top of page
  • melissaryanconner

Charles Laughton

Charles Laughton (July 1, 1899 - December 15, 1962) was an English stage and film actor. He appeared on Broadway before moving to Hollywood, where he portrayed everything from monsters to misfits to kings. He met his wife, Elsa Lanchester, on the stage and they appeared together in several films. They remained married until his death in 1962.


The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1935)

Mutiny on the Bounty (1936)

Les Miserables (1936)

Ruggles of Red Gap (1936)

Witness for the Prosecution (1958)


Robert Mitchum once stated that Charles was the best director he had ever worked for.

He gave highly successful one-man reading tours for many years, his material ranging from the Bible to Jack Kerouac's The Dharma Bums.

A highly regarded drama teacher, Charles taught several students, including Albert Finney and William Phipps. He would play Billie Holiday records for his students as an illustration of vocal inflection techniques.

Charles discovered actress Maureen O'Hara at age 18 and immediately signed her under contract as his protégée.

In a memoir written after his death, Charles' widow stated they never had children because he was homosexual. However, according to Maureen O'Hara, he once told her that not having children was his biggest regret.

Charles won an Oscar for playing King Henry VIII of England. Years later, Robert Shaw would be nominated for playing the role, making them the first pair of actors to receive an Oscar nomination for playing the same part.

Had appeared with his wife Elsa in seven films: The Private Life of Henry VIII (1934), Rembrandt (1936), The Beachcomber (1938), Tales of Manhattan (1942), Forever and a Day (1943), The Big Clock (1948) and Witness for the Prosecution (1958).

He has two roles in common with Anthony Hopkins: (1) Charles played Lieutenant William Bligh in Mutiny on the Bounty (1936) while Anthony played him in The Bounty (1984) and (2) Charles played Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939) while Anthony played him in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1982).

He became a United States citizen in 1950.

Charles based the appearance of his character in Island of Lost Souls on his dentist.

2 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page