Robert Donat

Actor
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 ... Read more »
Born: 03/18/1905 in Manchester, England, GB

Filmography

Actor (13)

Lease of Life 1953 (Movie)

William Thorne (Actor)

The Magic Box 1950 (Movie)

William Friese-Greene (Actor)

Goodbye, Mr. Chips 1939 (Movie)

Charles Chipping--Mr Chips (Actor)

The Citadel 1938 (Movie)

Dr Robert Manson (Actor)

The 39 Steps 1935 (Movie)

Richard Hannay (Actor)

Captain Boycott (Movie)

Charles Stewart Parnell (Actor)

Knight Without Armour (Movie)

Ainsley Fothergill (Actor)

The Adventures of Tartu (Movie)

Capt. Terence Stevenson (Actor)

The Count of Monte Cristo (Movie)

Edmond Dantes (Actor)

The Ghost Goes West (Movie)

Murdoch Glourie (Actor)

The Private Life of Henry VIII (Movie)

Thomas Culpepper (Actor)

The Winslow Boy (Movie)

Sir Robert Morton (Actor)

Vacation From Marriage (Movie)

Robert Wilson (Actor)

Biography

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.

Relationships

Ella Annesley

Wife
first wife married in 1929 divorced in 1946

Renee Asherson

Wife
married in 1953 separated c. 1956

Peter Donat

Nephew

Milestones

1958

Last film "The Inn of the Sixth Happiness"

1950

Sole film as director, producer and co-screenwriter, "The Cure for Love"

1942

Made first film on this MGM contract, "The Adventures of Tartu"

1939

Signed to non-exclusive contract by MGM after success of "The Citadel" and "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" which gave him script approval (date approximate)

1937

Almost replaced in film "Knight Without Armor" due to severe bout of asthma but co-star Marlene Dietrich insisted that production be held up until Donat recovered

1932

Screen acting debut in "Men of Tomorrow"

1930

London stage debut

1921

Stage acting debut

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