Robert Morley

Robert Morley

British character actor
Date of Birth: 26.05.1908
Country: Great Britain

  1. Biography of Robert Morley
  2. Theatrical Career
  3. Recognizable Performances
  4. Film and Stage Successes
  5. Other Endeavors
  6. Later Years and Legacy

Biography of Robert Morley

Robert Adolph Wilton Morley was born on May 26, 1908, in Semley, Wiltshire, England. He attended Elizabeth College, an independent boys' school in Guernsey, and later studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London.

Robert Morley

Theatrical Career

Morley made his theatrical debut in the West End in 1929, appearing in the production of "Treasure Island" at the Strand Theatre. He made his Broadway debut in 1938, portraying Oscar Wilde in a play of the same name at the Fulton Theatre. Despite quickly becoming a sought-after film actor, Morley continued to work on stage, had a successful writing career, and constantly toured.

Robert Morley

Recognizable Performances

Morley was known for playing pompous English gentlemen who represented influential circles. He was recognized for his clumsy gait, thick eyebrows, thick lips, and double chin, which were most appealing when portraying a boastful chatterbox. He was considered one of the most recognizable English actors by Leonard Maltin, an American film critic. Ephraim Katz, an American writer, journalist, and cinematographer of Israeli origin, described Morley as a "round, triple-chinned, delightful character of British and American theater and film."

Robert Morley

Film and Stage Successes

Morley's powerful portrayal of King Louis XVI in the 1938 costume drama "Marie Antoinette" earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. In 1951, he played a missionary in the classic drama "The African Queen," and in 1960, he astounded audiences with his performance as Oscar Wilde in the biographical film of the same name. However, Morley was never nominated for an Academy Award.

Other Endeavors

In addition to his acting career, Morley co-wrote and adapted several plays for the stage. In 1947, he achieved notable success in London and New York City with the gripping family drama "Edward, My Son," which he co-wrote with Noel Langley and in which he also played the lead role of Arnold Holt.

Later Years and Legacy

Morley was the face of British Airways in television advertisements during the 1970s. He received critical acclaim and numerous awards for his role in the 1977 film "Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?" In recognition of his contributions to the arts, Morley was appointed the first King of Moomba at the Moomba festival in Melbourne, Australia. He married Joan Buckmaster in 1942, and they had three children together. Morley passed away on June 3, 1992, at the age of 84 in Reading, Berkshire, England.