HUME CRONYN Biography - Actors and Actresses


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Name: Hume Blake Cronyn                                                                 
Born: 18 July 1911Ontario, Canada                                                       
Died: 15 June 2003 Fairfield, Connecticut, U.S.                                         
Hume Blake Cronyn, OC (July 18, 1911 – June 15, 2003) was a Canadian/American         
stage, film, and broadcast actor who enjoyed a long and distinguished career —       
often appearing professionally with his second wife, Jessica Tandy — after           
overcoming an early image as a film heavy.                                             
Cronyn, one of five children, was born in London, Ontario, Canada, the son of           
Frances Amelia Labatt, an heiress of the brewing company of the same name, and         
her husband, Hume Blake Cronyn, Sr, a businessman and a Member of Parliament for       
London (and for whom the Hume Cronyn Memorial Observatory and asteroid (12050)         
Humecronyn are named). His paternal grandfather Verschoyle Cronyn was the son of       
the Right Reverend Benjamin Cronyn, an Anglican cleric of Anglo-Irish Protestant       
Ascendancy stock who served as first bishop of the Anglican diocese of Huron,           
and founder of Huron College from which grew the University of Western Ontario.         
His great-uncle Benjamin Jr was both a prominent citizen and early mayor of             
London, Ontario. Benjamin Jr was later indicted for fraud and fled to Vermont.         
During his tenure in London he built a mansion called Oakwood, which currently         
serves as the head office of the Info-Tech Research Group. Cronyn was also a           
cousin of Canadian-born theater producer, Robert Whitehead.                             
Early in life, Cronyn was an amateur featherweight boxer, having the skills to         
even be nominated for the 1932 Canadian Olympic Boxing Team.                           
His family had hoped he would pursue a law career, but subsequent to graduating         
from Ridley College, Cronyn switched majors, from pre-law to drama, while               
attending McGill University, and continued his acting studies thereafter, under         
Max Reinhardt and at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. In 1934, he made his       
Broadway debut as a janitor in Hipper's Holiday and became known for his               
versatility, playing a number of different roles on stage.                             
His first Hollywood film was Alfred Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt (1943). He           
later appeared in Hitchcock's Lifeboat (1944) and was a writer for the                 
screenplays of Rope (1948) and Under Capricorn (1949). He was nominated for an         
Academy Award for best supporting actor for his performance in The Seventh Cross       
(1944) and won a Tony Award for his performance as Polonius opposite Richard           
Burton's Hamlet (1964). Cronyn bought the screenplay What Nancy Wanted from             
Norma Barzman — later blacklisted with her husband Ben Barzman — with the idea     
of producing the film and starring Tandy. However, he sold the screenplay to RKO       
which later filmed it as The Locket (1946). Cronyn also made two memorable             
appearances in television, Alfred Hitchcock PresentsKill with Kindness1956 (television) 
and Hawaii Five 0Over Fifty, Steal1970(television).