Family & Companions
A veteran of the English stage, actor Henry Travers came to Hollywood in the early 1930s and is best known as Clarence the guardian angel from Frank Capra's classic film "It's a Wonderful Life." The relaxed demeanor and bemused whimsy of Travers's angel, who hopes to earn his wings by helping a depressed and suicidal James Stewart to find the true worth of being alive, helped make the film a beloved holiday favorite. That approach to the role was not relegated only to Capra's film; many of Travers's performances are similar in tone, though serious drama was not outside of his reach. Some of his finest acting can be seen in the William Wyler drama "Mrs. Miniver," playing the postman Mr. Ballard, for which he received his only Oscar nomination. Travers also starred in the Errol Flynn Western "Dodge City," as Doc Irving; Alfred Hitchcock's thriller "Shadow of a Doubt," playing Teresa Wright's mystery story-obsessed father; and the drama "The Bells of St. Mary's," as businessman Horace P. Bogardus. Travers died from artery disease at age 91.