Henry Daniell

Henry Daniell


Also Known As
Henry Daniel
Birth Place
London, England, GB
March 05, 1894
October 30, 1963
Cause of Death
Heart Attack


Versatile, rather sharp-featured character actor of Hollywood films who was at his most memorable and convincing as debonair villains or calculating functionaries. A veteran stage actor before embarking on films at the dawn of the sound era, Daniell appeared both on the West End in his native London and on Broadway. On the big screen he frequently worked with such top directors as George...

Family & Companions

Ann Daniell
Survived him.


Versatile, rather sharp-featured character actor of Hollywood films who was at his most memorable and convincing as debonair villains or calculating functionaries. A veteran stage actor before embarking on films at the dawn of the sound era, Daniell appeared both on the West End in his native London and on Broadway. On the big screen he frequently worked with such top directors as George Cukor (for whom he made seven films), Michael Curtiz, Jules Dassin, Max Ophuls, Vincent Minnelli and Billy Wilder.

Daniell made his feature debut in the comedy "The Awful Truth" (1929) opposite Ina Claire, then went on to appear in such classics of the 1930s as "Camille" (1934), opposite Greta Garbo, under the direction of George Cukor. In this exquisitely produced and critically well-received production, Daniell was a standout as Camille's jilted lover Baron de Varville, bringing equal measures of suavity and elegance to the role. He played the villainous Lerocle in Sam Wood's remake of the melodrama "Madame X" (1937), joined the superb ensemble in Norma Shearer's triumphant "Marie Antoinette" (1938), and had supporting roles in the Katharine Hepburn-Cary Grant remake of "Holiday" (1938; again under Cukor's direction).

Charles Chaplin tapped him for a role in his satire "The Great Dictator," and Cukor used him in the next Hepburn-Grant pairing also based on a Philip Barry property "The Philadelphia Story" (both 1940). As the 1940s progressed he was cast in such memorable movies as the Errol Flynn swashbuckler "The Sea Hawk" (1940), Joan Crawford's "A Woman's Face" (1941), the political biopic "Mission to Moscow" (1943), opposite Walter Huston; "Jane Eyre" with Orson Welles and Joan Fontaine; the fine Robert Siodmak period thriller "The Suspect" (both 1944), and the Boris Karloff-Bela Lugosi horror classic "The Body Snatcher" (1945).

Daniell remained a steady character player throughout the 1950s, showing up as a caricature of a network executive in "The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit" (1955), Vincent van Gogh's father in Vincent Minnelli's acclaimed "Lust for Life" (1956), and he made a credible solicitor in Billy Wilder's courtroom drama "Witness for the Prosecution" (1957). Other notable films featuring the deliciously icy Daniell include "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" (1961), "The Chapman Report" (1962), the Marlon Brando version of "Mutiny on the Bounty" (1962) as the court martial judge, and in his final screen appearance he was cast in Cukor's "My Fair Lady" (1964).



Cast (Feature Film)

