A tall, handsome, blue-eyed blond leading man of the early 1930s, Phillips Holmes hailed from a famed theatrical family. While still a a student at Princeton, he made his feature acting debut at age 19 in "Varsity" (1928) and went on to appear in several films (including Dorothy Arzner's "The Wild Party" 1929). Holmes had perhaps his best role as the protagonist Clyde Griffiths in Josef von Sternberg's adaptation of "An American Tragedy" (1931). He also delivered strong turns as a guilt-ridden soldier in Ernst Lubitsch's "Broken Lullaby/The Man I Killed" (1932) and Arzner's "Nana" (1934). His career quickly fizzled, though, and by the mid-1930s he was reduced to playing small parts. Retiring in the late 30s after a handful of undistinguished British films (i.e., "The Divine Spark" 1935), Holmes joined the Royal Canadian Flying Corps when WWII broke out and died in a 1942 plane accident.