James Mason

Actor, Screenwriter, Producer
Gifted with one of the most mellifluous and distinctive voices of his era, James Mason managed to convey volumes of emotion while often remaining surprisingly understated. Following some stage experience and roles in ... Read more »
Born: 05/14/1909 in Yorkshire, England, GB

Filmography

Actor (103)

Unknown Chaplin 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Narrator

A.D. 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

The Assisi Underground 1985 (Movie)

Bishop Nicolini (Actor)

George Washington 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

The Shooting Party 1983 (Movie)

Sir Randolph Nettleby (Actor)

Yellowbeard 1983 (Movie)

Captain Hughes (Actor)

Alexandre 1982 (Movie)

The Father (Actor)

Evil Under the Sun 1982 (Movie)

Odell Gardener (Actor)

Ivanhoe 1981 - 1982 (TV Show)

Actor

The Verdict 1982 (Movie)

Ed Concannon (Actor)

A Dangerous Summer 1981 (Movie)

Ingles (Actor)

Hollywood 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Narrator

ffolkes 1980 (Movie)

Admiral Sir Francis Brinsden (Actor)

Bloodline 1979 (Movie)

Sir Alec Nichols (Actor)

Murder By Decree 1979 (Movie)

Dr Watson (Actor)

The Passage 1979 (Movie)

Professor John Bergson (Actor)

Heaven Can Wait 1978 (Movie)

Mr Jordan (Actor)

The Boys From Brazil 1978 (Movie)

Eduard Seibert (Actor)

The Water Babies 1978 (Movie)

Grimes (Actor)

Cross of Iron 1977 (Movie)

Colonel Brandt (Actor)

Homage to Chagall - The Colours of Love 1976 (Movie)

Narration(English) (Narrator)

Inside Out 1976 (Movie)

Ernst Furben (Actor)

Voyage of the Damned 1976 (Movie)

Dr Juan Remos--Cuban Minister of State (Actor)

Great Expectations 1974 - 1975 (TV Show)

Actor

Mandingo 1975 (Movie)

Maxwell (Actor)

Paura in citta 1975 (Movie)

Prosecutor (Actor)

People of the Wind 1975 (Movie)

Narration (Narrator)

11 Harrowhouse 1974 (Movie)

Watts (Actor)

Autobiography of a Princess 1974 (Movie)

Cyril Sahib (Actor)

Frankenstein: The True Story 1973 - 1974 (TV Show)

Actor

Gente di rispetto 1974 (Movie)

Avv. Antonio Bellocampo (Actor)

La Citta sconvolta - caccia spietato ai rapitori 1974 (Movie)

Filippini (Actor)

The Destructors 1973 (Movie)

Brizard (Actor)

Child's Play 1972 (Movie)

Jerome Malley (Actor)

Search For the Nile 1971 - 1972 (TV Show)

Narrator

The Last of Sheila 1972 (Movie)

Philip (Actor)

The Mackintosh Man 1972 (Movie)

Sir George Wheeler (Actor)

The Plot to Murder Hitler 1971 - 1972 (TV Show)

Actor

Bad Man's River 1971 (Movie)

Francisco Paco Montero (Actor)

Age of Consent 1970 (Movie)

Bradley Morahan (Actor)

De la Part des Copains 1970 (Movie)

Ross (Actor)

Kill 1970 (Movie)

Alan (Actor)

Spring and Port Wine 1969 (Movie)

Rafe Crompton (Actor)

Duffy 1968 (Movie)

Calvert (Actor)

Mayerling 1968 (Movie)

Emperor Franz Josef (Actor)

The Sea Gull 1968 (Movie)

Trigorin (Actor)

The Deadly Affair 1967 (Movie)

Charles Dobbs (Actor)

Georgy Girl 1966 (Movie)

James (Actor)

The Blue Max 1966 (Movie)

Count Von Klugermann (Actor)

Genghis Khan 1965 (Movie)

