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Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (4) | Trivia (13)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 17 January 1904Pueblo, Colorado, USA
Date of Death 27 March 1959North Hollywood, California, USA  (suicide)
Birth NameGranville G. Withers
Height 6' 3" (1.91 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Appeared in over 200 films. He had worked as a salesman and newspaper reporter before breaking into movies near the end of the silent era. Tall and tough, his starring roles in major pictures soon gave way to supporting parts, mainly as a villain, in B movies and serials. His elopement to Yuma, Arizona, in 1930 with a 17-year-old Loretta Young was widely reported. From 1940 on, he took numerous supporting roles, working until his suicide in 1959.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Spouse (4)

Estelita Rodriguez (January 1953 - 1955) (divorced)
Walsh, Gladys Joyce (1933 - ?) (divorced)
Loretta Young (26 January 1930 - 1931) (annulled)
Paschal, Shirley (? - ?) (divorced)

Trivia (13)

Brother-in-law of Polly Ann Young and Sally Blane, half-brother-in-law of Georgiana Young.
John Wayne was best man at his marriage to Estelita Rodriguez.
He died from an overdose of barbituates
A noticeable weight gain and failing health (back problems) triggered his suicide in 1959, at the age of 54, dying from an overdose of barbiturates. He left behind a note in which he apologized to all the people he'd purportedly let down during his Hollywood days.
Worked with Buster Keaton and W.C. Fields in his early silent films.
Married and divorced five times, including an annulment from Loretta Young, his first.
Attended Kemper Military Academy and first drew interest in acting after appearing in school plays.
Was a salesman for the Standard Oil Company and worked for the Los Angeles Record newspaper before acting. His first assignment was covering the funeral of actor Wallace Reid. He quit after finding work as an extra in films.
He eloped with Loretta Young in 1930 when he was 25 and she was just 17, shortly after appearing together in the film The Second Floor Mystery (1930). He was not Catholic, and they were not married by a priest. The scandal caused a sensation. Loretta was able to obtain an annulment since the marriage was invalid in the eyes of the Catholic Church.
Was a stock player for director John Ford in later years.
Buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California. His grave marker reads 1905 (not 1904) as his year of birth.
His earliest film work was in a Douglas MacLean feature and in the film version of an Elinor Glyn novel, but neither title has yet been identified.
According to fan magazines of the day, Withers committed suicide because he thought he was going blind.

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