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John Davis Lodge

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Ronald Reagan

Preceded by
Carter Lane Burgess

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Robert Charles Hill

John Lodge

Richard Nixon

John Davis Lodge image2findagravecomphotos250photos200713673

Former Governor of Connecticut

October 29, 1985, New York City, New York, United States

Francesca Braggiotti (m. 1929–1985)

Lily Lodge, Beatrice Lodge de Oyarzabal

Henry Cabot Lodge Jr., Helena Lodge de Streel

The Scarlet Empress, The Little Colonel, Sarajevo, Little Women, Bulldog Drummond at Bay

Similar People
Henry Cabot Lodge Jr, Henry Cabot Lodge, Josef von Sternberg, David Butler, Max Ophuls

Succeeded by
Faith Ryan Whittlesey

Preceded by
Faith Ryan Whittlesey

Jim Corridon 8 comp

John Davis Lodge (October 20, 1903 – October 29, 1985), was an American actor turned politician. He was the 79th Governor of Connecticut from 1951 to 1955, and U.S. Ambassador to Spain, Argentina, and Switzerland. As an actor, he was often credited simply as John Lodge.


John Davis Lodge Governor John Davis Lodge Speaking at the GOP

Early life

John Davis Lodge Interstate 95 Southbound Governor John Davis Lodge Conne Flickr

Lodge was born in Washington, D.C. His father was George Cabot Lodge, a poet, through whom he was a grandson of Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, great-great grandson of Senator Elijah H. Mills, and great-great-great-grandson of Senator George Cabot. Through his mother, Mathilda Elizabeth Frelinghuysen Davis, he was a great-great grandson of Senator John Davis. He had two siblings: Henry Cabot Lodge Jr., also a politician, and Helena Lodge de Streel, a baroness. He married actress Francesca Braggiotti (1902–1998).

John Davis Lodge Interstate 95 Southbound Governor John Davis Lodge Conne Flickr

Lodge attended the Evans School for Boys in Mesa, Arizona, Middlesex School, Concord, Massachusetts, Ecole de Droit, Paris, France, and St. Albans School, Washington, D.C. In 1925, he graduated from Harvard College, where he was a member of the Fox Club. In 1929, he graduated from Harvard Law School. In 1932, he was admitted to the New York bar and commenced practice in New York City.


During the 1930s and after a brief career as a lawyer Lodge worked as an actor on screen and stage, appearing in starring roles in several notable productions, including some major Hollywood pictures.

Lodge was affiliated with the motion-picture industry and the theater from 1933 to 1942, appearing in movies such as Little Women and The Little Colonel in which he played Shirley Temple's father. He was Marlene Dietrich's co-star in The Scarlet Empress. Lodge appeared in several European-made films, in France and the United Kingdom, playing Bulldog Drummond in the 1937 film Bulldog Drummond at Bay. A fluent French speaker, he performed his roles in French in Maurice Tourneur's Koenigsmark (1935) and in Max Ophüls's De Mayerling à Sarajevo, in which he played the part of Archduke Franz Ferdinand (1940). In 1941, after returning to the United States, he appeared in several Broadway stage productions, including Lillian Hellman's Watch on the Rhine.


He served with the United States Navy as a lieutenant and lieutenant commander August 1942 to January 1946 and was a liaison officer between the French and American fleets. He was decorated with the rank of Chevalier in the French Legion of Honor and with the Croix de Guerre with palm by General Charles de Gaulle. After the war he engaged in research work in economics. He retired from the United States Navy Reserve in 1966 with the rank of Captain.


He was elected as a Republican from Connecticut's 4th congressional district to the 80th and 81st Congresses, serving from January 3, 1947 to January 3, 1951. He was not a candidate for renomination in 1950. He was elected Governor of Connecticut, serving from January 1951 to January 1955 and was unsuccessful for reelection in 1954. He was a delegate to the Republican National Convention from Connecticut in 1952 and 1960.

Local legend is that the proximate cause of Lodge's defeat in 1954 to Abraham Ribicoff was disenchantment on the part of Fairfield County Republicans with the disruption caused by the construction of the Connecticut Turnpike. Ironically, the highway is now named after the former Governor.

Lodge then served as United States Ambassador to Spain from January 1955 until January 1961. He was National president, Junior Achievement, Inc., 1963–1964. He was an unsuccessful candidate for U.S. Senator from Connecticut in 1964. He was chairman, Committee Foreign Policy Research Institute, University of Pennsylvania, 1964–1969; delegate and assistant floor leader, Connecticut Constitutional Convention, in 1965; United States Ambassador to Argentina, 1969 to 1974; United States Ambassador to Switzerland, 1983.

Personal life

He was married July 6, 1929, to actress and ballet dancer, Francesca Braggiotti; both of them appearing in the 1938 film Tonight at Eleven. They had two daughters, Lily and Beatrice. Lily Lodge is the Director of the Actors Conservatory. He was a resident of Westport, Connecticut until his death in New York City. He was interred in Arlington National Cemetery. Two months after his death, the Connecticut Turnpike was renamed the Gov. John Davis Lodge Turnpike in his honor.

Selected filmography

  • The Woman Accused (1933)
  • Little Women (1933)
  • The Scarlet Empress (1934)
  • The Little Colonel (1935)
  • Koenigsmark (1935)
  • The Tenth Man (1936)
  • Ourselves Alone (1936)
  • Sensation (1936)
  • Bulldog Drummond at Bay (1937)
  • Premiere (1938)
  • Queer Cargo (1938)
  • Bank Holiday (1938)
  • Lightning Conductor (1938)
  • Just like a Woman (1939)
  • Sarajevo (1940)
  • Published works

  • Lodge, John Davis (1962). "The Iberian Peninsula and Western Europe". Journal of International Affairs. 16 (N.1): 77–78. JSTOR 24363099. 
  • References

    John Davis Lodge Wikipedia