Date of Birth : May 15th 1909
British actor who attained stardom in both British and American films, from 1935 to 1948 he starred in many British quota quickies. A conscientious objector during World War II (something which caused his family to break with him for many years), he became immensely popular for his brooding anti-heroes in the Gainsborough series of melodramas of the 1940s, including The Man in Grey and The Wicked Lady. He also starred with Deborah Kerr and Robert Newton in 1942’s Hatter’s Castle. Mason starred in the critically acclaimed and immensely popular The Seventh Veil that set box office records in postwar Britain and catapulted him to international film stardom. In 1949, he made his first Hollywood film, Caught, and then went on to star in many more feature films and early TV shows. Nominated three times for an Oscar, he never won one.
His roles include Norman Maine in the 1954 version of A Star Is Born, Johnny, a mortally wounded Irish revolutionary, in Odd Man Out, Brutus in Julius Caesar, General Erwin Rommel in The Desert Fox: The Story of Rommel, and in The Desert Rats, Captain Nemo in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, a small town school teacher driven insane by the effects of Cortisone in Bigger Than Life, a suave master spy in North by Northwest, a determined explorer in Journey to the Center of the Earth, Humbert Humbert in Stanley Kubrick’s Lolita, a hired assassin sent to kill Peter O’Toole and thereby prevent him from leading a peasant uprising in Lord Jim, the vampire’s servant, Richard Straker, in Salem’s Lot, and a surreal pirate-ship captain in Yellowbeard. One of his last roles, that of corrupt lawyer James Concannon in The Verdict, earned him his third and final Oscar nomination.