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C. Aubrey Smith Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trade Mark (2)  | Trivia (9)  | Personal Quotes (6)

Overview (4)

Born in London, England, UK
Died in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA  (pneumonia)
Birth NameCharles Aubrey Smith
Height 6' 2" (1.88 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Movie roles are sometimes based upon what the audience expects to see. If the role called for the tall stereotypical Englishmen with the stiff upper lip and stern determination, that man would be C. Aubrey Smith, graduate of Cambridge University, a leading Freemason and a test cricketer for England. Smith was 30 by the time he embarked upon a career on the stage. It took another 20 plus years before he entered the flickering images of the movies. By 1915, Smith was over 50 in a medium that demanded young actors and starlets. For the next ten years, he appeared in a rather small number of silent movies, and after that, he faded from the scene. It was in 1930, with the advent of sound, that Smith found his position in the movies and that position would be distinguished roles. He played military officers, successful business men, ministers of the cloth and ministers of government. With the bushy eyebrows and stoic face, he played men who know about honour, tradition, and the correct path. He worked with big stars such as Greta Garbo, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Shirley Temple. As for honours, Smith received the Order of the British Empire in 1938 and was knighted in 1944. He continued to work up to the time of his death.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Spouse (1)

Isabelle Wood (1896 - 20 December 1948) ( his death) ( 1 child)

Trade Mark (2)

Towering height and slender frame
Usually played proud Englishmen

Trivia (9)

Around Hollywood, Sir Aubrey was perhaps best known as team captain of the Hollywood Cricket Club. In fact, the club's home field and clubhouse in Los Angeles' Griffith Park was named for Sir Aubrey in 1933. Although the Hollywood Cricket club was not particularly successful on the field, it did feature numerous British emigre actors of the era.
He was awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 1938 King's Birthday Honours List and was knighted in the 1944 King's Birthday Honours List for his services to Anglo-American amity.
Brother-in-law of playwright/novelist Cosmo Hamilton (married Smith's sister).
In the late 1880s, while he was mining for gold in South Africa, he developed pneumonia and was wrongly pronounced dead by doctors.
His only (cricket) Test Match appearance was the 1st Test against South Africa at Crusaders Ground, St George's Park, Port Elizabeth on 12-13 March 1889. It was actually a 3 day match but finished early. He was the best of the England bowlers picking up 5-19 off 13.2 overs in the first innings and 2-42 off 25 in the second (a total of 154 balls as these were 4-ball overs). He scored 3 runs in the first innings, batting at no. 8, and was not required to bat in the second as England won the match for the loss of only 2 wickets. He captained the England side. This was England's first tour to South Africa and, during it, he took 134 wickets at an average of 7.61. He stayed in South Africa after the tour and captained Transvaal.
He was posthumously awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6327 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on February 8, 1960.
He played the Duke of Wellington in both The House of Rothschild (1934) and Queen of Destiny (1938).
Was the inspiration for the character Commander McBragg on the animated series Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales (1963).
The inspiration for the character Sir Ambrose Abercrombie in Evelyn Waugh's satire of Hollywood "The Loved One.".

Personal Quotes (6)

[on Greta Garbo] She's a ripping gel.
The first thing the British actor learns is clear enunciation and correct speech. Pure speech has been one of the traditions of the stage since the days of Shakespeare. It is a good thing because it fosters the love of pure speech in the public at large. I hope the talkies will do the same thing from the screen.
American baseball has some of the thrills of cricket - it's an interesting game and I like it - but an old hand like me would never be bothered to get the hang of the American pitching.
There is a vast difference between American picture methods and those in England. In America it's so much more organized. You have your producer, your director, production managers, assistants, all working in a well-oiled machine. In England the director is the center of things, as on the stage - and of course much more of the atmosphere of the stage pervades, as the players are practically all stage people. In fact, we haven't got away from simply filming stage plays entirely yet. The hugeness of the organization in Hollywood always astounds me.
A London audience has a certain psychology, and a certain loyalty to players - yet it is a harsh audience if you give it something it doesn't like. Its likes and dislikes are often more positive than those of audiences in America. American audiences have a greater capacity for enthusiasm.
It is an almost everyday occurrence to see a London audience give an ovation to some player who has been a favorite for years and years. In America favorites pass more quickly. Life is faster in the States. Britishers don't like to be hurried in the American manner.

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