Happy 124th Birthday William Powell

Today is the 124th birthday of the actor William Powell.  I adore his performances in the Thin Man films and My Man Godfrey.  His mid-century mid-atlantic accent is perfection.  His life story is absolutely remarkable, the amazing women he loved that died so young and unexpectedly is heartbreaking.  The world is a better place because he was in it and still feels the loss that he has left.

william powell 01NAME: William Powell
OCCUPATION: Film Actor
BIRTH DATE: July 29, 1892
DEATH DATE: March 05, 1984
EDUCATION: American Academy of Dramatic Arts
PLACE OF BIRTH: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
PLACE OF DEATH: Palms Springs, California
FULL NAME: William Horatio Powell
REMAINS: Buried, Desert Memorial Park, Cathedral City, CA
HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME: 1636 Vine St.

BEST KNOWN FOR:  William Powell was a baritone-voiced actor remembered for playing Nick Charles in The Thin Man films.

One of the most versatile American motion picture and stage actor who played villains in Hollywood silent films and intelligent, debonair leading men in the sound era. He is best remembered as Nick Charles in The Thin Manseries of films.

After graduating from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City in 1912, Powell debuted on Broadway, playing three small roles in The Ne’er-Do-Well (1912). He then worked in road and stock companies before appearing as the hero’s rival in the hit Broadway play Spanish Love (1920). That success led to his appearance as Professor Moriarty’s evil henchman in the silent film Sherlock Holmes (1922), starring John Barrymore. Altogether, Powell appeared in more than 30 silents, usually playing a dastardly villain, notably in Romola (1924), Beau Geste (1926), and The Last Command (1928).

Unlike many silent film actors, Powell had a fine, resonant baritone speaking voice that allowed for a smooth transition to talkies. He became a star as detective Philo Vance in the talkie The Canary Murder Case (1929), based on a novel by S.S. Van Dine. By 1930 Powell had progressed to playing suave, sophisticated men-about-town in light mysteries and romantic comedies. He would go on to play opposite such glamorous Hollywood leading ladies as Kay Francis, Carole Lombard, to whom he was married from 1931 to 1933, and Jean Harlow, to whom he was engaged at the time of her death in 1937. But his most famous pairing was with Myrna Loy, as the witty, wealthy, cocktail-drinking husband-and-wife detective team Nick and Nora Charles in The Thin Man (1934), based on Dashiell Hammett’s novel of the same name. The role earned Powell his first Academy Award nomination. The affectionate sparring and chemistry between Powell and Loy delighted audiences, and the pair went on to make five more Thin Man movies together; they costarred in a total of 13 films.

By 1936 Powell was among the top 10 male box office attractions, and four of the five films in which he appeared that year received Academy Award nominations (My Man Godfrey, The Great Ziegfeld, Libeled Lady,and After the Thin Man), with Powell himself earning a nomination as best actor for his deft performance in the title role of My Man Godfrey. He worked less frequently thereafter, however, needing time to recover first from Harlow’s unexpected death and then from his own surgery and treatment for cancer. Among the most popular of his later films are Life with Father (1947), for which he was again nominated for an Academy Award, How to Marry a Millionaire (1953), and Mister Roberts (1955), his final film. Powell retired from actingin 1955 and moved to Palm Springs with his third wife, actress Diana Lewis, whom he married in 1940.


FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
Mister Roberts (30-Jul-1955) · Doc
How to Marry a Millionaire (5-Nov-1953) · J. D. Hanley
The Girl Who Had Everything (27-Mar-1953) · Steve Latimer
The Treasure of Lost Canyon (1-Mar-1952)
It’s a Big Country (20-Nov-1951) · Professor
Dancing in the Dark (2-Dec-1949)
Take One False Step (22-Jun-1949) · Prof. Andrew Gentling
Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid (11-Aug-1948)
The Senator Was Indiscreet (26-Dec-1947)
Song of the Thin Man (28-Aug-1947) · Nick Charles
Life with Father (15-Aug-1947) · Father
Ziegfeld Follies (8-Apr-1946) · Florenz Ziegfeld
The Hoodlum Saint (4-Apr-1946) · Terry Ellerton O’Neill
The Thin Man Goes Home (25-Jan-1945) · Nick Charles
The Heavenly Body (29-Dec-1943) · William S. Whitley
The Youngest Profession (26-Feb-1943) · Himself
Crossroads (23-Jul-1942) · David Talbot
Shadow of the Thin Man (21-Nov-1941) · Nick
Love Crazy (23-May-1941) · Steve Ireland
I Love You Again (9-Aug-1940) · Larry Wilson
Another Thin Man (17-Nov-1939) · Nick
The Baroness and the Butler (18-Feb-1938)
Double Wedding (15-Oct-1937) · Charlie Lodge
The Emperor’s Candlesticks (2-Jul-1937) · Baron Stephan Wolensky
The Last of Mrs. Cheyney (19-Feb-1937) · Charles
After the Thin Man (25-Dec-1936) · Nick Charles
Libeled Lady (9-Oct-1936) · Bill Chandler
My Man Godfrey (6-Sep-1936) · Godfrey
The Ex-Mrs. Bradford (13-May-1936) · Dr. Lawrence Bradford
The Great Ziegfeld (22-Mar-1936) · Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr.
Rendezvous (23-Oct-1935) · Bill Gordon
Escapade (6-Jul-1935)
Reckless (17-Apr-1935) · Ned Riley
Star of Midnight (11-Apr-1935) · Clay Dalzell
Evelyn Prentice (9-Nov-1934) · John Prentice
The Key (31-May-1934) · Capt. Tennant
The Thin Man (23-May-1934) · Nick
Manhattan Melodrama (2-May-1934) · Jim Wade
Fashions of 1934 (14-Feb-1934) · Sherwood Nash
The Kennel Murder Case (28-Oct-1933) · Philo Vance
Double Harness (13-Jul-1933)
Private Detective 62 (10-Jun-1933)
Lawyer Man (24-Dec-1932) · Anton Adam
One Way Passage (Sep-1932) · Dan
Jewel Robbery (23-Jul-1932) · The Robber
High Pressure (30-Jan-1932) · Gar Evans
The Road to Singapore (10-Oct-1931) · Hugh Dawltry
Ladies’ Man (1-May-1931)
Man of the World (28-Mar-1931)
For the Defense (19-Jul-1930) · William Foster
Paramount on Parade (22-Apr-1930)
The Benson Murder Case (12-Apr-1930)
Behind the Make-Up (11-Jan-1930)
Charming Sinners (17-Aug-1929) · Karl Kraley
The Greene Murder Case (11-Aug-1929)
The Four Feathers (Jun-1929)
The Canary Murder Case (16-Feb-1929)
The Last Command (22-Jan-1928) · Lev Andreyev
Beau Geste (25-Aug-1926) · Boldini
When Knighthood Was in Flower (15-Sep-1922)
Sherlock Holmes (7-Mar-1922) · Forman Wells

Source: William Powell – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Source: William Powell – Film Actor – Biography.com

Source: WILLIAM POWELL, FILM STAR, DIES AT 91 – NYTimes.com

Source: William Powell

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