Roland Young


Roland Young

Infobox actor
bgcolour = silver
name = Roland Young


imagesize = 200px
caption = in "Topper Returns" (1941)
birthdate = November 11, 1887
location = London, England
deathdate = June 5, 1953, age 65
deathplace = New York City, New York, USA
birthname =

Roland Young (November 11, 1887 - June 5, 1953) was an English actor.

Early life and career

Born in London, England, Young was educated at Sherborne College, Dorset and the University of London before being accepted into Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. He made his first stage appearance in London's West End in "Find the Woman" in 1908, and in 1912 he made his Broadway debut in "Hindle Wakes". He appeared in two comedies written for him by Clare Kummer, "Good Gracious Annabelle!" (1916), "A Successful Calamity" (1917) before he served with the United States Army during World War I. He returned to New York when the war ended, and married Kummer's daughter, Frances. For the next few years he alternated between New York and London. He made his film debut in the 1922 silent film "Sherlock Holmes", in which he played Watson opposite John Barrymore as Holmes.

He signed a contract with MGM and made his talkie debut in "The Unholy Night" (1929), directed by Lionel Barrymore. He was loaned to Warner Bros. to appear in "Her Private Life", with Billie Dove and 20th Century Fox, winning critical approval for his comedic performance as Jeanette MacDonald's husband in "Don't Bet on a Woman". He was again paired with MacDonald in the film version of "Good Gracious Annabelle!", titled "Annabelle's Affairs". He appeared in Cecil B. de Mille's "The Squaw Man", and played opposite Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne in "The Guardsman" (both 1931). He appeared with Evelyn Brent in Columbia's "The Pagan Lady" (1932) and Pola Negri in RKO's "A Woman Commands" (1932). His final film under his MGM contract was "Lovers Courageous" (1932), opposite Robert Montgomery.

uccess as a free-lance performer

Young began to work as a free-lance performer and found himself in constant demand. He appeared with Jeanette MacDonald, Genevieve Tobin and Maurice Chevalier in "One Hour With You" (1932) and with Kay Francis in "Street of Women" (1932). Alexander Korda invited him to return to England to make his British film debut in "Wedding Rehearsal" (1932). He returned to Hollywood and appeared in a diverse group of films that included comedies, murder mysteries and dramas, and also worked on Broadway. Among his films of this period, were "Ruggles of Red Gap" (1935), and as Uriah Heep in "David Copperfield" (1935).

He achieved one of the most important successes of his career, as the businessman Cosmo Topper, haunted by the ghosts of his clients played by Cary Grant and Constance Bennett. The film was one of the most successful films of the year, and for his comedic performance, Young received an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor nomination. His wife was played by Billie Burke who wrote in her memoir that Young "was dry and always fun to work with". They also appeared together in "The Young in Heart" (1938), and the first of the "Topper" sequels, "Topper Takes a Trip" (1939). He continued to play supporting roles in comedies such as "Yes, My Darling Daughter", with Fay Bainter and Priscilla Lane, but over the next few years the importance of his roles again decreased, but he achieved another success as Katharine Hepburn's uncle in "The Philadelphia Story" (1940). His last starring role was in the final installment of the "Topper" series, "Topper Returns" in 1944, with Billie Burke and Joan Blondell.

Later life and career

He continued working steadily through the 1940s, playing small roles opposite some of Hollywood's leading actresses, such as Joan Crawford, Marlene Dietrich, Paulette Goddard and Greta Garbo in her final film, "Two-Faced Woman" (1942). In 1945, he began his own radio show and appeared in the film adaption of Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None". By the end of the decade his film career had declined, and his final films, including "The Great Lover" (1949), in which he played a murderer opposite Bob Hope, and Fred Astaire's "Let's Dance" (1950), were not successful.

In the 1950s, Young appeared on several episodic television series, including "Lux Video Theatre", "Studio One", "Pulitzer Prize Playhouse" and "The Chevrolet Tele-Theatre".

Young has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one for motion picture at 6523 Hollywood Blvd. and another for television at 6315 Hollywood Blvd.

Young was married twice, to Marjorie Krummer from 1921 until 1940, and to Patience DuCroz from 1948 until his death in New York City.

Partial filmography

*"Sherlock Holmes" (1922; as Watson to John Barrymore's Holmes)
*"The Unholy Night" (1929)
*"Madam Satan" (1930)
*"The Squaw Man" (1931)
*"The Guardsman" (1931)
*"One Hour with You" (1932)
*"This Is the Night" (1932)
*"They Just Had to Get Married" (1933)
*"Personal History, Adventures, Experience, and Observation of David Copperfield the Younger (1935)
*"Ruggles of Red Gap" (1935)
*"The Man Who Could Work Miracles" (1936)
*"The Unguarded Hour" (1936)
*"One Rainy Afternoon" (1936)
*"King Solomon's Mines" (1937)
*"Topper" (1937)
*"Ali Baba Goes to Town" (1937)
*"The Young in Heart" (1938)
*"Topper Takes a Trip" (1939)
*"He Married His Wife" (1940)
*"Irene" (1940)
*"Private Affairs" (1940)
*"The Philadelphia Story" (1940)
*"Topper Returns" (1941)
*"The Flame of New Orleans" (1941)
*"Two-Faced Woman" (1941)
*"They All Kissed the Bride" (1942)
*"Tales of Manhattan" (1942)
*"Forever and a Day" (1943)
*"And Then There Were None" (1945)
*"The Great Lover" (1949)

References

*Shipman, David, "The Great Movie Stars, The Golden Years", Bonanza Books, New York, 1970. Library of Congress Catalogue Card Number 78-133803

External links

*imdb name|id=0950019|name=Roland Young
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=astTQs-kk-0 Clip of Roland Young at YouTube.com]

Persondata
NAME= Young, Roland
ALTERNATIVE NAMES=
SHORT DESCRIPTION=Actor
DATE OF BIRTH= November 11, 1887
PLACE OF BIRTH= London, England
DATE OF DEATH= June 5, 1953, age 65
PLACE OF DEATH= New York City, New York, USA


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