One of Britain's biggest stars from the Golden Age of movies, handsome Manchester native Robert Donat established himself as a formidable stage performer via one of Britain's leading Shakespearean companies and made a splash in "The Private Life of Henry VIII" (1933), which also proved to be a major success abroad. A well-respected star in his homeland, Donat also built a following in America, but in the wake of "The Count of Monte Cristo" (1934), he opted to work only in England, which allowed him to continue appearing on the London stage. In between those engagements, he graced some of England's best films of the 1930s, including Alfred Hitchcock's "The 39 Steps" (1935), "Knight Without Armour" (1937), "The Citadel" (1938) and "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" (1939), which earned him a well-deserved Academy Award for Best Actor. Unfortunately, chronic asthma hindered Donat for much of his life, forcing him to take long periods of convalescence; by the time he appeared in "The Inn of the Sixth Happiness" (1958), he was forced to have an oxygen cylinder nearby at all times. Although poor health curtailed his career and forced Donat to turn down a number of potentially interesting roles, he managed to achieve a degree of respect and popularity with British audiences that matched such formidable contemporaries as Laurence Olivier.