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Overview (3)

Born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, UK
Died in Derby, England, UK  (coronary thrombosis)
Birth NameNorman Carter Slaughter

Mini Bio (2)

Tod Slaughter took to the stage in 1905 and made a name for himself as the star villain of numerous Victorian melodramas which he toured around England. Many of these were filmed cheaply in the 30s and 40s by quota-quickie tzar George King. His ham performances are perfectly suited to the material and the best of his films give the impression that if the Victorians could have made features they would have looked like this.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: David Absalom <DavAbs@aol.com>

The last of the British barnstormers was born Norman Carter Slaughter in Newcastle. He first took to the boards in 1905, and was soon managing his own company. After war service he picked up his stage career, though it was some 15 years before he got in front of the camera His first film set the tone for his career. He always played the villain, but he was good at it and no one was better. Starting with Maria Marten, or The Murder in the Red Barn (1935) he was the master of the no-holds barred Victorian melodrama. This obvious bad-guy cackled and slimed his way through most of the melodrama classics. He was often worked under producer George King who had seen that Slaughter appealed to precisely the audience who went to the cheaper houses, and brought the full majesty of Mr Slaughter's performances to the screen. There were a few non-melodramatic roles in his career. He was a supporting player in the modern day The Song of the Road (1937) and Darby and Joan (1937). In Sexton Blake and the Hooded Terror (1938) he was head of an international gang of super-villains. His last two films, which saw him playing master-criminal Terence Reilley were each three episodes of the television series "Inspector Morley" cobbled together for theatrical release. The series doesn't appear to have had a UK broadcast, nor an IMDb entry. These films are just aberrations. Slaughter's stereo-type showed what type of films the Victorians would have made if they could have made feature films. He was more of a ham than Charles Laughton, Donald Wolfit and Marlon Brando combined; but at least had fun: even delivering oldies like "There's no picking up a gentlemanly livelihood nowadays. Hang me if I haven't thought of turning respectable" [The Ticket of Leave Man (1937)].

When he died of coronary thrombosis on February 19, 1956 at age 70 he was still on stage, usually with Sweeney Todd or on that last day Maria Marten. His work slipped into obscurity. Critics in particular demanded naturalism not his full-blooded theatricality. By any objective standard his films are cheaply-produced rubbish, but the best of them are vastly entertaining. It's time he was recognised as a true original of British Cinema.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: garryq

Spouse (1)

Jenny Lynn (4 September 1912 - 19 February 1956) ( his death)

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