Donald Crisp

Actor, Director, Assistant director
British born Donald Crisp became one of cinema's most reliable and beloved character actors, but few moviegoers who enjoyed his work were likely aware of just how far reaching and involved his career really was. Crisp ... Read more »
Born: 07/27/1882 in London, England, GB

Filmography

Actor (36)

Spencer's Mountain 1963 (Movie)

Grandpa Spencer (Actor)

Pollyanna 1960 (Movie)

Mayor Karl Warren (Actor)

A Dog of Flanders 1958 (Movie)

Daas (Actor)

Saddle the Wind 1958 (Movie)

Mr Deneen (Actor)

The Last Hurrah 1958 (Movie)

Cardinal (Actor)

Drango 1956 (Movie)

Allen (Actor)

The Long Gray Line 1955 (Movie)

Old Martin (Actor)

The Man From Laramie 1955 (Movie)

Alec Waggoman (Actor)

Prince Valiant 1954 (Movie)

King Aguar (Actor)

Home Town Story 1951 (Movie)

(Actor)

Hills of Home 1948 (Movie)

(Actor)

National Velvet 1944 (Movie)

Mr Brown (Actor)

The Adventures of Mark Twain 1944 (Movie)

(Actor)

How Green Was My Valley 1941 (Movie)

Mr. Morgan (Actor)

City For Conquest 1940 (Movie)

Scotty McPherson (Actor)

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 1940 (Movie)

(Actor)

Brother Orchid 1939 (Movie)

(Actor)

Juarez 1939 (Movie)

Marechal Bazaine (Actor)

Knute Rockne - All American 1939 (Movie)

Father John Callahan (Actor)

Wuthering Heights 1939 (Movie)

Dr Kenneth (Actor)

Sergeant Murphy 1938 (Movie)

Colonel Carruthers (Actor)

The Oklahoma Kid 1938 (Movie)

Judge Hardwick (Actor)

Jezebel 1937 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse 1937 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Great O'Malley 1936 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Life of Emile Zola 1936 (Movie)

Maitre Labori (Actor)

A Woman Rebels 1935 (Movie)

(Actor)

Mary of Scotland 1935 (Movie)

(Actor)

Mutiny on the Bounty 1935 (Movie)

Burkitt (Actor)

The Charge of the Light Brigade 1935 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Little Minister 1933 (Movie)

(Actor)

Red Dust 1931 (Movie)

Guidon (Actor)

The Black Pirate 1925 (Movie)

(Actor)

Broken Blossoms 1919 (Movie)

(Actor)

Birth of a Nation 1915 (Movie)

(Actor)
Director (1)

The Cop 1927 (Movie)

(Director)

Biography

British born Donald Crisp became one of cinema's most reliable and beloved character actors, but few moviegoers who enjoyed his work were likely aware of just how far reaching and involved his career really was. Crisp really hit his stride in the 1930s when he became one of Warner Brothers' most prized contract players, but he had actually already been in the entertainment business for 30 years by that point. After starting off as an opera singer on the East Coast, Crisp journeyed to California and in association with D.W. Griffith, became a seasoned actor and director in the early days of silent features. He also went on to be a key figure in the world of motion picture financing, but continued to accept movie assignments out of his love for performing. The enthusiasm and considerable skill with which he conveyed both dramatic nuance and broad farce kept him of interest to the studios and Crisp enlivened such classics as "Mutiny on the Bounty" (1935) and "The Charge of the Light Brigade" (1936). In the 1940s, he was an Oscar winner for "How Green Was My Valley" (1942) and provided fine support in such MGM classics as "Lassie Come Home" (1943) and "National Velvet" (1944). Over a career that spanned more than 50 years, Crisp proved to be a venerable performer and, with his wide-ranging background in front of the camera and behind the scenes, was one of the true renaissance men of Golden Age Hollywood.

Relationships

James Crisp

Father

Elizabeth Crisp

Mother

Eliza Matilda Crisp

Sister

Marie Crisp

Wife
divorced

Jane Murfin

Wife
married in 1932 divorced in 1944 died in 1957 known for stories about a dog named Strongheart

EDUCATION

Eton College

University of Oxford

Oxford , England

Milestones

1914

Film directing debut, "Her Father's Silent Partner"

1910

Screen acting debut in D.W. Griffith's "Sunshine Sue"

1908

Began making one-reelers with Biograph studios in NY area

1906

Stage acting debut

1906

Moved to the USA

1899

Fought in the Boer War as a volunteer

Toured with minor-league opera companies and served as stage director in New York with Cohan & Harris before entering film

Bonus Trivia

.

For most of his career, Crisp was perceived as Scottish. When the town of Aberfeldy in Scotland dedicated a plaque to him in 1996, a local librarian named Lorna Mitchell did some research and discovered that Crisp had been born not in Aberfeldy but in Bow, a Cockney section of London's East End.

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