Kam Ling (Actor)

Lord Jim 1965 (Movie)

Gentleman Brown (Actor)

The Pumpkin Eater 1964 (Movie)

Bob Conway (Actor)

The Fall of the Roman Empire 1963 (Movie)

Timonides (Actor)

Escape From Zahrain 1962 (Movie)

Johnson (Actor)

Tiara Tahiti 1962 (Movie)

Brett Almsley (Actor)

Hero's Island 1961 (Movie)

Jacob Webber (Actor)

Lolita 1961 (Movie)

Humbert Humbert (Actor)

Alcoa/Goodyear Theater 1958 - 1960 (TV Show)

Actor

Playhouse 90 1956 - 1960 (TV Show)

Actor

The Lux Video Theater 1950 - 1960 (TV Show)

Actor

The Marriage-Go-Round 1960 (Movie)

Paul (Actor)

A Touch of Larceny 1959 (Movie)

Commander Max Easton (Actor)

Journey to the Center of the Earth 1959 (Movie)

Professor Oliver Lindenbrook (Actor)

North By Northwest 1959 (Movie)

Phillip Vandamm (Actor)

Schlitz Playhouse of Stars 1951 - 1959 (TV Show)

Actor

The Trials of Oscar Wilde 1959 (Movie)

Edward Carson (Actor)

Cry Terror! 1958 (Movie)

Jim Molner (Actor)

Island in the Sun 1957 (Movie)

Maxwell Fleury (Actor)

Bigger Than Life 1956 (Movie)

Ed Avery (Actor)

Forever, Darling 1956 (Movie)

Guardian Angel (Actor)

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea 1954 (Movie)

Captain Nemo (Actor)

A Star Is Born 1954 (Movie)

Norman Maine (Actor)

Prince Valiant 1954 (Movie)

Sir Brack (Actor)

Botany Bay 1953 (Movie)

Captain Gilbert (Actor)

Julius Caesar 1953 (Movie)

Brutus (Actor)

The Desert Rats 1953 (Movie)

Rommel (Actor)

The Man Between 1953 (Movie)

Ivo (Actor)

Face to Face 1952 (Movie)

("The Secret Sharer") (Actor)

Five Fingers 1952 (Movie)

Ulysses Diello (Actor)

The Prisoner of Zenda 1952 (Movie)

Rupert of Hentzau (Actor)

The Story of Three Loves 1952 (Movie)

("The Jealous Lover") (Actor)

Pandora and the Flying Dutchman 1951 (Movie)

Hendrick Van Der Zee (Actor)

Caught 1949 (Movie)

Larry Quinada (Actor)

Odd Man Out 1946 (Movie)

Johnny (Actor)

The Seventh Veil 1945 (Movie)

Nicholas (Actor)

The Wicked Lady 1945 (Movie)

Captain Jerry Jackson (Actor)

The Man in Gray 1943 (Movie)

Lord Rohan (Actor)

Secret Mission 1941 (Movie)

Raoul de Carnot (Actor)

Doctor Fischer of Geneva (TV Show)

Actor

Fire Over England (Movie)

Hillary Vane (Actor)

Hatter's Castle (Movie)

Dr. Renwick (Actor)

In Old Monterey (Movie)

mine henchman (Actor)

Ivanhoe (Movie)

Isaac of York (Actor)

Jesus of Nazareth (TV Show)

Actor

Lady Possessed (Movie)

Del Palma (Actor)

Madame Bovary (Movie)

Gustave Flaubert (Actor)

Origins of the Mafia (TV Show)

Actor

Salem's Lot (TV Show)

Actor

The Desert Fox (Movie)

Erwin Rommel (Actor)

The Night Has Eyes (Movie)

Stephen Deremid (Actor)

The Reckless Moment (Movie)

Martin Donnelly (Actor)

The Secret of Stamboul (Movie)

Larry (Actor)
Producer (3)

