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British-born Stars


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Does anyone like British-born and/or raised actors?? Who do you favor?

 

My top brits are ida lupino, merle oberon, greer garson, olivia de havilland, joan fontaine, diana dors, moira lister, vivien leigh, patricia medina, elizabeth taylor, margaret lockwood, joan collins, and angela lansbury.

 

Male actors: george sanders, richard greene, dirk bogarde, errol flynn, patric knowles, david farrar, kieron moore, stephen boyd, john loder, and stewart granger.

 

Character actors: judith anderson, martita hunt, isobel elsom, frieda inescort, sara allgood, sydney greenstreet, herbert marshall, henry daniell, claude rains, ralph richardson, ronald colman, boris karloff, torin thatcher, and john abbott.

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I would add Elsa Lanchester, Deborah Kerr, Moira Shearer, Charles Laughton, Wendy Hiller, Roger Livesay, David Niven, Peter Ustinov, Maggie Smith, Richard Burton, Rex Harrison, Peter O'Toole, Robert Morley, John Mills, Alec Guinness, Trevor Howard, Peter Sellers, Malcolm McDowell, Laurence Harvey, Michael Caine, Terence Stamp.

 

More contemporary actors: Ewan McGregor, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Liam Neeson, Thandie Newton, Kristin Scott-Thomas, Cillian Murphy, Tom Wilkinson, Gary Oldman, Tilda Swinton.

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Hi Randy! Wow, your list is fantastic, and as usual, almost exactly what mine would be. I'll

go ahead and list mine in order of preference to make it seem different, ha! And I assume that

we mustn't include any Celties, right? I guess we'd better not, they might not want to be included

in this list! And I assume by "British born" you mean it rather loosely, hence Merle Oberon (born

in India, and part Indian), Errol Flynn (Tazmanian) and George Sanders (Russian but educated in

England)

 

*1. Vivien Leigh* (but of course)

*2. Victor McLaglen* (often played "Oirish" characters but was born in Kent)

*3. George Sanders*

*4. Elizabeth Taylor*

*5. Ronald Colman*

*6. Claude Raines*

*7. Greer Garson*

*8. Merle Oberon*

*9. Gladys Cooper*

*10. Trevor Howard*

*11. Laurence Olivier*

*12. Reginald Owen*

*13. Boris Karloff*

*14. Anna Lee*

*15. Angela Lansbury*

*16. C. Aubrey Smith*

*17. Henry Daniell*

*18. Basil Rathbone* (South Africa born)

*19. C. Aubrey Smith*

*20. Roddy MacDowell*

*20-and-a-half. Hayley Mills*

 

Honorable mentions: Ralph Richardson, Reginald Denny, Judith Anderson, Edmund Gwynn, Margaret Lockwood, Martita Hunt, Henry Stephenson.

 

Of course, if the gates are open to Aussies, then my list is actually TOPPED (after Viv)

by *Rod Taylor* followed closely by *Peter Finch*.

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Miss G- I am going to have to steal at least half your list! I am curious as to the British born actors title- does this mean we are limited to actors who came to the States to work? If so, please delete the bottom section of my list....

 

McLaglen, Leigh, Sanders, Colman, Martita Hunt, Garson, Trevor Howard, Daniell, Rathbone, McDowell, Olivier, and Owen are high on my list.

 

I also love Leslie Howard. My estimation of him has only gone up over the years, and especially after I saw Pygmalion. He is so wonderful in that movie that I can barely contain myself, and it is one of my top two favorite movies of all time. His performance is as fine an interpretation of a playwright's work as I have ever seen. I love him as Higgins because it is one of the few roles in which his "Miltonic mind" is on display throughout. He was brilliant, just brilliant.

 

Robert Donat ranks very high on my list- he is such a kindly soul, and is expressive and old fashioned, really not of the world at all. I love him especially in The Magic Box, and Goodbye Mr. Chips.

 

Another favorite is Alec Guinness. The man is an absolute genius. The mere flicker of an eyebrow can convey depth and meaning beyond any mere mortal actor's powers. And you still have no idea how he does it. A perfect film actor.

 

I have a few more, and will not go into why I like them, because I would be here all day.

 

 

Wendy Hiller

Dorothy Tutin

Joan Greenwood

Dennis Price

Dame Edith Evans

Margaret Rutherford

Dame May Whitty

Celia Johnson

Robert Newton

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> {quote:title=JackFavell wrote:}{quote}

> Another favorite is Alec Guinness. The man is an absolute genius. The mere flicker of an eyebrow can convey depth and meaning beyond any mere mortal actor's powers. And you still have no idea how he does it. A perfect film actor.

>

 

You put it so well, Jackie! I already admired Sir Alec when I knew little of him aside from his work in David Lean's epics. But then I've just grown more and more amazed, watching his early work in British comedies, Lean's *Great Expectations* and *Oliver Twist*, and even stuff like *A Majority of One* that TCM showed a few weeks ago.

