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Stewart Granger

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Other names  Jimmy Stewart
Role  Film actor
Name  Stewart Granger
Years active  1933–89
Occupation  Actor

Stewart Granger grangerstewart03jpg

Full Name  James Lablache Stewart
Born  6 May 1913 (1913-05-06) Kensington, London, England
Died  August 16, 1993, Santa Monica, California, United States
Spouse  Caroline LeCerf (m. 1964–1969), Jean Simmons (m. 1950–1960), Elspeth March (m. 1938–1948)
Children  Tracy Granger, Samantha Granger, Jamie Granger, Lindsey Granger
Parents  Frederica Eliza Stewart, James Stewart
Movies  Scaramouche, King Solomon's Mines, The Prisoner of Zenda, North to Alaska, Moonfleet
Similar People  Jean Simmons, Deborah Kerr, Richard Brooks, Robert Taylor, Tracy Granger

Movie legends stewart granger

Stewart Granger (born James Lablache Stewart; 6 May 1913 – 16 August 1993) was an English film actor, mainly associated with heroic and romantic leading roles. He was a popular leading man from the 1940s to the early 1960s, rising to fame through his appearances in the Gainsborough melodramas.


Stewart Granger Pictures amp Photos of Stewart Granger IMDb

Stewart granger interview afternoon plus 1981

Early life

Stewart Granger Quotes by Stewart Granger Like Success

He was born James Lablache Stewart in Old Brompton Road, Kensington, West London, the only son of Major James Stewart, OBE and his wife Frederica Eliza (née Lablache). Granger was educated at Epsom College and the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. He was the great-great-grandson of the opera singer Luigi Lablache and the grandson of the actor Luigi Lablache. When he became an actor, he was advised to change his name in order to avoid being confused with the American actor James Stewart. (Granger was his Scottish grandmother's maiden name.) Offscreen friends and colleagues continued to call him Jimmy for the rest of his life, but to the general public he became Stewart Granger.

Extra and Theatre Work 1933-40

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Granger made his film debut as an extra in 1933, starting with The Song You Gave Me (1933). He can also be glimpsed in Give Her a Ring (1933), Over the Garden Wall (1934), and A Southern Maid (1934). It was at this time that he met Michael Wilding and they remained friends until Wilding's death in 1979.

Stewart Granger Stewart Granger Photos Gallery 2

Years of theatre work followed, initially at Hull Repertory Theatre and then, after a pay dispute, at Birmingham Repertory Theatre. Here he met Elspeth March, a leading actress with the company, who became his first wife. His productions at Birmingham included The Courageous Sex and Victoria, Queen and Empress; he also acted at the Malvern Festival in The Millonairess and The Apple Cart and was in the film Under Secret Orders (1937).

Stewart Granger Celebrities lists image Stewart Granger Celebs Lists

Granger began to get work on stage in London. He appeared in The Sun Never Sets (1938) at the Drury Lane Theatre and in Serena Blandish (1938) opposite Vivien Leigh.

Stewart Granger Stewart GrangerAnnex

At the Buxton Festival, he played Tybalt in a production of Romeo and Juliet opposite Robert Donat and Constance Cummings. He also acted opposite them both in The Good Natured Man. In London he was in Autumn with Flora Robson and The House in the Square (1940).

Granger had small roles in the film So This Is London (1939) and Convoy (1949).

War Service and After 1940-43

At the outbreak of World War II Granger enlisted in the Gordon Highlanders, then transferred to the Black Watch with the rank of second lieutenant. However he suffered from stomach ulcers and he was invalided out of the army in 1942.

Granger had a small role in a war film Secret Mission (1942) and a bigger one in a comedy Thursday's Child (1943). He was in a stage production of Rebecca when he was asked to audition for the film that turned him into a star. Granger had been recommended by Donat, who most recently worked with Granger on stage in To Dream Again.

Stardom: Gainsborough melodramas 1943-46

Granger's first starring film role was as the acid-tongued Rokeby in the Gainsborough Pictures period melodrama, The Man in Grey (1943), a film that helped to make him and his three co-stars - James Mason, Phyllis Calvert and Margaret Lockwood - into box office names in the Britain.

Granger followed it with The Lamp Still Burns (1943) playing the love interest of nurse Rosamund Johns. More popular was another for Gainsborough Pictures, Fanny by Gaslight (1944), which reunited him with Calvert and Mason, and added Jean Kent. The New York Times reported that Granger "is a young man worth watching. The customers... like his dark looks and his dash; he puts them in mind, they say of Cary Grant." It was the second most popular film at the British box office in 1944.

Another hit was Love Story (1944) where he plays a blind pilot who falls in love with terminally ill Margaret Lockwood, with Patricia Roc co-starring. Granger filmed this at the same time as Waterloo Road (1945), playing his first villain, a "spiv" who has run off with the wife of John Mills. This movie was popular too, and it is one of Granger's favourites.

