Henry O'Neill

Birth name:
Date of Birth:
18 May 1891 Orange, New Jersey, USA
Height:
5' 10" (1.78 m)
Suave, well-mannered, silvery-haired character actor Henry O'Neill played top supports in hundreds of films, often as a benign, wise, sensible father, judge, doctor, executive or lawyer. Most of his uppercrust career was split between two studios: Warner Bros in the 1930s and MGM in the 1940s. O'Neill was born in New Jersey in 1891 and dropped out of college to join a traveling theatre troupe. World War I service in the military intervened but he returned to acting in 1919 and began a distinguished career on the New York stage in the 1920s, his prematurely gray hair lending an air of pride and confidence in his many distinctive roles, particularly those in works of playwright Eugene O'Neill. In 1933 he made a solid, unerring switch to films and settled in for the duration. Although he was typically cast in agreeable roles, he certainly had it in him to be an urbane villain when the call came in. In the 1950s, due to ill health, he spaced out his feature work, making his last film, The Wings of Eagles (1957) with John Wayne. He also found employment in TV anthologies as well. He died in 1961 at the age of 69.
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