My Fair Lady (1964)
Prince of Transylvania
Five Weeks in a Balloon (1962)
Sheik Ageiba
The Notorious Landlady (1962)
Madison Avenue (1962)
Mutiny on the Bounty (1962)
Court martial judge
The Chapman Report (1962)
Dr. Jonas
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1961)
Dr. Zucco
The Comancheros (1961)
The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake (1959)
Dr. [Emil] Zurich
From the Earth to the Moon (1958)
The Sun Also Rises (1957)
Les Girls (1957)
Mister Cory (1957)
The Story of Mankind (1957)
Bishop of Beauvais
Witness for the Prosecution (1957)
Diane (1956)
Lust for Life (1956)
Theodorus Van Gogh
The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (1956)
Bill Ogden
The Prodigal (1955)
The Egyptian (1954)
Buccaneer's Girl (1950)
Captain Duval
The Secret of St. Ives (1949)
Major Edward Chevenish
Siren of Atlantis (1949)
Wake of the Red Witch (1948)
Jacques Desaix
The Exile (1947)
Col. Ingram
Song of Love (1947)
Franz Liszt
The Bandit of Sherwood Forest (1946)
The regent, William of Pembroke
Captain Kidd (1945)
King William III
Hotel Berlin (1945)
Baron Von Stetten
The Body Snatcher (1945)
Dr. Toddy MacFarlane
The Woman in Green (1945)
[Professor] Moriarity [sic]
The Suspect (1945)
Mr. [Gilbert] Simmons
Thrill of a Romance (1945)
Canadian flyer
Anchors Aweigh (1945)
This Man's Navy (1945)
Crew member
Jane Eyre (1944)
Henry Brocklehurst
Mission to Moscow (1943)
Minister von Ribbentrop
Watch on the Rhine (1943)
Phili Von Ramme
Sherlock Holmes in Washington (1943)
William Easter
Reunion in France (1942)
Emile Fleuron
Four Jacks and a Jill (1942)
The Great Impersonation (1942)
[Frederick] Seamon
Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror (1942)
[Sir] Anthony Lloyd
Nightmare (1942)
Captain [Edgar] Stafford
Castle in the Desert (1942)
Watson King [also known as Cesare Borgia]
Random Harvest (1942)
Heavy man
The Feminine Touch (1941)
Shelly Mason
The Great Dictator (1941)
A Woman's Face (1941)
Public prosecutor
Dressed to Kill (1941)
Julian Davis
The Philadelphia Story (1940)
Sidney Kidd
All This, and Heaven Too (1940)
The Sea Hawk (1940)
Lord Wolfingham
The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939)
Sir Robert Cecil
We Are Not Alone (1939)
[Sir Ronald] Dawson
Marie Antoinette (1938)
La Motte
Holiday (1938)
Seton Cram
The Thirteenth Chair (1937)
John Wales
Madame X (1937)
The Firefly (1937)
General Savary
Under Cover of Night (1937)
Marvin Griswald
The Unguarded Hour (1936)
Hugh Lewis
Camille (1936)
Baron de Varville
The Last of the Lone Wolf (1930)
Count von Rimpau
Jealousy (1929)
The Awful Truth (1929)
Norman Warriner

Cast (Special)

My Three Angels (1959)
Henri Ducotel

Life Events


Earliest US film appearances included "The Awful Truth" and "Jealousy"


First film for director George Cukor, "Camille"


Acted in the first of three Sherlock Holmes mysteries for Universal Studios (with Basil Rathbone as Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson), "Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror"


Played rare leading role in the RKO horror classic, "The Body Snatcher", opposite Boris Karloff


Gap in film work


Last film, "My Fair Lady", the last of seven films in which he was directed by George Cukor; died shortly after completing his role

Photo Collections

The Body Snatcher - Movie Poster
Here is the American One-Sheet Movie Poster from The Body Snatcher (1945). One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.


