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Ernest Thesiger (1879–1961)

Although he made nearly 60 films in a 50-year acting career, it is for the two he made with director James Whale that Ernest Thesiger will be best remembered. Born Ernest Frederic Graham Thesiger in London on January 15, 1879, he was the grandson of the first Baron of Chelmsford. Educated at Marlbrough college and the Slade, he originally hoped to ... See full bio »

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Known For

The Bride of Frankenstein
The Man in the White Suit
The Man in the White Suit Sir John Kierlaw
The Robe
The Robe Emperor Tiberius
A Christmas Carol
A Christmas Carol The Undertaker


Jump to: Actor | Archive footage
Hide Hide Show Show Actor (72 credits)
 1957-1960 ITV Television Playhouse (TV Series)
Calvin Broderick / Colonel Gyll / Phipps
- Night Run to the West (1960) ... Calvin Broderick
- Do as I Do (1958) ... Colonel Gyll
 1960 Sons and Lovers
Mr. Hadlock
 1960 The Battle of the Sexes
Old Macpherson
 1959-1960 Armchair Theatre (TV Series)
The Dean / Professor Galton / Millionaire
- Lord Arthur Savile's Crime (1960) ... The Dean
- Suspicious Mind (1959) ... Professor Galton
- Invitation to Murder (1959) ... Millionaire
 1959 Result of an Accident (TV Short)
Mr. Justice Finston
 1958 The Horse's Mouth
 1958 Chaucer's England (Short)
 1957 The Truth About Women
 1957 Joyous Errand (TV Series)
Mr. Skaife
- Episode #1.1 (1957) ... Mr. Skaife
 1957 Doctor at Large
First Examiner
 1956 Three Men in a Boat
3rd Old Gentleman
 1953-1956 BBC Sunday-Night Theatre (TV Series)
John Cadmus / Montané
- Marching Song (1956) ... John Cadmus
- The Public Prosecutor (1953) ... Montané
 1956 Who Done It?
Sir Walter Finch
 1956 ITV Play of the Week (TV Series)
- Hamlet (1956) ... Polonius
 1955 An Alligator Named Daisy
 1955 Quentin Durward
Lord Crawford
 1955 Value for Money
Lord Dewsbury
 1955 Make Me an Offer
Sir John
 1955 Simon and Laura (TV Movie)
 1954 Thought to Kill
Burden Senior
 1954 The Detective
Vicomte de Verdigris
 1954 Man with a Million
Mr. Garrett, Bank Director (uncredited)
 1953 Meet Mr. Lucifer
Mr. Macdonald
 1953 A Fish in the Family (TV Movie)
Rev. Philip Hodgson
 1953 Rheingold Theatre (TV Series)
Burdon Sr.
- Thought to Kill (1953) ... Burdon Sr.
 1952 The Woman's Angle
 1951 The Magic Box
 1951 The Man in the White Suit
Sir John Kierlaw
 1950 Last Holiday
Sir Trevor Lampington
 1949 Macbeth/II (TV Movie)
Weird Sister
 1949 Macbeth (TV Movie)
 1949 Lost Daughter
Bloomfield (scenes deleted)
 1948 Brass Monkey
 1948 Quartet
Henry Dashwood (segment "The Colonel's Lady")
 1948 The Winslow Boy
Mr. Ridgeley Pierce
 1947 The Ghosts of Berkeley Square
Dr. Cruickshank of Psychical Research Society
 1947 The Smugglers
 1946 Androcles and the Lion (TV Movie)
 1945 A Place of One's Own
Dr. Marsham
 1944 Henry V
Duke of Berri - French Ambassador
 1944 Don't Take It to Heart
Justices' Clerk
 1943 The Lamp Still Burns
 1943 My Learned Friend
 1939 Geneva (TV Movie)
Sir Orpheus Midlander
 1938 Lightning Conductor
 1938 The Ware Case
 1935 The Murder Party
 1935 My Heart Is Calling
 1934 The Only Girl
The Chamberlain
 1933 The Ghoul
 1932 The Old Dark House
Horace Femm
 1930 Ashes (Short)
 1929 Week-End Wives
 1929 The Vagabond Queen
 1922 Number 13
Mr. Peabody
 1921 The Bachelor's Club
Israfel Mondego
 1918 Nelson
Wiliam Pitt
 1916 The Real Thing at Last (Short)
Show Show Archive footage (7 credits)

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Personal Details

Other Works:

Stage: Appeard in Sam Spewack's play, "Under the Sycamore Tree," at the Golders Green Hippodrome in London, England, with Alec Guinness, Diana Churchill and Eric Porter in the cast. See more »

Publicity Listings:

1 Print Biography | 1 Portrayal | 3 Articles | See more »

Alternate Names:

Ernst Thesiger


6' (1.83 m)

Did You Know?

Personal Quote:

Anyone with a modicum of intelligence and the right kind of physique ought to make a film actor, if they are lucky enough to be told exactly what to do, and I cannot see that the actor for the screen deserves any more credit than a schoolboy who is good at dictation should have for writing admirable prose.


His famous role of mad scientist Dr. Pretorius in The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) was initially turned down by Bela Lugosi. Universal wanted Claude Rains then to do the part but director James Whale insisted on Thesiger. See more »

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