Laughton, Charles, 1899-1962

Alternative names

Hide Profile

Charles Laughton was born July 1, 1899 in Scarborough, England to hotel proprietors Robert and Eliza Laughton. He attended the public Jesuit school Stonyhurst College and enlisted into the army during WWI in 1917. In 1924, Laughton enrolled in the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art to study acting and drama. Soon Laughton was starring in many professional theatrical and film productions in London. In 1927, Laughton met the actress Elsa Lanchester; they were married in 1929. Laughton and Lanchester first traveled to the United States in 1931, where Laughton was hired to perform the successful English play Payment deferred. For the next 19 years, the couple spent the majority of their time in the United States. Laughton became one of the most well-respected film actors of the era, capturing roles in the films Island of lost souls (1933) and The private life of Henry VIII (1933), for which he won the Academy Award for best actor. Other notable production include: Ruggles of Red Gap (1935), The hunchback of Notre Dame (1939), The man from Down Under (1943), and The Paradine case (1947). Laughton and Lanchester became American citizens in 1950 and settled in Southern California. During WWII, Laughton began reading selected passages to wounded soldiers at local hospitals. For the rest of his life, Laughton would devote much of his time to reading selected passages from his favorite authors. Recognized for his powerful voice and presence, Laughton's readings led to a number of reading tours, spoken-word albums, performances, and publications, including Tell me a story (1957) and The fabulous country (1962). Laughton made his directorial debut in 1955 with The night of the hunter, starring Robert Mitchum. Although the production was not a financial success, it was critically lauded as one of the better films of the decade, and is considered a masterpiece of American cinema. Laughton also performed on radio and, occasionally, on television. Laughton's health declined in the early 1960s. After a year of fighting cancer, Laughton died at his home on December 15, 1962. He was buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Hollywood, Calif.

From the description of Papers, 1920-1964 1940-1962. (University of California, Los Angeles). WorldCat record id: 38000067

Biography

Charles Laughton was born July 1, 1899 in Scarborough, England to hotel proprietors Robert and Eliza Laughton. He attended the public Jesuit school Stonyhurst College and enlisted into the army during the First World War in 1917. In 1924, Laughton enrolled in the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art to study acting and drama. His performances earned him much respect and admiration, and soon Laughton was starring in many professional theatrical and film productions in London. In 1927, Laughton met the actress Elsa Lanchester. They were married in 1929.

Laughton and Lanchester first traveled to the United States in 1931, where Laughton was hired to perform the successful English play Payment Deferred . For the next 19 years, they spent the majority of their time in the United States. Laughton became one of the most well-respected film actors of the era, capturing roles in the films Island of Lost Souls (1933) and The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933), for which he won the Academy Award for best actor. Other notable productions include: Ruggles of Red Gap (1935), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939), The Man from Down Under (1943), and The Paradine Case (1947). Laughton and Lanchester became American citizens in 1950 and settled in Southern California.

During the Second World War, Laughton began reading selected passages to wounded soldiers at local hospitals. For the rest of his life, Laughton would devote much of his time to reading selected passages from his favorite authors. Recognized for his powerful voice and presence, Laughton's readings led to a number of reading tours, spoken-word albums, performances, and publications, including Tell Me a Story (1957) and The Fabulous Country (1962). Laughton made his directorial debut in 1955 with The Night of the Hunter starring Robert Mitchum. Although the production was not a financial success, it was critically lauded as one of the better films of the decade, and is considered a masterpiece of American cinema. Laughton also performed on radio and, occasionally, on television.

Laughton's health declined in the early 1960's. After a year of fighting cancer, Charles Laughton died at his home on December 15, 1962. He was buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Hollywood, California.

