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Ralph Forbes Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (3) | Trivia (2)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 30 September 1904London, England, UK
Date of Death 31 March 1951The Bronx, New York, USA
Birth NameRalph Taylor
Height 6' (1.83 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Ralph Forbes had other ideas than the family wish for him to seek a career in law or the navy. He became interested in acting and began stage work in England. By 1917, he had come to the US to get his feet wet in the film medium with his first silent that year. But he returned to the UK to work in the early British film industry from 1921 to 1926. In the latter year, he joined fellow expatriate and A-list star Ronald Colman to play younger brother John in the first Hollywood rendering of Beau Geste (1926). Through the 1920s, he would work with some familiar names: Lon Chaney, Lillian Gish, Norma Shearer, and John Gilbert among many others in varied roles. His handsome features and bright blues eyes gave him an intense look that could well suit numerous young romantic gentleman characters.

A rich, full voice to boot made the sound transition a smooth one. The unevenness and muffled nature of early sound movies was apparent in his first effort Lilies of the Field (1930) which was an early American-based effort by Alexander Korda. In that year of 1930 Forbes' six films prophesied a busy decade to come. In 1931, he did a sequel to Beau Geste which took up the continuing adventures of youngest Geste brother John, Beau Ideal (1931). By 1933, Forbes was much in demand with five or six movie roles a year through most of the decade. He made the costume rounds: including, the first sound The Three Musketeers (1935), Mary of Scotland (1936), and the classic George Cukor Romeo and Juliet (1936) in which he played Juliet's suitor Paris. With all that "gesting" under his belt. it was perhaps not surprising to find Forbes in the sand dunes again for The Legion of Missing Men (1937), where he played the lead in a "gestique"-sort of script with a younger brother coming to join him in the Legion -- some good finale action. It is, therefore, perhaps a bit of a surprise that he did not play John in the more famous remake of Beau Geste (1939) with Gary Cooper. But Ray Milland got the nod that time. Interestingly, this William A. Wellman directed version is almost a carbon copy of the 1926 effort. After 1940, his work was sporadic to the end of the decade. But he did some early TV playhouse productions in 1950 before his untimely passing the next year.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: William McPeak

Spouse (3)

Dora Sayers (actress) (1946 - 31 March 1951) (his death)
Heather Angel (29 August 1934 - 18 July 1941) (divorced)
Ruth Chatterton (20 December 1924 - 12 August 1932) (divorced)

Trivia (2)

Son of the actress Mary Forbes. Brother of actress Brenda Forbes.
Married third wife Dora Sayers in the home of Ruth Chatterton, his first wife.

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