H.B. Warner

H.B. Warner

Highest Rated: 100% The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941)

Lowest Rated: 50% Supernatural (1933)

Birthday: Oct 26, 1875

Birthplace: London, England, UK

A character lead in silent films and a character player in sound films, H.B. Warner is best recalled for three roles: Jesus Christ is Cecil B. DeMille's "King of Kings" (1927), Chang, assistant to the High Lama, in "Lost Horizon" (1937), and Mr. Gower the pharmacist is the perennial "It's a Wonderful Life" (1946). He received a best supporting actor nomination for "Lost Horizon," and in all appeared in more than 100 films. The son of noted British stage actor Charles Warner, H. B. Warner made his stage debut at age seven in 1883, but at first chose to study medicine. But within a few years he was back on stage in both England and the U.S. Warner made his film debut in "The Lost Paradise" (1914). One of his best silent vehicles was "Zaza" (1923), in which he was the married man who falls for Gloria Swanson. Warner was almost 50 years old when he played the 30ish Christ in "King of Kings" (1927), but the result was nevertheless a resounding success. In order to play the role, Warner had to sign an agreement saying he would live an exemplary life not only during production, but for one year after the film's release he would not be involved with any scandal, not even divorce. Even before so-called "modern" acting techniques such as "The Method" permeated Hollywood, DeMille chose to isolate Warner from the rest of the cast so that he might better "feel" the role. Reportedly, Warner took to drinking because of the overwhelming nature of the part. While no "scandal" of which DeMille was so afraid (especially with Hollywood's reputation) erupted, Warner was said to have struggled with alcoholism for the rest of his life. A well-trained and well-versed stage actor, Warner thrived during the sound era. He was the chief magistrate in "Liliom" (1930), estranged from Sylvia Sidney in "Jennie Gerhardt" (1933), Gabelle in "A Tale of Two Cities" (1935), and was a favorite of Frank Capra for whom he performed in "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town" (1936), as the judge who listens to Gary Cooper's tale of tuba playing, "Lost Horizon" (1937), "You Can't Take It With You" (1938), as Ramsey, "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" (1939) as the corrupt Senator Fuller, and, of course, "It's a Wonderful Life" (1946). Warner can also be seen in one of screen history's most macabre scenes: as himself, one of "the waxworks," playing cards with Anna Q. Nilsson (his leading lady from "Sorrell and Son," 1927), Buster Keaton, and Gloria Swanson in "Sunset Boulevard" (1950). He finished his career playing a small role in "The Ten Commandments" for his "King of Kings" director Cecil B. DeMille (1956), and in a cameo in "Darby's Rangers" (1958) for director William Wellman. In 1939, Warner published his autobiography, "Hollywood Saga."

Highest rated movies

The Devil and Daniel Webster
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington It's a Wonderful Life
You Can't Take It With You
Lost Horizon
A Tale of Two Cities
Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
Five Star Final