From the guide to the Charles Laughton Papers, 1920-1964, (bulk 1940-1962), (University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Department of Special Collections.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Laughton, Charles, 1899-1962. Papers, 1920-1964 1940-1962. University of California, Los Angeles
referencedIn Souvenir programs for theatrical productions, 1906-2005. Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Burrows, Michael. Papers, ca. 1990. Brigham Young University, Harold B. Lee Library
referencedIn Hoopes, Ned Edward, 1932-1984. Ned Edward Hoopes papers, 1959-1984. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Alix Jeffry additional papers, 1935-1993. Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Plaut, Frederick, 1907-1985. The Frederick and Rose Plaut papers, 1907-1986 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
creatorOf CentreStage Theatre Archives. Galileo / by Bertolt Brecht ; english version by Charles Laughton ; directed by Kurt Reis, 1971 - performance file. University of Guelph
creatorOf Charles Laughton Papers, 1920-1964, (bulk 1940-1962) University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Department of Special Collections.
creatorOf Allen, Fred, 1894-1956. Mail call, radio program [sound recording]. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Theatre Arts Monthly, collection of portraits, ca., ca., 1924-1939 (bulk), 1916-1964 (inclusive). Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
creatorOf Benét, Stephen Vincent, 1898-1943. John Brown's body / Stephen Vincent Benét ; adapted for the stage by Charles Laughton ; a production book compiled by Jacques Cartier. Yale University Library
referencedIn Lothar and Eva Just Film Stills Collection. Harvard Film Archive, Harvard College Library, Harvard University
creatorOf Laughton, Charles, 1899-1962. La nuit du chasseur / un film réalisé par Charles Laughton ; Robert Mitchum... [et al.], act. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn RKO Radio Pictures, inc. RKO Radio Pictures, inc. correspondence, 1931-1958. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Hellman, Florence Marx. Theatrical diaries kept by Florence Marx Hellman, 1903-1942. Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
creatorOf Browne, Maurice, 1881-1955. Ellen Van Volkenburg-Maurice Browne general correspondence, 1911- University of Michigan
creatorOf Dan H. Laurence Collection. Don Juan in Hell / by Bernard Shaw ; directed by Charles Laughton - program for production at Carnegie Hall, New York, Oct., 22, 1951. University of Guelph
referencedIn The Railroad hour, radio program [sound recording], 1948-1954 The New York Public Library. Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound.
referencedIn Welles mss., 1930-1950, (Bulk 1936-1947) Lilly Library (Indiana University, Bloomington)
creatorOf Browne, Maurice, 1881-1955. Ellen Van Volkenburg-Maurice Browne general correspondence, 1911- University of Michigan
referencedIn Plaut, Frederick, 1907-1985. The Frederick and Rose Plaut papers, 1907-1986 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
referencedIn Raksin, David, 1912-. David Raksin: an oral history interview with Peggy Mayer Sherry for the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, Weill-Lenya Research Center, Van Nuys, CA, 1991 Oct. 2. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison
referencedIn RKO Radio Pictures, inc. correspondence, 1931-1958 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
referencedIn Papers of Robert Graves: Correspondence (arranged by correspondent), c1909 to 2004 St John's College, Oxford
referencedIn Louis J. Alleman papers, ca. 1938-1942 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
creatorOf Laughton, Charles, 1899-1962. La nuit du chasseur / un film réalisé par Charles Laughton ; Robert Mitchum... [et al.], act. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn Sandburg, Carl, 1878-1967. Papers of Carl Sandburg [manuscript] 1940-1955. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Dan H. Laurence Collection. Don Juan in Hell / by Bernard Shaw ; directed by Charles Laughton - program for production at the New Century Theatre, Dec., 31, 1951. University of Guelph
referencedIn Papers of Robert Graves: Novels and novellas: texts, revisions and associated papers, 1936 to 2005 St John's College, Oxford
referencedIn The Frederick and Rose Plaut Papers, 1907-1986 (inclusive) Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, Yale University
referencedIn Sandburg, Carl, 1878-1967. Papers of Carl Sandburg [manuscript], 1940-1955. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn John Eldon Thayer collection of motion picture memorabilia, 1916-1979. Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Papers, 1912-1970 (inclusive), 1912-1954 (bulk). Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Horton, Donald H. Donald H. Horton collection ca. 1939-ca. 1990. Ohio State University Libraries
referencedIn Michael Burrows papers, circa 1990 L. Tom Perry Special Collections20th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts
referencedIn (XV. ff. 398). Dec. 1799-Mar. 1800.John Ridge, Paymaster of the Cambridgeshire militia: Letters to the 3rd Lord Hardwicke: 1797-1807.Philip Yorke, 3rd Earl of Hardwicke: Correspondence rel. to the Cambridgeshire Militia: 1790-1834.includes:ff. 1, 32,... British Library
creatorOf Dan H. Laurence Collection. Major Barbara / by Bernard Shaw ; directed by Charles Laughton - program for production at the Morosco Theatre, April 1957. University of Guelph
creatorOf Dan H. Laurence Collection. Major Barbara / by Bernard Shaw ; directed by Charles Laughton - program for production at the Martin Beck Theatre, New York, Oct., 30, 1956. University of Guelph
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Alleman, Louis J person
associatedWith Benét, Stephen Vincent, 1898-1943. person
associatedWith Browne, Maurice, 1881-1955. person
associatedWith Burrows, Michael person
associatedWith Burrows, Michael. person
associatedWith CentreStage Theatre Archives. corporateBody
associatedWith Dan H. Laurence Collection. corporateBody
associatedWith Dan H. Laurence Collection. corporateBody
associatedWith Dan H. Laurence Collection. corporateBody
associatedWith Dan H. Laurence Collection. corporateBody
associatedWith Frederick and Rose Plaut person
associatedWith Graves, Robert Ranke, 1895-1985 person
associatedWith Graves, Robert Windham, 1858-1934 person
associatedWith Hellman, Florence Marx. person
associatedWith Hoopes, Ned Edward, 1932-1984. person
associatedWith Jeffry, Alix. person
correspondedWith Komisarjevsky, Theodore, 1882-1954 person
correspondedWith Lanchester, Elsa, 1902-1986 person
associatedWith Mitchum, Robert, 1917-1997. person
associatedWith Plaut, Frederick, 1907-1985. person
associatedWith Railroad Hour Radio Program corporateBody
associatedWith Raksin, David, 1912- person
associatedWith RKO Radio Pictures, inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Sandburg, Carl, 1878-1967. person
associatedWith Thayer, John Eldon, 1899-1980 person
associatedWith Welles, Orson, 1915-1985 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Wisbeach, Cambridgeshire
Freshwell Hundred, Essex
Subject
Actors--Archival resources
Theatrical producers and directors--Archival resources
Occupation
Actors
Performer
Actors--Archival resources
Theatrical producers and directors--Archival resources
Function

Person

Birth 1899-07-01

Death 1962-12-15

Americans

English

Information

Permalink: http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6h70j49

Ark ID: w6h70j49

SNAC ID: 53095618