Sir Cedric Hardwicke (Who’s Who at MGM, 1937) 🇺🇸
Biography — Sir Cedric Hardwicke, noted English actor, was born in Lye, Snowbridge, Worcester, England, February 19th, the son ol Edwin Webster Hardwicks and Jessie Masterson Hardwicke.
He received his education in the Bridgnorth School, Salip, and later entered as a pupil of the First Academy of Dramatic Arts, London. His first stage appearance was at the Lyceum Theatre in 1912 when he played the role of Brother John through the run of The Man and the Woman.
Later, during 1912, Hardwicke started under-studying at His Majesty’s Theatre, after which he played at the Garrick in “Find the Woman.” In the following year he joined the Benson Company, with which he toured the provinces. South Africa and Rhodesia.
In 1914, he toured with Miss Darragh in The Unwritten Law and made his first appearance as a Shakespearean player, as Malcolm in Macbeth at Old Vic’s, then portraying Tanio in Taming of the Shrew and next as the first gravedigger in Hamlet.
Hardwicke’s rapidly rising career as one of the leading figures on the English stage was temporarily halted in 1914 when England entered the World War. Young Hardwicke enlisted and served with the British Armies in France until 1921.
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Returning to the stage in 1922, he joined the Birmingham Repertory Company and played in such successes as Advertising April, Shoemaker’s Holiday, Heartbreak House, as General Grant in Abraham Lincoln, in Twelfth Night, and others.
Through the next year Sir Cedric was in constant demand in the theatres, in such outstanding productions as Othello, in which he played Iago for The Fellowship of Players, Yellow Sands, School for Scandal, in Showboat at Drury Lane where he portrayed Captain Andy, The Scarlet Pimpernel for King George’s Pension Fund in the role of King Mangus in George Bernard Shaw’s The Apple Cart, and in the role of the first gravedigger in an all-star revival of Hamlet at the Haymarket.
During 1930, he headed the cast of Getting Married, Heartbreak House, and The Barretts of Wimpole Street, in which he played Moulton-Barrett and which had a sensational run through 1930 and 1931 at the Queen’s Theatre.
In 1931, Sir Cedric took his first venture in motion pictures, making his debut in “Dreyfus.” Since then, he has divided his time between the sage and motion pictures. On the stage, he appeared in The Late Christopher Bean, which had more than a year at the St. James Theatre, and, more recently, he created the role of Prince Mokail in Tovarich at the Lyric.
Among his motion pictures, mostly filmed in England, have been “The Rome Express,” “The Lady is Willing,” “Bella Donna,” “Nell Gwyn,” “Jew Suss,” Les Misérables, “Becky Sharp,” “Lady Jane Grey” and “Peg of Old Drury.”
In 1932, he wrote a book of recollections, Let’s Pretend, which is widely read in the theatre world.
In 1934, he was knighted by King George in the New Year’s Honours, for his commendable contributions to English dramatic art and, a year later, was elected Rede Lecturer to Cambridge University for the year 1936.
Now under contract to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Sir Cedric still maintains his home in Hyde Park Terrace, London.
Collection: Who’s Who at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (1937)