Photos

Filmography

Movies

Credit
88% 87% The Ten Commandments Amminadab (Character) - 1956
No Score Yet No Score Yet Savage Drums Maou (Character) - 1951
No Score Yet No Score Yet Journey Into Light Wiz (Character) - 1951
No Score Yet No Score Yet Hellfire Brother Joseph (Character) - 1949
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Judge Steps Out Chief Justice Hayes (Character) - 1949
No Score Yet 73% Driftwood Rev. J. "Grandpappy" Hollingsworth (Character) - 1947
No Score Yet No Score Yet High Wall Mr. Slocum (Character) - 1947
94% 95% It's a Wonderful Life Mr. Gower, Drugstore Owner (Character) $3.3M 1946
60% 52% Strange Impersonation Dr. Mansfield (Character) - 1946
No Score Yet No Score Yet Rogues Gallery Professor Reynolds (Character) - 1945
No Score Yet No Score Yet Mad Lover Col. Eberhart Brandt (Character) - 1944
No Score Yet No Score Yet Action in Arabia Abdul El Rashid (Character) - 1944
No Score Yet No Score Yet Enemy of Women Colonel Eberhart Brandt (Character) - 1944
No Score Yet 23% Hitler's Children The Bishop (Character) - 1943
No Score Yet No Score Yet Boss of Big Town Jeffrey Moore (Character) - 1942
No Score Yet 25% A Yank in Libya Herbert Forbes (Character) - 1942
No Score Yet No Score Yet Ellery Queen and the Perfect Crime Ray Jardin (Character) - 1941
No Score Yet No Score Yet City of Missing Girls Captain McVeigh (Character) - 1941
89% 80% Topper Returns Mr. Carrington (Character) - 1941
No Score Yet 50% The Corsican Brothers Dr. Enrico Paoli (Character) - 1941
100% 83% The Devil and Daniel Webster Justice John Hathorne (Character) - 1941
No Score Yet 57% New Moon Father Michel (Character) - 1940
No Score Yet No Score Yet Nurse Edith Cavell Hugh Gibson (Character) - 1939
No Score Yet No Score Yet Let Freedom Ring Ned Rutledge (Character) - 1939
No Score Yet 66% The Rains Came Maharajah (Character) - 1939
No Score Yet 29% Bulldog Drummond's Bride Colonel Nielson (Character) - 1939
96% 94% Mr. Smith Goes to Washington Sen. Agnew (Character) - 1939
93% 88% You Can't Take It With You Ramsey (Character) - 1938
No Score Yet 17% Arrest Bulldog Drummond Colonel Nielsen (Character) - 1938
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Toy Wife Victor Brigard (Character) - 1938
No Score Yet 43% Kidnapped Angus Rankeiller (Character) - 1938
No Score Yet 42% Bulldog Drummond in Africa Col. J.A. Nielsen (Character) - 1938
No Score Yet No Score Yet Victoria the Great Lord Melbourne (Character) - 1937
93% 83% Lost Horizon Chang (Character) - 1937
No Score Yet No Score Yet Blackmailer Michael Rankin (Character) - 1936
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Garden Murder Case Major Fenwicke-Ralston (Character) - 1936
No Score Yet No Score Yet Moonlight Murder Godfrey Chiltern (Character) - 1936
No Score Yet No Score Yet Along Came Love Dr. Martin (Character) - 1936
91% 86% Mr. Deeds Goes to Town Judge May (Character) - 1936
No Score Yet No Score Yet Born to Gamble Carter Mathews (Character) - 1935
93% 84% A Tale of Two Cities Gabelle (Character) - 1935
No Score Yet No Score Yet In Old Santa Fe Charlie Miller (Character) - 1934
No Score Yet No Score Yet Night Alarm Henry B. Smith (Character) - 1934
50% 44% Supernatural Dr. Carl Houston (Character) - 1933
No Score Yet No Score Yet Justice Takes a Holiday John Logan (Character) - 1933
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Crusader Phillip Brandon (Character) - 1932
No Score Yet No Score Yet Unholy Love Dr. Daniel Gregory (Character) - 1932
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Phantom of Crestwood Priam Andes (Character) - 1932
No Score Yet No Score Yet Cross Examination Gerald Waring (Character) - 1932
No Score Yet No Score Yet Tom Brown of Culver Unknown (Character) - 1932
No Score Yet No Score Yet Expensive Women Melville Raymond (Character) - 1931
No Score Yet No Score Yet A Woman of Experience Major Hugh Schmidt (Character) - 1931
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Reckless Hour Walter Nichols (Character) - 1931
91% 74% Five Star Final Michael Townsend (Character) - 1931
No Score Yet No Score Yet Wild Company Henry Grayson (Character) - 1930
No Score Yet 40% The Green Goddess Major Crespin (Character) - 1930
No Score Yet 60% Liliom Chief Magistrate (Character) - 1930
No Score Yet No Score Yet On Your Back Raymond Pryor (Character) - 1930
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Trial of Mary Dugan District Attorney Galway (Character) - 1929
No Score Yet 18% The Divine Lady Sir William Hamilton (Character) - 1929
69% 70% The King of Kings Jesus, the Christ (Character) - 1927
No Score Yet No Score Yet Sorrell and Son Stephen Sorrell (Character) - 1927

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