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John Abbott Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Trade Mark (4) | Trivia (10) | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 5 June 1905London, England, UK
Date of Death 24 May 1996Los Angeles, California, USA  (cancer)
Birth NameJohn Albert Chamberlain Kefford
Height 5' 11" (1.8 m)

Mini Bio (1)

John Abbott was born on June 5, 1905 in London, England as John Albert Chamberlain Kefford. He was an actor, known for The Jungle Book (1967), Gigi (1958) and Mrs. Miniver (1942). He died on May 24, 1996 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

Trade Mark (4)

Deep rolling voice
Thin bony facial features
Frequently played leaders or authority figures
Frequently played sinister and ruthless villains

Trivia (10)

His gaunt face and morose countenance made him a marketable character player, most adept at playing sinister, eccentric roles.
A well-known Shakespearean actor in 1930s England.
Worked for the British Embassy in Moscow during World War II. After leaving his position and returning home to England, he made a stop in the United States and was offered a Hollywood film role in 1941. Wound up staying and settling there for the rest of his life.
In his later years, he taught acting and inspired some of Hollywood's most famous young actors of that time.
Was blacklisted during the Red Scare of the 1950s. It seems that already blacklisted author Dalton Trumbo had used Abbott's name at one point as an alias. Eventually, a producer, wanting to hire Abbott, was able to have his name removed from the list.
In 1944, Abbott was cast in the lead role of Elwood P. Dowd on Broadway in Mary Chase's "Harvey", but argued that the writer was wrong to have the play's imaginary six-foot rabbit visible on stage. He left the production due to "artistic differences". Author Chase later deferred to his judgment and the show became a hit -- without Abbott.
In 1937, he was part of the legendary production of "Hamlet" performed in Elsinore with Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh.
Had an early career as a commercial artist when he substituted for a sick friend in an amateur theatre production and was discovered by Sybil Thorndike.
Following repertory stage work in Watford and Crewe, Abbott was invited by Tyrone Guthrie to join the Old Vic in 1936 where he played such roles as Nathaniel in "Love's Labour's Lost" and Prospero in "The Tempest".
Tennessee Williams wrote the one-act play "Auto-da-Fe" (his only verse play) specifically for Abbott.

Personal Quotes (1)

My goal was always simply to do good work without having to run about looking for jobs.

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