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Henry Watterson Hull
October 3, 1890
Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
|Died||March 8, 1977 (aged 86)|
Cornwall, England, UK.
Juliet van Wyck Fremont
(m. 1913; died 1971)
Henry Watterson Hull (October 3, 1890 – March 8, 1977) was an American character actor perhaps best known for playing the lead in Universal Pictures's Werewolf of London (1935). For most of his career he was a lead actor on stage and a character actor on screen.
Hull was born in Louisville, Kentucky, the youngest of four children born to William Madison Hull, a theater manager and his wife, Elinor Bond Vaughn. He was named for his godfather, Pulitzer Prize-winning Louisville journalist Henry Watterson.
William Hull had been a drama critic in Louisville, and became a press agent for David Belasco after the family moved to New York City in 1902. Hull attended DeWitt Clinton High School and The High School of Commerce. Hull studied engineering at Columbia and was graduated from Cooper Union. In 1910 the family later settled in Barkhamsted, Connecticut.
Impressed by his brother Shelly's acting career, in 1912 Henry joined the Greek Repertory Company run by his sister-in-law, Margaret Anglin, who was married to his brother Howard. Anglin's touring company specialized in productions of Greek tragedies. In 1913, he returned to New York to appear on Broadway in John Frederick Ballard's Believe Me, Xantippe with John Barrymore.
Early in his career, Hull appeared frequently on Broadway. In 1916, Hull and his wife, Juliet Fremont, appeared in The Man Who Came Back at the Playhouse Theatre. The play was very successful and ran for more than a year. In 1919 he was at the Broadhurst Theatre in 39 East with Tallulah Bankhead.
Hull created the role of Jeeter Lester in the long-running play Tobacco Road (1933), based on the novel by Erskine Caldwell. In 1956, Hull toured in a one-man show, doing readings from the works of Mark Twain, whom Hull had met when Twain was in Louisville visiting Henry Watterson.
Hull appeared in 74 films between 1917 and 1966, often playing supporting characters like the uncle of Tyrone Power's love interest Nancy Kelly in Jesse James (1939). He appeared as Charles Rittenhouse, a wealthy industrialist in Alfred Hitchcock's Lifeboat (1944). Other notable roles were as Abel Magwitch in the 1934 version of Great Expectations and in the last film of director Tod Browning, Miracles for Sale (1939). He starred in Werewolf of London in 1935.
Hull memorably portrayed a doctor whom Humphrey Bogart goes to for help in High Sierra, and was also cast in Colorado Territory, a western remake of the High Sierra story that starred Joel McCrea. He played a desert prospector who comes to Robert Ryan's rescue in Inferno in 1953.
He guest starred on CBS's Appointment with Adventure, John Payne's NBC western series, The Restless Gun, and the syndicated crime drama, U.S. Marshal. In 1958, he was featured in Robert Culp's western series, Trackdown as "Moss" in episode "Three Legged Fox".
In 1960, Hull appeared on Bonanza twice: in the episode "The Gunmen" as Sheriff B. Banneman and he portrayed a scout for General John Charles Fremont (who, in real life, was the grandfather of Hull's wife) in the episode "The Mission".
On December 13, 1960, Hull guest-starred on NBC's Laramie as an embittered rancher, Ben Parkinson, who challenges Slim Sherman, played by series star John Smith, to a duel after Parkinson's youngest son accidentally kills himself on Sherman ranch land. Ron Harper portrays Parkinson's other son, Tom.
Hull also guest-starred in the series finale of Laramie, the episode "The Road to Helena" (May 21, 1963). Series character Slim Sherman, while in Cody, Wyoming, is hired by David Franklin, played by Hull, and his barmaid daughter, Ruth, portrayed by Maggie Pierce, to guide the pair to Helena, Montana, so that Franklin can return money that he had previously stolen. John M. Pickard also appears in this episode.
Hull was married to Juliet Van Wyck Fremont from 1913 until her death in 1971. She was a granddaughter of Civil War general and explorer John C. Frémont and Jessie Ann Benton, the daughter of Missouri Senator Thomas Hart Benton. The couple had three children, Henry Jr., Shelley, (named after Henry's late brother) and Joan. When his wife died in 1971, Hull went to Britain to spend his last years with his daughter. He died in Cornwall at his daughter's residence on March 8, 1977.
Hull had two brothers who were also actors. Howard, the eldest, was married, until his death in 1937, to stage star Margaret Anglin. Henry Hull was quoted as saying he owed all his dramatic training to Anglin, with whom he had acted on stage. The middle brother, Shelley Hull, was a popular leading man who costarred in Why Marry?, the first play to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. He fell ill during the run of his biggest hit--the WWI play "Under Orders"--and died of influenza at 34 on January 14, 1919, during the Spanish influenza epidemic. Shelley's widow, Josephine Hull (1877-1957), was a successful stage performer throughout her long life and became an Oscar-winning character actress.