 

I don't suppose he's ever been TCM's SOTM, but I wouldn't mind one bit if he was selected. B-)

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> {quote:title=JackFavell wrote:}{quote}

> Miss G- I am going to have to steal at least half your list! I am curious as to the British born actors title- does this mean we are limited to actors who came to the States to work? If so, please delete the bottom section of my list....

>

 

I'm guessing Randy's definition is fairly loose, just no Celts from what I see (excepting Flynn,

who may or may not be of Irish descent)

 

>

> I also love Leslie Howard. My estimation of him has only gone up over the years, and especially after I saw Pygmalion. He is so wonderful in that movie that I can barely contain myself, and it is one of my top two favorite movies of all time. His performance is as fine an interpretation of a playwright's work as I have ever seen. I love him as Higgins because it is one of the few roles in which his "Miltonic mind" is on display throughout. He was brilliant, just brilliant.

>

 

I haven't seen Pygmalion since I was a teen but I remember being very impressed with it. I

think my favorite Leslie Howard movie may be *The Scarlet Pimpernel*. He's fantastic in that

one, too.

 

> Robert Donat ranks very high on my list- he is such a kindly soul, and is expressive and old fashioned, really not of the world at all. I love him especially in The Magic Box, and Goodbye Mr. Chips.

>

> Another favorite is Alec Guinness. The man is an absolute genius. The mere flicker of an eyebrow can convey depth and meaning beyond any mere mortal actor's powers. And you still have no idea how he does it. A perfect film actor.

>

 

I've never seen *The Magic Box*, is that an English film? I've never seen any of his "dashing"

roles, either, having only connected him with the kindly, soft mannered types. I was astonished

to learn he was considered an Errol Flynn-type before Flynn even became a star (he was to have

been in Captain Blood, originally).

 

Guiness, of course, I should have included him as well. Such a chameleon like actor.

 

> I have a few more, and will not go into why I like them, because I would be here all day.

>

>

> Wendy Hiller

> Dorothy Tutin

> Joan Greenwood

> Dennis Price

> Dame Edith Evans

> Margaret Rutherford

> Dame May Whitty

> Celia Johnson

> Robert Newton

 

*Dorothy Tutin* is the only name I don't recognize.

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> {quote:title=MissGoddess wrote:}{quote}

> I haven't seen Pygmalion since I was a teen but I remember being very impressed with it. I

> think my favorite Leslie Howard movie may be *The Scarlet Pimpernel*. He's fantastic in that

> one, too.

>

 

*The Scarlet Pimpernel* is absolutely brilliant, and it definitely allows Leslie to shine. I really couldn't have imagined him having such an incredible range when all I had seen him in was *Gone with the Wind*.

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I agree that GWTW is not Leslie's finest hour- but I have come to terms with it. I think techincolor does him a disservice as well. His hair is not right somehow. But his arms are beautiful! ;)

 

I love The Scarlet Pimpernel. Leslie is super in 49th Parallel as well, and I saw Spitfire once years ago and it was quite good too.

 

The Magic Box is the story of William Friese-Greene, who was an inventor of moving pictures, and died penniless and forgotten. Robert Donat plays him from youth to old age, and is splendid in that absent-minded way of his. The movie is full of cameos and supporting players like Laurence Olivier (he plays a constable in the best scene in the movie, and I'm not sure that it isn't the finest acting Olivier ever did on film, you might not even recognize him), Stanley Holloway, Margaret Rutherford, Richard Attenborough, and Peter Ustinov.

 

Dorothy Tutin played Cecily in The Importance of Being Earnest, and I just recently saw her in "The Cherry Orchard" from the BBC -1962. She was, I think, the highlight in a cast that included John Gielgud, Peggy Ashcroft, Judi Dench, Ian Holm and Roy Dotrice. She also played Lucie in the Dirk Bogarde version of A Tale of Two Cities, and she played Anne Boleyn in the famous 1970 TV production of The Six Wives of Henry VIII. I believe she was also in Olivier's King Lear.

 

I would love to see Alec Guinness as SOTM! The hard part would be picking the movies. He is good in just everything, whether he was playing an arab prince, or a lowly scientist. I saw the end of "The Swan" last year, and could have kicked myself for not watching because it had Grace kelly in it. What he did with the last few lines brought me to tears, and I didn't even see the movie. My favorites are the Ealing classics.

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I saw the end of "The Swan" last year, and could have kicked myself for not watching because it had Grace kelly in it.

 

Ha haaa! FrankGrimes will not forgive you. I think he's one of the best things in The Swan. He

really nails that aristocratic character.

 

He and Grace became really, realy close friends during filming and they had this running joke

between them....each would have an ax delivered to the other person's bedroom, on the bed,

where ever they happened to be on location all over the world. A very "dark" sort of humor but

they were on the same wavelength. Many people never suspsected Grace's very dry, dark sense

of humor but then they forget....she was IRISH.

