John Cromwell

Born Dec 23, 1887

Elwood Dager Cromwell, known as John Cromwell, was an American film actor, director and producer.

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1887 Birth Born on December 23, 1887.


1905 17 Years Old He was in American productions of two George Bernard Shaw plays: First in Shaw's anti-war Major Barbara," the 1905 play of a devout young woman in The Salvation Army and her tortured relationship with her wealthy father, a munitions dealer. … Read More


1916 28 Years Old And, in 1916, Cromwell played in a revival ofCaptain Brassbound's Conversion. … Read More


1927 39 Years Old In 1927, Cromwell directed and played the lead in the gangster drama, The Racket, with newcomer Edward G. Robinson debuting in the kind of tough guy role that would become synonymous with his name. … Read More


1930 42 Years Old He directed The Texan, starring Gary Cooper, in 1930; Tom Sawyer (1930), starring Jackie Coogan in the title role; Sinclair Lewis's Ann Vickers (1933), starring Irene Dunne, Walter Huston, Conrad Nagel, Bruce Cabot, and Edna May Oliver; and Somerset Maugham's Of Human Bondage (1934), starring Leslie Howard, Bette Davis, and Frances Dee.
1934 46 Years Old In 1934, Cromwell also directed a young Katharine Hepburn in Spitfire (1934), which succeeded at the box office despite its unlikely casting of Hepburn as a backwoods faith-healer. … Read More


1939 51 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1939, Cromwell made two back-to-back Carole Lombard pictures, first for Selznick, who paired the screwball comedian with upcoming actor Jimmy Stewart, in Made For Each Other (1939). a film that threw away Lombard's and Stewart's comedy skills on the trials of newlyweds who marry after one day, and whose baby nearly dies but is saved by a brave pilot making a treacherous flight bearing a miracle drug. … Read More
1940 52 Years Old Cromwell's 1940 film adaptation for Paramount of Joseph Conrad's first popular novel, Victory (1915), repeated a film that had already been made in 1930 by William Wellman and, in 1915, as a silent film with Lon Chaney Jr. Cromwell's version was adapted by John Balderston, who'd written The Prisoner of Zenda, and starred Oscar-winning Fredric March, in this steamy tropical psychological thriller, with Betty Field as the female lead (March had begged the recently arrived Ingrid Bergman to do it but she'd refused). … Read More
1941 53 Years Old With war declared on Dec. 7, 1941, Cromwell returned to a bit of on-location swashbuckling with Son of Fury: The Story of Benjamin Blake (1942) starring Tyrone Power in one of his many costume roles and paired with the lovely rising star Gene Tierney and also featuring Frances Farmer, the beautiful actress whose career was soon to be cut short by mysterious mental health incarcerations and political persecution. … Read More


1951 63 Years Old 1 More Event
…  Finally, in 1951, Cromwell had the inspired idea to resurrect the 1928 play which had made him a director and Edward G. Robinson a star, and in doing so created another noir template in The Racket (1951) starring Robert Mitchum, Lizabeth Scott, and Robert Ryan. … Read More
1952 64 Years Old Fortunately, Cromwell had a theater career which he had returned to intermittently during his film directing years, and he returned to the Broadway stage that year, winning the 1952 Tony for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his performance as John Gray in Point of No Return (1951) starring Henry Fonda.
1955 67 Years Old …  The film won Oscars for black-and-white cinematography by Arthur Miller and again for Lyle Wheeler's art direction, but it has long been eclipsed by the 1955 musical version The King and I, with Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr and their famous "Shall we dance?" waltz.
1958 70 Years Old In 1958, Cromwell was removed from the blacklist, and made his return to films with a scathing portrait of Hollywood and its stardom in The Goddess for Columbia. … Read More
1960 72 Years Old …  Ironically, it was only in 1960 that he got his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
1963 75 Years Old Cromwell devoted the rest of his career primarily to the theater where he'd begun it. He wrote three plays, all staged in New York; starred opposite Helen Hayes in a revival of What Every Woman Knows, directed the original Broadway company of Desk Set, and eventually found artistic satisfaction in four seasons at the Tyrone Guthrie theater in Minneapolis, founded by the expatriate British director in 1963 when he, like Cromwell, had grown disenchanted with Broadway's increasing commercialism. … Read More
1979 92 Years Old Died on September 26, 1979.
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