Date of Birth : May 12th 1903

He worked steadily on the stage, including a tour of South Africa in 1932 before making his film debut, in Josser on the Farm credited as “Hyde White” in 1934. He appeared in the George Formby comedy Turned Out Nice Again in 1941 and after a memorable supporting role in The Third Man (1949), he became a fixture in British films of the 1950s. Two-Way Stretch (1960) probably shows best the more roguish side to some of the characters he played in this period. White’s debonair, often roguish charm was instantly recognizable; ‘his unfailing imperturbability and unruffled acceptance of every eventuality made him an ideal choice for light comedy of the drawing room school’. From 1962 to 1965 he also starred in the BBC radio comedy The Men from the Ministry.

After the death of his wife, in 1957 White married the American actress Ethel Korenman (stage name Ethel Drew). They had a son, the actor Alex Hyde White, and a daughter.

White was increasingly busy on screen, usually as lords, gentlemen, or conmen, often ‘smallish roles which he somehow succeeded in making appear bigger’, such as The Browning Version (1951) as the headmaster, and in his own favourite role, as the bogus Reverend Fowler (alias “Soapy” Stevens) in Two Way Stretch (1960). In that year he was in Hollywood for Let’s Make Love with Marilyn Monroe, and many films in the film capital followed. In particular he co-starred in My Fair Lady (1964) from the Lerner and Loewe musical as Colonel Pickering, the avuncular companion of Rex Harrison’s Professor Higgins. It was a role which brought him international recognition.




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