Cecil Kellaway

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Cecil Kellaway
Cecil Kellaway in The Postman Always Rings Twice trailer.jpg
from the trailer for
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)
Born Cecil Lauriston Kellaway[1]
(1890-08-22)22 August 1890
Cape Town, Cape Colony (present-day Cape Town, South Africa)
Died 28 February 1973(1973-02-28) (aged 82)
West Hollywood, California, U.S.
Years active 1921–1972
Spouse(s) Doreen Elizabeth Joubert (m. 1919–1973; his death); 2 sons
Children Peter Kellaway, Bryan Kellaway

Cecil Lauriston Kellaway (22 August 1890 – 28 February 1973)[2] was a South African character actor.[3] He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for both The Luck of the Irish (1948) and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967).

Biography

Early life

Cecil Kellaway was born on 22 August 1890 in Cape Town, South Africa.[n 1] He was the son of English parents, Rebecca Annie (née Brebner) and Edwin John Kellaway, an architect and engineer. Edwin had immigrated to Cape Town to help build the Houses of Parliament there, and he was a good friend of Cecil Rhodes, who was young Cecil's godfather.[4]

Cecil was interested in acting from an early age.[5] He was educated at the Normal College, Cape Town, and in England at Bradford Grammar School. He studied engineering and on his return to South Africa was employed in an engineering firm. However the lure of acting was too strong and he became a full-time actor, making his debut in Potash and Perlmutter.[4][6][7]

He briefly served in the army in 1914 but was invalided out.[8] Early plays included The Prince of Pilsen.

He toured for three years through China, Japan, Siam, Borneo, Malaya, North and South Africa, and Europe, in plays such as Monsieur Beaucaire.

Australian theatre

Kellaway arrived in Australia in 1921 under contract to J. C. Williamson Ltd. He had a notable success as the comic father of four daughters in A Night Out which he played through most of 1922; he would often return to this role in later years and it kicked off a sixteen year association with Williamsons on the Australian stage, mostly in musical comedies.

For Williamsons he was in Mary (1922–23) then returned to A Night Out before going on to The Cabaret Girl (1923–24), Kissing Time (1924), Whirled Into Happiness (1924), Katja (1925), The Belle of New York (1925), Primrose (1925), A Night Out revival (1926), Frasquita (1927), Princess Charming (1928)[9], Hold Everything (1929), Florodora (1931), A Warm Corner ( 1931), A Night Out again, Sons o' Guns (1931), Blue Roses (1932), Hold my Hand (1932), and The Gipsy Princess (1933).

Australian films

By the early 1930s Kellaway was one of the biggest stars in Australian theatre. He made his film debut in the lead of The Hayseeds (1933), a popular local comedy, directed by Beaumont Smith.[10]

However his main focus was still the stage: The Dubarry (1934), Music in the Air (1934), Roberta (1935), High Jinks (1935), Ball at the Savoy (1935), A Southern Maid (1936) and White Horse Inn (1936).

He returned to films with the Australian Cinesound film It Isn't Done (1937), for which he also provided the original story. Directed by Ken G. Hall it was a popular success. It led to Kellaway being screen-tested by RKO Pictures and put under contract.[11]

He appeared in A Southern Maid on stage in 1937.

RKO in Hollywood

RKO initially put Kellaway into small roles: Everybody's Doing It (1938), Double Danger (1938), Night Spot (1938), Maid's Night Out (1938), This Marriage Business (1938), and Law of the Underworld (1938).

Kellaway was first given a sizeable role, billed third for Blond Cheat (1938), with Joan Fontaine.[12]

However his parts remained small: Smashing the Rackets (1938), Tarnished Angel (1938), Annabel Takes a Tour (1938), and Gunga Din (1939).[13]

Return to Australia

Kellaway returned to Australia for a second Cinesound film, Mr. Chedworth Steps Out (1939), which featured a young Peter Finch. It was shot in October–November 1938.[14]

Return to Hollywood

Back in Hollywood the scope and quality of his roles kept getting better, with Wuthering Heights (1939), for William Wyler, as Cathy's father.

He was in The Sun Never Sets (1939), Man About Town (1939) at Paramount[15], and The Under-Pup (1939).

He turned down The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939) to do Intermezzo (1939) for David O Selznick. He later made and We Are Not Alone (1939).[16]

He was in Mexican Spitfire (1940) at RKO, The Invisible Man Returns (1940) and The House of the Seven Gables (1940) at Universal, Adventure in Diamonds (1940), Phantom Raiders (1940), Brother Orchid (1940), Pop Always Pays (1940), The Mummy's Hand (1940), Diamond Frontier (1940), and Mexican Spitfire Out West (1940) at RKO. He turned down Balalaika to do The Letter (1940) for Wyler.