Hero's Island 1961 (Movie)

(Producer)

Bigger Than Life 1956 (Movie)

(Producer)

Lady Possessed (Movie)

(Producer)
Writer (1)

Lady Possessed (Movie)

(Screenwriter)

Biography

Gifted with one of the most mellifluous and distinctive voices of his era, James Mason managed to convey volumes of emotion while often remaining surprisingly understated. Following some stage experience and roles in British B-pictures, Mason became a star in his homeland via films like "The Man in Grey" (1943), "The Wicked Lady" (1945), and "Odd Man Out" (1947) and was eventually lured to Hollywood. His performances in "The Desert Fox: The Story of Rommel" (1951), "A Star is Born" (1954), "North by Northwest" (1959), and "Lolita" (1962) ranked amongst his very finest, though like a number of distinguished British ex-pats from that era, financial necessity and a staunch work ethic sometimes landed Mason in truly awful tripe like "Mandingo" (1975). Fortunately, such embarrassments were almost always followed in close succession by worthy projects like "Heaven Can Wait" (1978), "Murder by Decree" (1979), and "The Verdict" (1982) that made excellent use of attributes that had long endeared Mason to audiences worldwide. Mason's gruff, yet also uniquely velvety voice and cultured demeanor made him perfect to play aristocratic characters of both good and evil intent and his ability to add power or biting humor to even the most inane dialogue helped raise mediocre projects to the level of watchable. Although he sometimes proved more difficult to cast than other leading men, Mason's uniqueness and versatility were his greatest assets and served him well throughout his career, particularly when he aged into being one of the finest character players in cinema.

Relationships

Mabel Mason

Mother

Clarissa Kaye

Wife
Married August 13, 1971 until his death 1984

Pamela Kellino

Wife
Born 1916; daughter of producer Maurice Ostrer; formerly married to director Roy Kellino, with whom Pamela and Mason had formed Gamma Productions in 1938 died on June 29, 1996 at the age of 80

Morgan Mason Producer

Son
Born 1949 father James Mason was an executive producer of "sex, lies and videotape" (1989) married to pop singer Belinda Carlisle (formerly of the all-female band The Go-Gos)

John Mason

Father

Portland Mason

Daughter
born 1948

EDUCATION

Peterhouse College, University of Cambridge

1931
began as Classics major, then switched to architecture; acted in university productions

Marlborough College

Wiltshire

The Old College

Milestones

1993

Career celebrated in a retrospective held at Lincoln Center's Walter Reade Theater in New York City

1984

Made last film, "The Assisi Underground" (released in 1985)

1962

Moved to Vevey, Switzerland

1953

US TV debut on series, "Omnibus"

1951

First Portland film, "Lady Possessed" (also co-writer; producer); based on novel by Pamela Kellino and co-directed by William Spier and Roy Kellino)

1951

Formed Portland Pictures production company

1948

First American film, "Caught", directed by Max Ophuls

1947

Broadway debut in "Bathsheba"

1946

Moved to USA; unsuccessful attempt to form production company with David Rose

1939

First film as co-screenwriter and producer (also actor and first Gamma production), "I Met a Murderer" (dir. Roy Kellino)

1938

Formed Gamma Productions with Roy and Pamela Kellino

1936

Under contract to Fox-British

1935

Under contract to agent-director Albert Parker; film debut in Parker's "Late Extra"

1933

Performed with Old Vic for season

1933

West End debut in "Gallows Glorious"

1931

Stage debut in touring production of "Rasputin the Rascal Monk" at Aldershot Hippodrome

Was conscientious objector during WWII

Performed with Dublin's Gate Theater for season

Hosted TV anthology series, "Lux Video Theater"

Upon graduation briefly worked as architect before trying hand at acting

Bonus Trivia

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Mason is not to be confused with American actor James Mason (1890-1959), who was busy in American silent film but whose career declined with the advent of talking pictures.

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