Robert Donat

Robert Donat (March 18, 1905 - June 9, 1958) was an English actor, best remembered for his roles in The 39 Steps (1935) and Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939 film) (for which he won an Academy Award). Donat was born in Withington, Manchester, of Polish descent, but his success was largely due to typecasting as the quintessential English gentleman.

Donat made his first stage appearance in 1921 and his film debut in 1932 in The Private Life of Henry VIII (as Thomas Culpepper), under the renowned film director and producer Alexander Korda. However, he suffered from ill-health (asthma) which blighted his career, and his last role, as the Mandarin of Yang Cheng in The Inn of the Sixth Happiness is memorable because it was apparent that he knew he was close to death. He died from a cerebral haemorrage in London aged 53.

Robert Donat was married to Ella Annesley Voysey (1929-1946) and to the British actress Renee Asherson (1953-1958).

Other films:

  • The Count of Monte Cristo (1934) - Edmond Dantes/The Count of Monte Cristo
  • The Winslow Boy (1948)- Sir Robert Morton

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Robert Donat was married to Ella Annesley Voysey (1929-1946) and to the British actress Renee Asherson (1953-1958). Partial filmography:. He died from a cerebral haemorrage in London aged 53. The Musée Jean Gabin in his native town of Mériel contains his story and his war and film memorabilia. However, he suffered from ill-health (asthma) which blighted his career, and his last role, as the Mandarin of Yang Cheng in The Inn of the Sixth Happiness is memorable because it was apparent that he knew he was close to death. Considered one of the great stars of French cinema, he was made a member of the Legion of Honor. Donat made his first stage appearance in 1921 and his film debut in 1932 in The Private Life of Henry VIII (as Thomas Culpepper), under the renowned film director and producer Alexander Korda. His body was cremated and with full military honors, his ashes were disbursed into the sea from a military ship.

Donat was born in Withington, Manchester, of Polish descent, but his success was largely due to typecasting as the quintessential English gentleman. Gabin died of a heart attack in the Parisian suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine. Chips (1939 film) (for which he won an Academy Award). Over the next twenty years, Gabin made close to fifty more films, including many for Gafer Films, his production partnership with fellow actor Fernandel. Robert Donat (March 18, 1905 - June 9, 1958) was an English actor, best remembered for his roles in The 39 Steps (1935) and Goodbye, Mr. Directed by Jacques Becker, his performance earned him critical acclaim and the film was a very profitable international success. The Winslow Boy (1948)- Sir Robert Morton. However, he made a comeback in the 1954 film, Touchez pas au grisbi.

The Count of Monte Cristo (1934) - Edmond Dantes/The Count of Monte Cristo. Despite this recognition, the film did not do well at the French box office and the next five years brought little more than repeated box office failures and Gabin's career seemed headed for oblivion. Nevertheless, he was cast in the lead role of the 1949 René Clément film Au-Dela Des Grilles that won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Following another box office failure in 1947, Gabin returned to the stage but there too, the production was another financial disaster. He then found a French producer and director willing to cast him and Marlene Dietrich together, but their film Martin Roumagnac was not a success and their personal relationship soon ended.

In 1946, Gabin was hired by Marcel Carné to star in his film, Les Portes de la Nuit but his egotistical conduct got him fired again. Captured on film by the media is a scene where an anxious Marlene Dietrich is waiting in the crowd when she spots Gabin on board a battle tank and rushes to him. Following D-Day, Gabin was part of the military contingent that entered a liberated Paris. Undaunted, Jean Gabin joined General de Gaulle's Free French Forces where he earned the Médaille Militaire and a Croix de Guerre for his wartime valor fighting with the Allies in North Africa.

The studio refused and after Gabin remained steadfast in his demand, he was fired and the film project was shelved. Scheduled to star in an RKO film, at the last minute he demanded Dietrich be given the co-starring role. However, his films in America proved less than successful and, a difficult personality with a very large ego, he did serious damage to his Hollywood career while working for RKO Pictures. Divorced from his second wife in 1939, during his time in Hollywood, Gabin began a torrid romance with actress Marlene Dietrich.

Following the German occupation of France, he joined Jean Renoir and Julien Duvivier in the United States. Flooded with offers from Hollywood, for a time Gabin turned them all down until the outbreak of World war II. That same year he starred in the Jean Renoir masterpiece La Grande Illusion, an anti-war film that was a huge box office success and given universal critical acclaim, even running at a New York City theater for an unprecedented six months. The following year, he teamed up with Duvivier again, this time in the highly successful Pepe Le Moko that became one of the top Grossing Films of 1937 worldwide which brought Gabin international recognition.

Cast as a romantic hero in a 1936 war drama titled La Bandera, this second Duvivier directed film established Gabin as a major star. However, he only gained real recognition for his performance in Maria Chapdelaine, a 1934 production directed by Julien Duvivier. Playing secondary roles, Gabin made more than a dozen films over the next four years, including films directed by Maurice and Jacques Tourneur. His performances started getting noticed and better stage roles came along that led to parts in two silent films in 1928. Two years later, he easily made the transition to talkies in a 1930 Pathé Frères production titled Chacun sa Chance.

He was part of a troupe that toured South America and upon returning to France found work at the Moulin Rouge. After completing his military service, Gabin returned to the entertainment business, working under the stage name of Jean Gabin at whatever was offered in the Parisian music halls and operettas. He continued performing in a variety of minor roles before going into he military. The son of cabaret entertainers, he worked as a laborer but at age 19 entered show business with a bit part in a Folies Bergères production.

Born Jean-Alexis Moncorgé in a hospital in Paris, France, he grew up in the family home in the village of Mériel in the Val-d'Oise département about 22 miles (35 kilometers) north of the city of Paris. Jean Gabin (May 17, 1904 - November 15, 1976) was a major French actor and war hero. L'Année sainte (1976). Deux hommes dans la ville (1973).

La Horse (1970). Le Clan des Siciliens (1969). Le Jardinier d'Argenteuil (1966). Un singe en hiver (1962).

Maigret et l'affaire Saint-Fiacre (1959). Les Misérables (1958). Maigret Tend un Piège (1958). Crime et châtiment (1956).

Chiens perdus sans collier (1955). French CanCan (1955). Touchez pas au grisbi (1954). Martin Roumagnac (1946).

La Bête Humaine (1938). Quai des Brumes (1937). La Grande Illusion (1937). Pepé le Moko (1937).

Maria Chapdelaine (1934). Chacun sa Chance (1930).

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