Osgood Perkins

Osgood Perkins
Osgood Perkins

During a 1930 performance of Uncle Vanya
Born James Ripley Osgood Perkins
May 16, 1892(1892-05-16)
West Newton, Massachusetts, United States
Died September 21, 1937(1937-09-21) (aged 45)
Washington, D.C., United States
Spouse Janet Esselstyn Rane
(1922-1937) (his death) 1 child

Osgood Perkins (May 16, 1892 – September 21, 1937) was an American actor.


Life and career

Perkins was born James Ripley Osgood Perkins in West Newton, Massachusetts, the son of Helen Virginia (née Anthony) and Henry Phelps Perkins.[1] He is a descendant of a Mayflower passenger John Howland. Perkins made his Broadway debut in 1924 in the George S. KaufmanMarc Connelly play Beggar on Horseback. Within the next dozen years he would appear in 24 productions, including The Front Page and Uncle Vanya.

Despite his success as a leading man in the theatre, Hollywood viewed him as a character actor. He appeared in 12 silent films, such as Puritan Passions, before graduating to talkies, including Scarface and Gold Diggers of 1937.

"The best actor I ever worked with was Osgood Perkins," Louise Brooks told Kevin Brownlow. "You know what makes an actor great to work with? Timing. You don't have to feel anything. It's like dancing with a perfect dancing partner. Osgood Perkins would give you a line so that you would react perfectly. It was timing -- because emotion means nothing." Brooks and Perkins appeared together in Love 'Em and Leave 'Em (1926).

Perkins married Janet Esselstyn Rane, in 1922. They had one child, actor Anthony Perkins. Osgood died of a heart attack in Washington, D.C., at age 45. Anthony was just five-years-old at the time.

Osgood Perkins was inducted, posthumously, into the American Theatre Hall of Fame in 1981.[2]

Selected filmography


  1. ^ Winecoff, Charles (2009). Split Image: The Life of Anthony Perkins‎. Diane Pub Co.. pp. 10. ISBN078819870X. 
  2. ^ "26 Elected to the Theater Hall of Fame." The New York Times, March 3, 1981.

External links

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