Kellaway was in South of Suez (1940) at Warners, and Lady with Red Hair (1940).

Paramount

Kellaway made West Point Widow (1941) at Paramount and signed a contract with them. He did A Very Young Lady (1941) at Fox, Burma Convoy (1941), New York Town (1941), Birth of the Blues (1941), and Appointment for Love (1941) at Universal.

At Paramount he was in The Night of January 16th (1941), Bahama Passage (1941), The Lady Has Plans (1941), and Take a Letter, Darling (1941). Fox borrowed him for Small Town Deb (1941), then he went back to Paramount for Are Husbands Necessary? (1942), and Night in New Orleans (1942).

Leading Man

Kellaway had a strong part in I Married a Witch (1942) as Veronica Lake's father. He followed it with My Heart Belongs to Daddy (1942). Response to this was positive and Paramount announced they would build Kellaway into a star, putting him in a remake of Ruggles of Red Gap and starring in The Incomparable Alfred.[17]

He had cameos in Star Spangled Rhythm (1943) and Forever and a Day (1943), and was in The Crystal Ball (1943), and It Ain't Hay (1943).

Leading man

Paramount gave him the starring role in The Good Fellows (1943). He went back to support parts for Frenchman's Creek (1944). He was going to do Out of This World on Broadway when he was offered the role of Edward VII in Mrs. Parkington (1944) at MGM.[18]

Back at Paramount he was in And Now Tomorrow (1944), Practically Yours (1944), and Love Letters (1945), the latter also starring Kellaways's one-time Australian co-star Ann Richards.

In Kitty (1945), he was as painter Thomas Gainsborough.[19] MGM borrowed him to play the ill-fated husband of Lana Turner's character in The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946), a support role in Easy to Wed (1946) and the villain in The Cockeyed Miracle (1946).

In early 1946, he was earning $1500 a week but said he was considering returning to Australia to run a film studio because he was sick of playing small roles.[20]

Back at Paramount he was in Monsieur Beaucaire (1946), Variety Girl (1947), and Unconquered (1947).

Kellaway was borrowed by Warners for Always Together (1947)[21] then he went to , Fox for The Luck of the Irish (1948), which earned him an Oscar nomination.

Kellaway went to RKO for Joan of Arc (1948).[22]

Kellaway was in The Decision of Christopher Blake (1948), Portrait of Jennie (1948), Down to the Sea in Ships (1949), The Reformer and the Redhead (1950), back at MGM.[23]

In 1950, it was announced James Hilton was writing a script as a vehicle for Kellaway, Roof of the World, based on the actor's time in India.[24] It was not made.

He was in Harvey (1950), Kim (1950), Katie Did It (1951), Francis Goes to the Races (1951), Half Angel (1951), and The Highwayman (1951).

He went back to Paramount for Thunder in the East (1952) and was in Just Across the Street (1952), My Wife's Best Friend (1952), Young Bess (1953), The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953), Cruisin' Down the River (1953), and Paris Model (1953).

In 1954, he became an American citizen (his nationality was South African).[25]

At MGM he was in The Prodigal (1955) and Interrupted Melody (1955), playing an Australian in the latter (the father of Marjorie Lawrence). He did two with Jeff Chandler, Female on the Beach (1955) and The Toy Tiger (1956) and was billed second (to Ethel Barrymore) in Johnny Trouble (1957).

He worked regularly on television in shows like Lux Video Theatre, The Ford Television Theatre, Schlitz Playhouse, Cavalcade of America, Schlitz Playhouse, Playhouse 90, Studio One in Hollywood, Matinee Theatre, Crossroads.

Kellaway was in The Proud Rebel (1958), The Shaggy Dog (1959), and The Private Lives of Adam and Eve (1960).

He appeared on Broadway in Greenwillow (1960) which had a short run.[26]

On American television, he made a guest appearance in 1959 on Perry Mason as chemist and murderer Darrell Metcalf in "The Case of the Glittering Goldfish", and he received a billing credit in that episode equal to Raymond Burr's.

Kellaway then guest-starred two years later on CBS's Western series Rawhide, portraying the character MacKay in the episode "Incident In The Middle of Nowhere".[citation needed].

He was also in Whirlybird, The Millionaire, The Ann Sothern Show, Destination Space, Harrigan and Son, Hennessey, Johnny Ringo, The Twilight Zone, The New Breed, Adventures in Paradise, Mr Smith Goes to Washington, Follow the Sun and Ben Casey.

