William Henry (Who’s Who at MGM, 1937) 🇺🇸

January 09, 2022

William Henry is a native of Hollywood. He was born November 10, and attended school in Los Angeles. His first role in films was at the age of eight in “Lord Jim.”

While going to high school he worked in stock with the Burnham players, doing specialty roles. At 14 he traded his services as a stage hand at the Pasadena Playhouse to watch the drama technique of Guy Bates Post in “The Play’s the Thing.”

In 1927 he made his first trip to the Hawaiian Islands, where he attended Punaho College at Honolulu for a term. His foster-brother, Duke Kahanamoku, taught him the Hawaiian language, as well as how to ride out-rigger canoes and surf boards.

Acted in Hawaii

Since then he has returned to the Island four times. His brother, Tom, who is a drama professor at the University of California at Los Angeles and a director of the Pasadena Community Playhouse, put on several plays at the Little Theatre of the University of Hawaii in which Bill played.

During his two years at the Pasadena Community Playhouse, and on the professional stage. Bill appeared in such productions as “Woman of No Importance,” “She Passed Through Lorraine,” “The Cat and the Fiddle,” “Of Thee I Sing,” “The Sea Gull,” “Mr. Lester’s Temerity,” “Pelleas and Melisande,” “The Great Enigma,” “Love’s Labor Lost,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “Little Women,” “House Party,” “The Critic,” Devil’s Disciple,” “Not for Children.”

Writes Short Stories

Since 1933 Henry has played roles in “Adorable,” “Pilgrimage,” “Best of Enemies,” “Worst Woman in Paris,” ‘Coming Out Party,” “Operator 13,” “The Thin Man,” “Wicked Woman,” “Society Doctor,” China Seas, “Tarzan Escapes,” “Exclusive Story,” “Madame X,” and in short subjects, “A Perfect Set-Up,” “The Perfect Tribute,” and “Long Distance Calling.”

As a hobby, Henry writes short stories and has had two published in Liberty magazine. He was one of the first to introduce Hawaiian surfboard riding on the Pacific Coast and has won many cups, both at swimming meets and horse shows. He is also proficient in fencing, golfing and tennis.

Bill follows acting tradition insofar as he is superstitious about anyone whistling in a dressing room. He also refuses to be a party to lighting three cigarettes on one match.

Since he is an enthusiastic sports follower, it is not surprising that his closest friends are in the world of athletics. He is particularly friendly with Ed (Strangler) Lewis and William Tilden.

Good Trencherman

Henry enjoys reading all the classics, especially the Russian and Old English works. His favorite play is “L’Aiglon” and his favorite picture “Henry VIII.” His idea of a perfect meal is a fish cocktail, salad, thick juicy steak, vegetables and coffee, with no dessert.

He belongs to the Hollywood Athletic Club, the Los Angeles Athletic Club, the Santa Monica Beach Club, the American Museum of Natural History and subscribes to the Book of the Month Club and the Literary Guild of America.

His favorite playwrights are Noel Coward and Moliere. His pet musical piece is Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade” suite. His favorite painters are Rembrandt and Van Gogh, while he admires the illustrations of Peter Arno.

William is five feet eleven inches tall, and weighs 155 pounds. He is married to Grace Durkin and lives in Beverly Hills.

Source: Who’s Who at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1937