- A Square Deal (1917) as Mark Dunbar
- The Family Honor (1917) as Anthony Wayne
- Rasputin, the Black Monk (1917) as Kerersky
- The Volunteer (1917) as Jonathan Mendenhall
- Little Women (1918) as John Brooke
- One Exciting Night (1922) as John Fairfax
- The Last Moment (1923) as Hercules Napolean Cameron
- A Bride for a Knight (1923) as Jimmy Poe
- Roulette (1924) as Jimmy Moore
- The Hoosier Schoolmaster (1924) as Ralph Hartsook
- For Woman's Favor (1924) as The Fool / The Lover
- Wasted Lives (1925)
- The Wrongdoers (1925) as Jimmy Nolan
- Midnight (1934) as Nolan
- Great Expectations (1934) as Abel Magwitch
- Transient Lady (1935) as Sen. Hamp Baxter
- Werewolf of London (1935) as Dr. Glendon
- Paradise for Three (1938) as Sepp
- Yellow Jack (1938) as Dr. Jesse Lazear
- Three Comrades (1938) as Dr. Becker
- Port of Seven Seas (1938) as Uncle Elzear (uncredited)
- Boys Town (1938) as Dave Morris
- The Great Waltz (1938) as Franz Josef
- Jesse James (1939) as Major Rufus Cobb
- The Spirit of Culver (1939) as Doc Allen
- Return of the Cisco Kid (1939) as Colonel Joshua Bixby
- Stanley and Livingstone (1939) as James Gordon
- Miracles for Sale (1939) as Dave Duvallo
- Babes in Arms (1939) as Madox
- Bad Little Angel (1939) as Red Wilks
- Nick Carter, Master Detective (1939) as John A. Keller
- Judge Hardy and Son (1939) as Dr. Jones
- My Son, My Son! (1940) as Dermot O'Riordan
- The Return of Frank James (1940) as Major Rufus Cobb
- High Sierra (1941) as Doc Banton
- The West Side Kid (1943) as Sam Winston
- Seeds of Freedom (1943) as Guerilla Leader
- The Woman of the Town (1943) as Inky Wilkenson
- Lifeboat (1944) as Charles J. Rittenhouse
- Goodnight Sweetheart (1944) as Jeff Parker
- Objective, Burma! (1945) as Mark Williams
- High Barbaree (1947) as Dr. William G. Brooke
- Deep Valley (1947) as Cliff Saul
- Mourning Becomes Electra (1947) as Seth Beckwick
- On Our Merry Way (1948) as Dying Man (deleted sequence) (uncredited)
- Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay! (1948) as Milt Dominy
- The Walls of Jericho (1948) as Jefferson Norman
- Belle Starr's Daughter (1948) as Old Marshall (uncredited)
- Fighter Squadron (1948) as Brig. Gen. Mike McCready
- Portrait of Jennie (1948) as Eke
- El Paso (1949) as Judge Henry Jeffers
- Rimfire (1949) as Nathaniel Greeley
- Colorado Territory (1949) as Fred Winslow
- The Fountainhead (1949) as Henry Cameron
- The Great Gatsby (1949) as Dan Cody
- The Great Dan Patch (1949) as Dan Palmer
- Song of Surrender (1949) as Deacon Parry
- The Return of Jesse James (1950) as Hank Younger
- Hollywood Story (1951) as Vincent St. Clair
- The Treasure of Lost Canyon (1952) as Cousin Lucas Cooke
- The Last Posse (1953) as Ollie Stokley
- Inferno (1953) as Sam Elby
- Thunder Over the Plains (1953) as Lt. Col. Chandler
- Kentucky Rifle (1955) as Preacher Bently
- Man with the Gun (1955) as Marshal Lee Sims
- The Buckskin Lady (1957) as Doc Morley
- The Proud Rebel (1958) as Judge Morley
- The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw (1958) as Masters
- The Buccaneer (1958) as Ezra Peavey
- The Oregon Trail (1959) as George Seton
- Master of the World (1961) as Prudent
- The Fool Killer (1965) as Dirty Jim Jelliman
- The Chase (1966) as Briggs (final film role)
- "Henry Hull", Turner Classic Movies
- "Henry Hull, 87, Star of Stage and Screen", The New York Times, March 9, 1977
- Curland, Richard (January 16, 2016). "HISTORICALLY SPEAKING: Character actor Henry Hull had long, successful career". The Bulletin. Gannett News Service. Archived from the original on August 18, 2020. Retrieved August 18, 2020.
- Daniel Blum (c. 1952). "Profile #110". GREAT STARS OF THE AMERICAN STAGE.
- Dennis, Ken. "Henry Hull: That Wonderful slice of ham", Films of the Golden Age, No.87, Winter 2016/17
- "The Man Who Came Back", IBDB
- "Henry Hull", IBDB
- Parsons, Louella (December 31, 1922). "In And Out of Focus: "The Boy is Grown Up"". New York: The Morning Telegraph. Retrieved 2012-08-26.
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