Kellaway was in Francis of Assisi (1961), Tammy Tell Me True (1961), Zotz! (1962), The Cardinal (1963), Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964), and Quick, Let's Get Married (1964).

In 1963 he guest starred as a Museum curator Wilbur Canfield in Episode 19 on the first season of the television show "My Favorite Martian". In 1964 he played Santa Claus in the "Visions of Sugarplums" episode of "Bewitched". In 1967, Kellaway played the part of a lonely, megawealthy much older suitor of Ann Marie (played by Marlo Thomas) in an episode of That Girl. Other TV appearances included Valentine's Day, Burke's Law, The FBI, and The Greatest Show on Earth.

Later work

Kellaway's last films included Spinout (1966), The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin (1967) and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967), which earned him another Oscar nomination.

He appeared in episodes of The Ghost & Mrs. Muir and Nanny and the Professor. His final performances included Fitzwilly (1969), Getting Straight (1970), The Wacky Zoo of Morgan City (1971) and a pilot for a TV series, Call Holme (1971).[27]

Awards

He was twice nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, for The Luck of the Irish in 1948 and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner in 1967.[28]

Personal life

Kellaway married Doreen Elizabeth Joubert in Johannesburg on 15 November 1919.

His brother Alec Kellaway became a notable actor in his own right. His other brother Leion became ballet-master for Edouard Borovansky and the Australian Ballet.

His cousins were fellow actors Edmund Gwenn and Arthur Chesney.

Death

Kellaway died after a long illness at a West Los Angeles convalescent home on February 28, 1973. He was survived by his wife, two sons, and four grandchildren. His gravesite is at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery.

Complete filmography

Select theatre credits

  • Potash and Perlmutter – South Africa[4]
  • The Prince of Pilsen – South Africa[29]
  • The Little Whopper (1921)[30]
  • Monseuir Beaucaire (1917) – toured India and Africa[31]
  • A Night Out (Jan-Sept 1922) – Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide
  • Mary (Oct 1922-April 1923) – Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney
  • A Night Out (April 1923) – Sydney
  • The Cabaret Girl (Aug 1923-March 1924)
  • Kissing Time (May 1924) – Melbourne
  • Whirled into Happiness (June–July 1924) – Melbourne
  • Katja (December 1925) – Sydney
  • The Belle of New York
  • Primrose (August 1925) – Sydney
  • Frasquita (April 1927) – Sydney
  • Princess Charming (July 1928) – Brisbane
  • Hold Everything (July 1929)
  • Florodora (1931)
  • A Warm Corner (Sept 1931)
  • Sons o' Guns (1931)
  • Blue Roses (April–August 1932) – Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Wellington, Auckland
  • Hold my Hand (October 1932) – Her Majesty's Theatre, Sydney
  • The Gipsy Princess
  • The Dubarry (July 1934) – Theatre Royal, Adelaide
  • Music in the Air (July 1934) – Theatre Royal, Adelaide
  • Roberta (Marc 1935) – Theatre Royal, Sydney
  • High Jinks (May 1935) – Theatre Royal, Sydney
  • Ball at the Savoy (July 1935) – Adelaide
  • A Southern Maid (1937)
  • The Merry Widow – with Gladys Moncrieff

