James Stephenson

James Stephenson

Highest Rated: 100% The Letter (1940)

Lowest Rated: 70% Boy Meets Girl (1938)

Birthday: Apr 14, 1889

Birthplace: Not Available

A stage actor of many years' standing, James Stephenson made his British film debut in 1937. That following year, Stephenson was hired as a contract player by Warner Bros., where he spent most of his time playing suave villains or disgraced gentlemen. He was afforded better roles in films like 1938's Boy Meets Girl (as the movie bit player who "legitimizes" Marie Wilson's baby), 1939's You Can't Get Away With Murder and Elizabeth the Queen, and 1940's The Sea Hawk. His big break came when, ignoring studio resistance, director William Wyler and star Bette Davis insisted upon casting Stephenson as self-sacrificing family lawyer Howard Joyce in the 1940 adaptation of The Letter. This performance earned the actor an Academy Award nomination and, more importantly, the old "star build-up" from the Warners publicity flacks (who proceeded to slice 15 years off Stephenson's age in his "official" studio biography). James Stephenson went on to play the title role in Calling Philo Vance (1940) and above-the-title parts in a handful of programmers until his fatal heart attack at the age of 53.

Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet Flight from Destiny Dr. Lawrence Stevens 1941
No Score Yet Shining Victory Dr. Paul Venner 1941
100% The Letter Howard Joyce 1940
100% The Sea Hawk Abbott 1940
No Score Yet Murder in the Air Joe Garvey 1940
No Score Yet Calling Philo Vance Philo Vance 1940
No Score Yet South of Suez Inspector Thornton 1940
No Score Yet River's End Inspector McDowell 1940
No Score Yet We Are Not Alone Sir William Clintock 1939
71% The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex Sir Thomas Egerton 1939
No Score Yet Espionage Agent Dr. Rader 1939
100% Beau Geste Maj. Henri de Beaujolais 1939
No Score Yet The Old Maid Jim Ralston 1939
No Score Yet Confessions of a Nazi Spy Scotland Yard Official 1939
No Score Yet Secret Service of the Air Jim Cameron 1939
No Score Yet Torchy Blane in Chinatown Mansfild 1939
No Score Yet Devil's Island Colonel Armand Lucien 1939
No Score Yet King of the Underworld Bill Stevens 1939
70% Boy Meets Girl Maj. Thompson 1938
No Score Yet Cowboy from Brooklyn Prof. Landis 1938
No Score Yet When Were You Born? Philip Corey 1938
No Score Yet White Banners Thomas Bradford 1938
No Score Yet Nancy Drew, Detective Challon 1938


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