A portly, but versatile actor, Charles Laughton became an international star in his native England before coming to America where he became one of Hollywood's most popular and respected performers. Laughton made his New York stage debut in "Payment Deferred" (1931) and soon after won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his scene-chewing performance in "The Private Life of Henry VIII" (1933). Two years later, he delivered one of his most iconic roles, playing the cruel Captain Bligh in the excellent "Mutiny on the Bounty" (1935), and was brilliant as the deformed Quasimodo in "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" (1939). After running afoul of Alfred Hitchcock in "Jamaica Inn" (1939), Laughton dazzled in a variety of roles in films like "The Canterville Ghost" (1944), "Captain Kidd" (1945), "The Big Clock" (1948) and "The Man on the Eiffel Tower" (1949). He reprised Captain Kidd for "Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd" (1952) and King Henry VIII for "Young Bess" (1953), before making his one and only film as a director, "The Night of the Hunter" (1955), which was dismissed by critics at the time but was later deemed a masterpiece. Laughton continued to deliver great performances in films like "Witness for the Prosecution" (1957), "Spartacus" (1960) and "Advise and Consent" (1962), but a long battle with kidney cancer slowed him down and ultimately took his life. For three decades, Laughton was a gifted performer who maintained a high level of popularity matched by few character actors of any era.