C. Aubrey Smith

C. Aubrey Smith

  • Highest Rated: 100% And Then There Were None (1945)
  • Lowest Rated: 40% The Garden of Allah (1936)
  • Birthday: Invalid date
  • Birthplace: Not Available
  • Actor C. Aubrey Smith was, so far as many American moviegoers were concerned, the very personification of the British Empire. Even so, when young English journalist Alistair Cooke first travelled to Hollywood in the early 1930s to interview Smith, it was not to discuss the actor's four decades in show business, but to wax nostalgic on his athletic career. The son of a London surgeon, Smith played soccer for the Corinthians and cricket for Cambridge. For four years, "Round the Corner Smith" (so named because of his unique playing style) was captain of the Sussex County Cricket Club, playing championship matches throughout the Empire. When time came to choose a "real" vocation, Smith dallied with the notion of following in his dad's footsteps, then worked as a teacher and stockbroker. In 1892, at the age of 29, he finally decided to become an actor (not without family disapproval!), launching his stage career with the A. B. Tappings Stock Company. He made his London debut in 1895, and the following year scored his first significant success as Black Michael in The Prisoner of Zenda; also in 1896, he married Isobel May Wood, a union that endured for over fifty years. His subsequent stage triumphs included Shaw's Pygmalion, in which he succeeded Sir Herbert Beerbohm-Tree as Professor Henry Higgins. Despite the theatrical community's disdainful attitude towards the "flickers", Smith enthusiastically launched his film career in 1914. He was one of the co-founders of the short-lived but energetic Minerva Film Company, and by 1915 had begun making movies in America. It was his 1928 stage hit Bachelor Father that led to Smith's phenomenally successful career in talking pictures. For 18 years, he was perhaps Hollywood's favorite "professional Englishmen." He was at his best in martinet military roles, most memorably in a brace of 1939 productions: The Sun Never Sets, in which he used a wall-sized map to dutifully mark off the far-flung locations where his progeny were serving the Empire, and The Four Feathers, wherein he encapsulated his generation by crustily declaring "War was war in my day, sir!" Other notable roles in the Smith canon included Jane's father in Tarzan the Ape Man (1932), a close-minded aristocrat who turns out to be an out-of-work actor in Bombshell (1933), the intensely loyal Colonel Zapt in The Prisoner of Zenda (1937) and an outraged murder-victim-to-be in Ten Little Indians (1945). Smith briefly returned to the stage in 1941, and throughout the war years could be seen in roles ranging from single-scene cameos (The Adventures of Mark Twain, Unconquered) to full leads (1945's Scotland Yard Inspector). A recipient of the Order of the British Empire in 1938, he was knighted by King George VI in 1944, largely because of the positive image of Mother England that the actor invariably projected. The undisputed leader of Tinseltown's "British Colony," Smith also organized the Hollywood Cricket Club, taking great pride in the fact that he hadn't missed a weekend match for nearly sixty years. Sir C. Aubrey Smith was still in harness when he died of pneumonia at the age of 85; his last film appearance as Mr. Lawrence in Little Women was released posthumously in 1949.

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

Movies

Rating

Title

Credit

Box
Office

Year

No Score Yet The Unwanted Actor 2011
71% Little Women Mr. Laurence 1949
No Score Yet Ideal Husband Earl of Caversham 1948
80% Unconquered Lord Chief Justice 1947
No Score Yet An Ideal Husband Actor 1947
92% Cluny Brown Colonel Duff-Graham 1946
No Score Yet Rendezvous with Annie Sir Archibald Clyde 1946
100% And Then There Were None Gen. Sir John Mandrake 1945
No Score Yet The Adventures of Mark Twain Oxford Chancellor 1944
80% The White Cliffs of Dover Colonel 1944
No Score Yet Sensations of 1945 Dan Lindsay 1944
86% Madame Curie Lord Kelvin 1943
No Score Yet Flesh And Fantasy Dean of Chichester 1943
No Score Yet Forever and a Day Adm. Trimble 1943
65% Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde The Bishop 1941
No Score Yet Beyond Tomorrow (Beyond Christmas) Allan Chadwick 1940
80% Waterloo Bridge Duke 1940
100% Rebecca Julyan 1940
No Score Yet A Little Bit of Heaven Grandpa 1940
No Score Yet Balalaika Gen. Karagin 1939
81% Another Thin Man Col. Burr MacFay 1939
No Score Yet Eternally Yours Bishop Hubert Peabody 1939
100% The Four Feathers Gen. Burroughs 1939
No Score Yet Five Came Back Prof. Henry Spengler 1939
No Score Yet East Side of Heaven Cyrus Barrett Sr. 1939
No Score Yet Queen of Destiny (Sixty Glorious Years) Duke of Wellington 1938
No Score Yet Kidnapped Duke of Argyle 1938
50% Four Men and a Prayer Col. Loring Leigh 1938
No Score Yet Thoroughbreds Don't Cry Sir Peter Calverton 1937
100% The Prisoner of Zenda Col. Zapt 1937
No Score Yet Wee Willie Winkie Colonel Williams 1937
No Score Yet The Hurricane Father Paul 1937
40% The Garden of Allah Father Roubier 1936
78% Romeo and Juliet Lord Capulet 1936
88% Little Lord Fauntleroy Earl of Dorincourt 1936
71% Charge of the Light Brigade Actor 1936
No Score Yet Lloyds of London Old 'Q' 1936
No Score Yet Transatlantic Tunnel Lloyd 1935
100% The Crusades The Hermit 1935
80% China Seas Sir Guy Wilmerding 1935
No Score Yet The Gilded Lily Lloyd Granville 1935
100% The Lives of a Bengal Lancer Maj. Hamilton 1935
No Score Yet Clive of India Prime Minister 1935
No Score Yet We Live Again Prince Kortchagin 1934
82% Cleopatra Enobarbus 1934
87% The Scarlet Empress Prince August 1934
No Score Yet Gambling Lady Peter Madison 1934
100% The House of Rothschild Duke of Wellington 1934
No Score Yet Curtain at Eight Jim Hanvey - Detective 1934
No Score Yet Bulldog Drummond Strikes Back Capt. Nielsen 1934
No Score Yet Caravan Baron Von Tokay 1934
No Score Yet The Firebird Police Inspector 1934
90% Queen Christina Aage 1933
90% Bombshell (Blonde Bombshell) Mr. Middleton 1933
70% Morning Glory Robert Harley Hedges 1933
No Score Yet The Barbarian Cecil 1933
No Score Yet Secrets Mr. Marlowe 1933
No Score Yet They Just Had to Get Married Aubrey Hampton 1932
No Score Yet No More Orchids Redrick 1932
92% Trouble in Paradise Adolph J. Giron 1932
100% Tarzan the Ape Man James Parker 1932
100% Love Me Tonight The Duke 1932
No Score Yet But the Flesh Is Weak Florian 1932
No Score Yet Polly of the Circus Reverend James Northcott 1932
No Score Yet Surrender Count Reichendorf 1931
No Score Yet The Phantom of Paris Bourrelier 1931
No Score Yet The Squaw Man (The White Man) Actor 1931
No Score Yet Guilty Hands Rev. Hastings 1931
No Score Yet The Man in Possession Mr. Dabney 1931
100% Trader Horn Trader 1931
No Score Yet Never the Twain Shall Meet Mr. Pritchard 1931
No Score Yet Daybreak General von Hertz 1931
No Score Yet The Bachelor Father Sir Basil Algernon 'Chief' Winterton 1931

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