942|
|Birthday/Birthplace||Cedric Webster Hardwicke
(1893-02-19)19 February 1893
Lye, Stourbridge, Worcestershire, England, United Kingdom
|Deceased||6 August 1964(1964-08-06)
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Cause of death||Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease|
|Active Years||1913–1964 (his death)|
|Wife/Husband||Helena Pickard (1928–48; divorced) 1 child
Mary Scott (1950–61; divorced)
Cedric Webster Hardwicke (February 19, 1893 – August 6, 1964), better known as Cedric Hardwicke , was a British actor.
He was born in Lye, England, by the name of Cedric Webster Hardwicke. His parents were Edwin Webster Hardwicke and Jessie Masterson. He studied at the Bridgnorth Grammar School in Shropshire and later at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
He debuted as a stage actor in London performing at the Lyceum Theater in 1912 with Frederick Melville’s melodrama The Monk and the Woman. That year he also worked at the Her Majesty as a substitute, later acting at the Garrick Theater with the piece by Charles Klein Find the Woman and with Trust the People. In 1913 he joined the company of Francis Robert Benson, with whom he traveled through the provinces and through South Africa and Rhodesia. In 1914 he toured with Letitia Marion Dallas performing the work of Laurence Irving The Unwritten Law, acting also in the Old Vic Theater as Malcolm in Macbeth, Tranio in The Taming of the Shrew, or as the gravedigger in Hamlet, among other roles.
During the First World War, Hardwicke served with the British Army on the Western Front. In January 1922 he joined the Birmingham Repertory Company. He played many classic roles in the main theaters of London, earning a good reputation representing works by George Bernard Shaw, who said that Hardwicke was his fifth favorite actor after the four Marx Brothers. He was one of Shaw’s main performers of his generation, participating in César and Cleopatra, Pygmalion, The Apple Car, Candida, Too True to Be Good and Man and Superman, and achieving such a high reputation that, at 41 years, he became one of the youngest actors to be knighted.
Other of his theatrical success were The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse, Antigone and A Majority of One, work with which he was nominated for the Tony Award, and in which he played a Japanese diplomat.
In 1928 Hardwicke married the English actress Helena Pickard.In December 1935, Cedric Hardwicke was elected Rede Lecturer at the University of Cambridge.
His first performance in British cinema took place in 1931, and in 1939 Hardwicke was working in Hollywood, California. It was Dr. David Livingstone versus Henry Morton Stanley played by Spencer Tracy in the 1939 film Stanley and Livingstone, and that same year was a memorable Claude Frollo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, with Charles Laughton as Quasimodo. Another outstanding film was The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942). In addition to these interpretations, he continued his theatrical career working in New York City.
In 1944 he returned to England, again on tours and performing in London at the Westminster Theater, where he played Richard Varwell in a production of the comedy Eden and Adelaide Phillpotts Yellow Sands. He returned to the United States in 1945, where he performed with Ethel Barrymore in December in a replenishment of Pygmalion. In 1946 he worked with Katharine Cornell as King Creon in an adaptation of the piece by Jean Anouilh Antigone and in 1949 he gave life to Julius Caesar in Cesar and Cleopatra, by Bernard Shaw. In the 1951-1952 season he appeared on Broadway with Agnes Moorehead, Charles Boyer, and Charles Laughton in Don Juan in Hell, by Bernard Shaw.
Despite having acted in classic films such as Les Miserables (1935), The Mines of King Solomon (1937), The Keys to the Kingdom (1944), The Winslow Boy (1948) and Richard III (1955) by Laurence Olivier ), Hardwicke is remembered mainly for two roles: King Arthur in the musical comedy, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1949), in which he sang Busy Doing Nothing in a trio that he formed with Bing Crosby and William Bendix, and by Pharaoh Seti I in Cecil B. DeMille’s 1956 film The Ten Commandments.
In addition to theater and film actor, he also worked in television. In this medium it intervened in 1956 in the episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents entitled Wet Saturday. In the 1961-1962 season, he played Professor Crayton in the sitcom starring Gertrude Berg, Mrs. G. Goes to College, broadcast by CBS. Previously he had acted as guest artist on the Howard Duff and Ida Lupino series for CBS Mr. Adams and Eve. Its last paper took place in the series The Outer Limits, in the episode “The Forms of Things Unknown”.
Cedric Hardwicke died in 1964 from a lung condition in New York City. He was 71 years old. His remains are preserved at the Golders Green Crematorium in London.
Hardwicke had an actor son, Edward Hardwicke, known for playing Dr. Watson on British television in the 1980s and 1990s.
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