Richard Bennett

Actor, Director, Tailor
A handsome, extravagant actor of the old school, Richard Bennett toured on stage for decades before becoming a character actor in films. The son of an itinerant preacher and sheriff, he ran away from home in his teens ... Read more »
Born: 05/21/1870 in Bennett's Switch, Indiana, USA

Filmography

Actor (2)

The Magnificent Ambersons 1942 (Movie)

Major Amberson (Actor)

Arrowsmith 1930 (Movie)

Sondelius (Actor)

Biography

A handsome, extravagant actor of the old school, Richard Bennett toured on stage for decades before becoming a character actor in films. The son of an itinerant preacher and sheriff, he ran away from home in his teens and by 1891 had hit the Chicago stage in "The Limited Mail". Witty and outspoken, with a penchant for bellowing his lines, Bennett became a star in 1905 with "The Lion and the Mouse," and went on to score great hits with "The Hypocrites" (1906), and the controversial "social disease" drama "Damaged Goods" (1912). He was reportedly so impresses with a new play by a relatively unknown writer named Eugene O'Neill that he championed the production and took on the leading role. "Beyond the Horizon" (1920), a love triangle that featured Bennett as a farm-bound dreamer with yearnings for the sea who marries his brother's intended with tragic results. The play, which was the first to awarded the Pulitzer Prize in drama, received excellent notices as did the cast. Alexander Woolcott of he New York Times (February 8, 1920) wrote "Richard Bennett gives an eloquent and finely imagined performance as the dreamer." The actor later also scored triumphs on Broadway in "He Who Gets Slapped" (1922), "They Knew What They Wanted" (1924), another Pulitzer-winning triangular drama in which he played the vineyard owner who marries a younger woman, and Maxwell Anderson's award-winning social protest drama "Winterset" (1935).

Relationships

George Bennett

Father

Barbara Bennett

Daughter
born in 1906 died in 1958

Constance Bennett

Daughter
born in October 1904 died in 1965

Joan Bennett

Daughter
born in 1910 died in 1990

Aimee Hastings

Wife
married in 1927

Grena Heller

Wife
married briefly c. 1903 divorced

Adrienne Morrison

Wife
born in 1883 divorced in 1925 died in 1940 mother of Bennett's three daughters

Milestones

1941

Portrayed Major Amberson in Orson Wells' "The Magnificent Ambersons"

1935

Final appearance on Broadway in Maxwell Anderson's "Winterset"

1934

Co-starred in "Nana", directed by Dorothy Arzner

1931

First talking picture "Five and Ten", starring Marion Davies and Leslie Howard

1931

Had featured role in "Arrowsmith"

1924

Originated the role of an older vineyard owner who marries a younger woman in "They Knew What They Wanted"

1922

Starred in Broaway production of "He Who Gets Slapped"

1920

Championed Eugene O'Neill's "Beyond the Horizon"; enjoyed stage success in

1915

Appeared with wife Adrienne Morrison and daughters in "The Valley of Decision"

1914

Film debut reprising stage role in "Damaged Goods"

1912

Had a theatrical success with the "social disease" drama "Damaged Goods"

1905

Starred in the stage hit "The Lion and the Mouse"

1891

Stage acting debut, "The Limited Mail" in Chicago

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