References

  1. ^ Some sources, including the German Wikipedia page at de:Cecil Kellaway, claim he was born in 1893; the page acknowledges the confusion and claims a majority of sources refer to 1893 as his birth year. Kellaway's Petition for Naturalization as a United States Citizen (#175514), filed in 1951, cites 1890.
References
  1. ^ Cecil Lauriston Kellaway (born 1890) filed a Petition (#175514) for Naturalization as a United States citizen in 1951; certificate #7411287 (per ancestry.com)
  2. ^ "Kellaway, Cecil (1890–1973)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University. Retrieved 1 June 2011. 
  3. ^ Obituary, Variety, 7 March 1973, page 78.
  4. ^ a b c "GREENROOM GOSSIP". Table Talk (3303). Victoria, Australia. 27 August 1931. p. 16. Retrieved 13 March 2016 – via National Library of Australia. 
  5. ^ "THE KELLAWAY FAMILY ON STAGE AND SCREEN". The Sydney Morning Herald. 4 August 1938. Retrieved 13 September 2012. 
  6. ^ "Character Actor Cecil Kellaway is Dead at 79". Daily Times. 1 March 1973. Retrieved 13 September 2012. 
  7. ^ "The THEATRE & its PEOPLE". Table Talk (2032). Victoria, Australia. 17 July 1924. p. 21. Retrieved 13 March 2016 – via National Library of Australia. 
  8. ^ "Round the Shows". The News. V (629) (HOME ed.). Adelaide. 30 July 1925. p. 2. Retrieved 13 March 2016 – via National Library of Australia. 
  9. ^ "CECIL KELLAWAY LOVES A SMOKE". Sunday Times (2206). New South Wales, Australia. 13 May 1928. p. 21. Retrieved 9 April 2018 – via National Library of Australia. 
  10. ^ "Edmonton Regent Theatre". Cairns Post (10,314). Queensland, Australia. 27 February 1935. p. 3. Retrieved 15 August 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  11. ^ "Cecil Kellaway profile". The Sydney Morning Herald. 5 June 1937. Retrieved 13 September 2012. 
  12. ^ Scheuer, P. K. (1938, Mar 13). FILM INFORMATION NEWS OF STAGE AND SCREEN NEW OFFERINGS. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.sl.nsw.gov.au/docview/164862191?accountid=13902
  13. ^ Obituary 2 -- no title. (1973, Mar 01). Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.sl.nsw.gov.au/docview/157181193?accountid=13902
  14. ^ "CECIL KELLAWAY FOR LOCAL FILM". The Newcastle Sun (6409). New South Wales, Australia. 1 July 1938. p. 4. Retrieved 15 August 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  15. ^ "CECIL KELLAWAY". The Sydney Morning Herald (31,565). New South Wales, Australia. 2 March 1939. p. 27. Retrieved 9 April 2018 – via National Library of Australia. 
  16. ^ "Lost His Big Chance". The Mail (Adelaide). 28, (1,424). South Australia. 9 September 1939. p. 4 (THE MAIL Magazine). Retrieved 9 April 2018 – via National Library of Australia. 
  17. ^ Schallert, E. (1942, Apr 20). DRAMA. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.sl.nsw.gov.au/docview/165306802?accountid=13902
  18. ^ Hedda Hopper (29 February 1944). "Looking At Hollywood". Los Angeles Times. (Subscription required (help)). 
  19. ^ Special to THE NEW,YORK TIMES. (1944, Mar 07). SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD. New York Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.sl.nsw.gov.au/docview/106758044?accountid=13902
  20. ^ "PETER KINGSTON'S FILMS". The Daily News. LXIV, (22,103). Western Australia. 9 February 1946. p. 27 (FIRST EDITION). Retrieved 9 April 2018 – via National Library of Australia. 
  21. ^ Schallert, E. (1947, Jun 06). DRAMA AND FILM. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.sl.nsw.gov.au/docview/165784433?accountid=13902
  22. ^ Schallert, E. (1948, Aug 11). Widmark, kellaway, dean stockwell in sea tale; 'casualty' new 'document'. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.sl.nsw.gov.au/docview/165861711?accountid=13902
  23. ^ Cecil kellaway spotted for zookeeper role. (1949, Sep 04). Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.sl.nsw.gov.au/docview/165981488?accountid=13902
  24. ^ Kellaway and hilton collaborate on film. (1950, Mar 19). Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.sl.nsw.gov.au/docview/166065080?accountid=13902
  25. ^ Cecil kellaway and wife ask U.S. citizenship. (1954, Sep 28). Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.sl.nsw.gov.au/docview/166649664?accountid=13902
  26. ^ Cecil kellaway, actor, 79, dies; was twice an oscar nominee. (1973, Mar 02). New York Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.sl.nsw.gov.au/docview/119664317?accountid=13902
  27. ^ Veteran actor cecil kellaway. (1973, Mar 02). The Washington Post, Times Herald (1959-1973) Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.sl.nsw.gov.au/docview/148465975?accountid=13902
  28. ^ "Character Actor Cecil Kellaway is Dead". Daily Times. 1 March 1973. Retrieved 13 September 2012. 
  29. ^ "Love Letters is Strong Psychological Fare". The Mercury. CLXIII (23,534). Tasmania. 11 May 1946. p. 3 (The Mercury Magazine). Retrieved 13 March 2016 – via National Library of Australia. 
  30. ^ "THE LITTLE WHOPPER". The Sunday Times (1851). Sydney. 17 July 1921. p. 2. Retrieved 13 March 2016 – via National Library of Australia. 
  31. ^ "News From Hollywood". The Age (28,363). Victoria, Australia. 20 March 1946. p. 8. Retrieved 13 March 2016 – via National Library of Australia. 

External links

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