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First of all, Errol Flynn was not British. He was an Aussie. I also thought that both Olivia deHavilland and Joan Fontaine were born in Asia - Hong Kong Tokyo or someplace like that - a large Asian city. Not sure about them, but I am very sure about Flynn. Not British.

 

Now that I have that bit out of my system, here are some favorites of mine:

 

1. Ronald Colman

2. Dirk Bogarde (I've actually been watching alot of his films recently)

3. Laurence Olivier

4. John Mills (been watching alot of his films lately too - alot of his films are coming out on commercial release in the UK this year as it is his centenary - I've purchased 3 boxed sets so far this year of John Mills films!).

5. Trevor Howard

6. Greer Garson

7. Margaret Lockwood

 

If you count Wales as Britian, then add Richard Burton into that list as well.

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> {quote:title=pktrekgirl wrote:}{quote}

> First of all, Errol Flynn was not British. He was an Aussie. I also thought that both Olivia deHavilland and Joan Fontaine were born in Asia - Hong Kong Tokyo or someplace like that - a large Asian city. Not sure about them, but I am very sure about Flynn. Not British.

 

I think the OP referred to actors born or raised in the UK.

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Pktrekgirl- I am curious to know what your favorite John Mills films are.....

 

MissG- that makes me like Grace a teeny-weeny bit better. She always strikes me as humorless....but if Sir Alec liked her and thought she was funny, I guess I can try a little harder....

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> {quote:title=JackFavell wrote:}{quote}

> Pktrekgirl- I am curious to know what your favorite John Mills films are.....

>

> MissG- that makes me like Grace a teeny-weeny bit better. She always strikes me as humorless....but if Sir Alec liked her and thought she was funny, I guess I can try a little harder....

 

I am going to try to find the poem she wrote for some event after she became Princess, I forget for

whose benefit, but it's hilarious and it will illustrate better than anything her oft times earthy sense

of humor (did you know she and Ava Gardner were close pals? Ava didn't play with snobs and

John Ford and Hitch loved her so she was not just a little Philly "Main Line" snot). The poem is

NOT what you'd ever expect from a Princess. I'm not sure I can find it online but will try. This

is why I like Grace, she was not all that she appeared to be.

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> {quote:title=MissGoddess wrote:}{quote}

> If you count Wales as Britian, then add Richard Burton into that list as well.

>

> Oh my goodness! OK, I think you and I both know what Burton would say about THAT. :P :p :P

 

Oh yeah. :D But Wales IS part of Britain. And the thread title indicates British born stars - not just those born in England. So that would mean England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

 

And Burton is certainly more British than are Errol Flynn (born and raised in Australia), Joan & Olivia (born in Asia) or whoever it was who was from South Africa.

 

I mean, if the colonies count, then we may as well include Americans.

 

Just sayin. :P

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> {quote:title=JackFavell wrote:}{quote}

> Pktrekgirl- I am curious to know what your favorite John Mills films are.....

>

> MissG- that makes me like Grace a teeny-weeny bit better. She always strikes me as humorless....but if Sir Alec liked her and thought she was funny, I guess I can try a little harder....

 

I think my favorite John Mills film is actually ALSO a Dirk Bogarde film: The Gentle Gunman.

 

Morning Departure is pretty good too.

 

Of course, I also like the big British productions which utilized many British actors in smaller parts, but I don't really count them as John Mills films - Around the World in 80 Days, Oh! What a Lovely War, Operation Crossbow, etc.

 

I'm sitll working my way through these sets though - I bought a Dirk Bogarde set and three John Mills sets and I've been buried!

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I'm sitll working my way through these sets though - I bought a Dirk Bogarde set and three John Mills sets and I've been buried!

 

LOL! I know, I know all about buried.... :)

 

I like him best in Hobson's Choice. I also like The Rocking Horse Winner and of course, Great Expectations. Scott of the Antarctic is really good, but not my usual cup of tea.

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> {quote:title=JackFavell wrote:}{quote}

> I'm sitll working my way through these sets though - I bought a Dirk Bogarde set and three John Mills sets and I've been buried!

>

> LOL! I know, I know all about buried.... :)

>

> I like him best in Hobson's Choice. I also like The Rocking Horse Winner and of course, Great Expectations. Scott of the Antarctic is really good, but not my usual cup of tea.

 

Have you seen *Tunes of Glory* ? Both Mills and Guinness are terrific.

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No, for some reason, I have missed this one every time... I'm dying to see it.

 

Somehow, Fatale, I seem to miss on every movie you have seen! It is quite discouraging. One of these days I would love to say, "Why, yes. I HAVE seen that film. I loved the part where.... (fill in blank)". :)

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I love Criterion. About once a year, I splurge on a Criterion film- that's all I can afford unfortunately. It is one of the few cases where I check whether a movie is out on Criterion first, before ordering. I think my first Criterion purchase was "Pygmalion", and I have never stopped admiring their work since then.

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