Movie Clip

Diane (1956) -- (Movie Clip) We'll Have A Fine Nest Of Italian Plotters Some MGM grandeur as the party has traveled to Marseilles, where the title character (Lana Turner) has trained the prince Henri (Roger Moore) in manners, their own passions bridled, before his wedding to Catherine de Medici (Marisa Pavan), royal staffers Tania Elg and John Lupton handling play-by-play, with several new charaters introduced, in Diane, 1956.
Feminine Touch, The (1941) -- (Movie Clip) I Adore Difficult Women At a New York literary party, Julie (Rosalind Russell) is turning heads, approached by Sidney Blackmer, Henry Daniell and Van Heflin as publisher and host Morgan, who’s considering a book about jealousy, offered by her ex-professor husband John (Don Ameche), in The Feminine Touch, 1941.
Man In The Gray Flannel Suit, The (1956) -- (Movie Clip) Strictly A Split The Difference Man The potential new P-R guy Rath (Gregory Peck) interviews with broadcast network boss Hopkins (Fredric March) and aides Walker (Arthur O'Connell) and Ogden (Henry Daniell), in Nunnally Johnson's The Man In The Gray Flannel Suit, 1956.
Captain Kidd (1945) -- (Movie Clip) Bursting With Noble Blood Appearing before King William (Henry Daniell) back in England, Charles Laughton (title character) wheedles a commission by posing as a witness to an act of piracy he himself committed, embarrassing a royal guard (Reginald Sheffeild) in the process in Captain Kidd, 1945.
Sea Hawk, The (1940) -- (Movie Clip) An Immediate Audience The monkey lost by Captain Thorpe (Errol Flynn) is explained when he arrives, secretly pleasing the Queen Elizabeth (Flora Robson) and irritating his rivals (Henry Daniell, et al) in Michael Curtiz' The Sea Hawk, 1940.
Jane Eyre (1944) -- (Movie Clip) Change In England Fake literature, Joan Fontaine as the mature title character narrating an opening that does not appear in the Charlotte Bronte novel, young Jane (Peggy Ann Garner), Mrs. Reed (Agnes Moorehead) and schoolmaster Brocklehurst (Henry Daniell) introduced, in Robert Stevenson's Jane Eyre, 1944.
Philadelphia Story, The (1941) -- (Movie Clip) I'm Not A Society Snoop First scene for James Stewart as writer Mike Connor, Ruth Hussey his colleague Liz, Cary Grant undetected as C.K. Dexter Haven, Henry Daniell as "Spy Magazine" publisher Kidd, plotting a way into Katharine Hepburn's society wedding, early in George Cukor's The Philadelphia Story, 1941.
Egyptian, The (1954) -- (Movie Clip) The God Is Coming Edmund Purdom is wannabe physician Sinuhe (title character) and Victor Mature, his frustrated warrior pal, hunting lions for sport in ancient Egypt, when they meet the possibly nutty Akhnaton (Michael Wilding), with no idea he’s the next pharoah, in the early CinemaScope The Egyptian, 1954.
Witness For The Prosecution (1957) -- (Movie Clip) A Very Handsome Motive Sir Wilfrid (Charles Laughton) grilling accused widow-murder and new client Vole (Tyrone Power), his first use of the famous monocle gimmick, when Brogan-Moore (John Williams) arrives with inconvenient news, in Billy Wilder's Witness For The Prosecution, 1957, from Agatha Christie's play.
Witness For The Prosecution (1957) -- (Movie Clip) My Egg Beater With no apparent concerns on his conscience, defendant-to-be Leonard Vole (Tyrone Power) reveals to barrister Sir Wilfrid (Charles Laughton) the beginnings of his affair with the murdered Mrs. French (Norma Varden), in Billy Wilder's Witness For The Prosecution, 1957.
Madame X (1937) -- (Movie Clip) I Was A French Lady Now in Buenos Aires, we meet Lerocle (Henry Daniell), who intervenes when the title character (Gladys George, whom we last saw fleeing New Orleans) is threatened by the proprietor (Paul Porcasi) of their hotel, in MGM's 1937 version of Madame X.
Song Of Love (1947) -- (Movie Clip) Does She Never Slow Down? From the opening, close enough to true, Clara Wieck (Katharine Hepburn) performs for King Augustus (Henry Stephenson), a composition by Liszt (Henry Daniell), her father (Leo G. Carroll) turning pages and future husband Robert Schumann (Paul Henreid) applauding, from Song Of Love, 1947.


Witness For The Prosecution - (Original Trailer) A British barrister gets caught up in a couple's tangled marital affairs when he defends the husband for murder in Witness for the Prosecution (1957).
Great Dictator, The - (Original Trailer) A Jewish barber resembles his country's anti-Semitic dictator in Charles Chaplin's The Great Dictator (1940), featuring the cinematography of Karl Struss (Telluride Film Festival honoree 1980) & Roland Totheroh.
Firefly, The - (Original Trailer) A Spanish spy (Jeanette MacDonald) masquerades as a singer to sabotage Napoleon's forces in this MGM adaptation of the Rudolf Friml operetta.
Unguarded Hour, The -- (Original Trailer) A blackmailer tries to stop a woman from revealing evidence that could save a condemned man in The Unguarded Hour (1936) starring Loretta Young.
Camille - (Re-issue Trailer) A kept woman runs off with a young admirer in search of love and happiness in Camille (1937) starring Greta Garbo.
All This, and Heaven Too - (Original Trailer) A French nobleman falls in love with his children's governess in All This and Heaven Too (1940) starring Bette Davis and Charles Boyer.
Notorious Landlady, The - (Original Trailer) Jack Lemmon, Kim Novak and Fred Astaire star in The Notorious Landlady (1962) about a diplomat who falls for a murder suspect.
Woman in Green, The - (Television Trailer) Basil Rathbone is the great detective investigating a string of mutilations in The Woman in Green (1945).
Wake of the Red Witch - (Re-issue Trailer) A captain (John Wayne) fights a Dutch shipping magnate for a treasure and the heart of a beautiful woman in Wake of the Red Witch (1948).
Madame X (1937) - (Original Trailer) MGM rather shooting the moon in this original trailer for the fourth film version of Madame X, 1937, this time starring Gladys George.
Feminine Touch, The -- (Original Trailer) Humorous poet Ogden Nash co-wrote The Feminine Touch (1941) with Don Ameche as an expert on jealousy who has his theories tested when his publisher goes after his wife.
Song of Love - (Original Trailer) Katharine Hepburn, Paul Henreid and Robert Walker star in Song of Love (1947), the true story of Clara Schumann's battle to restore her husband's health and resist the romantic overtures of Johannes Brahms.


Ann Daniell
Survived him.