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Robert Newton Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (4) | Trivia (17) | Salary (1)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 1 June 1905Shaftesbury, Dorset, England, UK
Date of Death 25 March 1956Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA  (heart attack)
Birth NameRobert Guy Newton
Height 6' (1.83 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Robert Newton was one of the great character actors -- and great characters -- of the British cinema, best remembered today for playing Long John Silver in Treasure Island (1950) and its sequel for Walt Disney in the 1950s. His portrayal of Long John Silver and of Blackbeard, the Pirate (1952) created a persona that was so indelible that his vocal intonations created the paradigm for scores of people who want to "Talk Like a Pirate." The performance overshadows Newton's legacy, which is based on many first-rate performances in such movies as This Happy Breed (1944), Odd Man Out (1947) and Oliver Twist (1948), where his Bill Sykes is truly chilling. Oliver Reed, who played Sykes in the Oscar-winning movie musical Oliver! (1968) was influenced by Newton.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood

Spouse (4)

Natalie Hazel Cochrane Newhouse (1947 - 19 February 1952) (divorced) (1 child)
Ann Isobel Noel McLean (24 December 1936 - 1945) (divorced)
Petronella Walton (1929 - ?) (divorced) (1 child)
Vera Budnik (? - 25 March 1956) (his death) (1 child)

Trivia (17)

Excessive drinking damaged him and a highly erratic film career was the result. He often found himself unemployable due to his unreliability. He died at age 50 of alcohol-related causes although the official report was a heart attack.
Was voted one of the top ten British money-making stars in the Motion Picture Herald-Fame Poll from 1947 to 1951.
Married four times and had three children: Sally, an actress, Nicholas and Kim.
Was assistant stage manager and painting scenery at the Birmingham Repertory Company as a teenager. He made his debut there in a production of "Captain Brassbound's Conversion" (1920). Became a stage star when Noel Coward cast him in the popular musical revue "Bitter Sweet" which ran for over a year at Her Majesty's Theatre. Later Coward had Newton take over from Laurence Olivier in his classic play "Private Lives" in New York.
From an artistic family. His mother was a writer and father a painter and member of the Royal Academy. His brother and sister were also painters.
The voice of Captain McAllister in The Simpsons (1989) is based on his portrayal of Long John Silver.
Often credited with originating the style of speech generally equated with pirates. After his spectacular turn as Long John Silver in the Disney version of Treasure Island (1950), actors playing pirates in film, radio, television, and theatre, all tended to use (and still use) the same pseudo-Cornish accent Newton came up with.
Was declared bankrupt in his absence on September 24th 1954 at the London Bankruptcy Buildings. He owed a total of £46,300 to the Inland Revenue in unpaid taxes and approximately £700 to other creditors. He was at the time filming in Australia. (The Times, September 25th 1954).
Is interred with his last wife, Vera, at Westwood Memorial Park, Los Angeles, USA.
Some sources give his cause of death as a stroke.
Was paid 9,000 pounds sterling to appear in This Happy Breed (1944), the equivalent of $466,000 in 2012 dollars.
Alfred Hitchcock thought Louis Jourdan was all wrong as the lower class groom/lover in "The Paradine Case," but he was overruled by producer David O. Selznick. Hitchcock wanted Newton for the part.
Newton's father was an artist and his mother a writer. The family had founded an art supply company, Winsor and Newton, in 1832 with J.M.W. Turner and Queen Vicyoria regular customers. Today the company is international in scope with 65% of its business is overseas.
Newton's only cinematic appearance in filmed Shakespeare was in Olivier's "Henry V.".
At age 15 in 1920 Newton had his first brush with the theater at the Birmingham Reoertory Co. as a stagehand and scenery painter. Later that year he made his first onstage appearance in ""Henry IV, Part 1.
After being signed for the color remake of "Svengali" with a contract clause about his drinking, Newton behaved very irresponsibly on the film and fled to Australia, where he filmed the "Long John Silver" movie and TV shows. When he returned he was sued for $375,000 by the producers of "Svengali," who had had to replace him with Donald Wolfit.
Played two different characters named Bill Sykes, in Oliver Twist and Soldiers Three.

Salary (1)

This Happy Breed (1944) £9,000

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