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Henry Travers

English Movie Actor Henry Travers
Written By - Team Nettv4u

Among several A-list celebrities who played an angel on screen in Hollywood, the most fondly remembered is the chipper Mark Twain reading Clarence Oddbody from It’s a Wonderful Life (1946). Henry Travers was born as Travers John Hagerty to physician Dr. Daniel Hagerty in Ireland. Some sources, however, debate his birthplace between Berwick and Prudhoe. The family settled in Prudhoe in the late 1880s. He went to Berwick Grammar School.

He was initially training to become an architect, instead, he joined the “Tweedside Minstrels” to perform at local amateur shows. He later joined the James Wallace Quintet, and became an accustomed face in theaters and music halls across the UK in the late 1910s. He emigrated to the United States of America in 1917. He became a regular on the Broadway stage for the next 15 years. He worked with The Theatre Guild.

He even shared the stage with the likes of Lillian Roth, Claude Rains William Claude Rains, a British actor, was born on >> Read More... , Lynn Fontaine and others. Henry was a stage name he adopted after moving to America. His Hollywood debut was MGM’s flick, “Reunion in Venice (1933)”, where he played the old Herr Krug, Anton Krug ( Frank Morgan )’s father. The same year, he was seen in the film, “Another Language”, set as a drawing room comedy, co-starring Helen Hayes and Robert Montgomery. In 1933, Universal Studios made an adaptation of the H. G. Wells novel, ‘ The Invisible Man Click to look into! >> Read More... ’, in which Henry played the “invisible” Claude Rains’ employer and Gloria Stuart’s father. He played his two important roles in 1934 in the movies, “Death takes a toll”, and “Born to be bad”.

He was a jolly Cape Cod fisherman who, with a bunch of five other fishermen, rescues a young girl and raises her in the 1935 flick, “Captain Hurricane”. He went back to Broadway in 1936 with Kaufman and Hart’s “You can’t take it with you”. In 1939, he acted as the older inmate in the Warner Bros. prison movie, “You can’t get away with Murder”, where he takes the young inmate, Billy Halop, under his wing. The same year, he played a family doctor to Betty Davis in “Dark History”. He has also starred in the adventure movie set in India, “The Rains Came”.

In 1943, he starred in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Shadows of Doubt”. The Master Click to look into! >> Read More... of Suspense admitted this was one of his favorite films. The same year, in the movie, “The Moon is Down”, he played a mayor of a Nazi-occupied Norwegian town. In his role, he puts up a fight against a German officer by the name of Hardwicke. In 1945, he was part of the movie, “The Naughty Nineties”. It was the only movie that played Bud and Lou’s complete routine of “Who’s on First”. Henry’s most iconic role was in 1946 in Frank Capra’s Yuletide classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life”, as Clarence Oddbody, the helper from heaven, the angel second class for the suicidal, George Bailey ( James Stewart James Maitland Stewart was an American General in >> Read More... ).

But it was his role of the Rose enthusiast Mr. Ballard in the movie, “Mrs. Miniver”, that bagged him an Oscar nomination for ‘Best Supporting Actor’. In the film, Henry’s character, Mr. Ballard, grows a rose in honour of his neighbor, Mrs. Miniver, and wins a competition. The film won the best picture award in the year 1942. His career was gradually slowing down towards the 1950s. His final appearance was in the movie, “The Girl from Jones Beach”, as a judge. It was a Warner Bros. comedy starring Ronald Reagan and Virginia Mayo. He died at the ripe age of 91 in October 1965. He suffered from Atherosclerosis. He died in the Los Angeles County.


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