Madonna of the Seven Moons (1945), with Calvert and Roc, was more Gainsborough melodrama, another hit. Also popular was Caesar and Cleopatra, supporting Claude Rains and Vivien Leigh; this movie lost money because of its high production cost but was widely seen, and was the first of Granger's films to be a hit in the USA. At the end of 1945 British exhibitors voted Granger the second-most popular British film star, and the ninth-most popular overall. The Times reported that "this six-foot black-visaged ex-soldier from the Black Watch is England's Number One pin up boy. Only Bing Crosby can match him for popularity."

Caravan (1946), starring Granger and Kent, was the sixth most popular movie at the British box office in 1946. Also well liked was The Magic Bow (1946), with Calvert and Kent, where Granger played Niccolò Paganini That year he was voted the third-most popular British star, and the sixth-most popular overall.

Rank Organisation 1947-49

Granger went over to Rank, for whom he made a series of historical dramas: Captain Boycott (1947), set in Ireland, directed by Frank Launder; Blanche Fury (1948), with Valerie Hobson; and Saraband for Dead Lovers (1948), an Ealing Studios production. Granger was cast as the outsider, the handsome gambler Philip Christoph von Königsmarck who is perceived as 'not quite the ticket' by the established order, the Hanoverian court where the action is mostly set. Granger stated that this was one of his few films of which he was proud. However it was a disappointment at the box office, as was Blanche Fury.

Granger wanted a change of pace and so appeared in Woman Hater (1948), a comedy with Edwige Feuillère. In 1949 Granger was reported as earning around £30,000 a year.

That year Granger made Adam and Evelyne, starring with Jean Simmons. The story, about a much older man and a teenager whom he gradually realizes is no longer a child but a young woman with mature emotions and sexuality, had obvious parallels to Granger's and Simmons' own lives. Granger had first met the very young Jean Simmons when they both worked on Gabriel Pascal's Caesar and Cleopatra (1945). Three years on, Simmons had transformed from a promising newcomer into a star – and a very attractive young woman. They married the following year in a bizarre wedding ceremony organised by Howard Hughes – one of his private aircraft flew the couple to Tucson, Arizona, where they were married, mainly among strangers, with Michael Wilding as Granger's best man.

Granger's stage production of Leo Tolstoy's The Power of Darkness (a venture he had intended as a vehicle for him to star with Jean Simmons) was very poorly received when it opened in London at the Lyric Theatre on 25 April 1949. (During the run two men attempted to cut some locks from Granger's hair.) The disappointment added to his dissatisfaction with the Rank Organisation, and his thoughts turned to Hollywood.


In 1949 Granger made his move; MGM was looking for someone to play H. Rider Haggard's hero Allan Quatermain in a film version of King Solomon's Mines. Errol Flynn was offered the role but turned it down; Granger's signing was announced in August 1949.

On the basis of the huge success of this film, released in 1950 and co-starring Deborah Kerr and Richard Carlson, he was offered a seven-year contract by MGM.

HIs first film under the new arrangement was an action comedy Soldiers Three (1951). Granger followed it with location work for Constable Pedley in Canada. This was put on hold so Granger could make a light comedy, The Light Touch, in a role meant for Cary Grant. It was a box office disappointment. However filming resumed on Constable Pedley which became The Wild North (1953) and that was a big hit.

in 1952, Granger starred in Scaramouche in the role of Andre Moreau, the bastard son of a French nobleman, a part Ramón Novarro had played in the 1923 version of Rafael Sabatini's novel. Granger's co-star Eleanor Parker said Granger was the only actor she did not get along with during her entire career. "Everyone disliked this man.... Stewart Granger was a dreadful person, rude... just awful. Just being in his presence was bad. I thought at one point the crew was going to kill him." However the resulting film was a notable critical and commercial success.

After this came the remake of The Prisoner of Zenda (1952), for which his theatrical voice, stature (6'2") and dignified profile made him a natural. It too was popular.

In 1952 he and Jean Simmons sued Howard Hughes for $250,000 damages arising from an alleged breach of contract. The case was settled out of court.

Columbia borrowed him to play the love interest of Rita Hayworth in Salome (1953), another big hit. Back at MGM he co-starred with his wife in Young Bess (1953), playing Thomas Seymour. The film was popular though it did not recover it's cost and it remains a favourite of Granger's.

He had a big hit in All the Brothers Were Valiant (1953), playing a villain opposite Robert Taylor. Granger lost out on A Star Is Born, which went to James Mason instead. He had the title role in Beau Brummell (1954), opposite Elizabeth Taylor, and a box office disappointment. More successful was the adventure story Green Fire (1954), co starring Grace Kelly.

Granger went to England to make a film with Simmons, Footsteps in the Fog (1955), for Columbia. Back at MGM he was in Moonfleet (1955), cast as an adventurer, Jeremy Fox, in the Dorset of 1757, a man who rules a gang of cut-throat smugglers with an iron fist until he is softened by a 10-year-old boy who worships him and who believes only the best of him. The film was directed by Fritz Lang and produced by John Houseman, a former associate of Orson Welles. It was a flop.

Granger and Taylor were reunited in The Last Hunt (1956), a Western, with Taylor playing the villain, and a box office disappointment. So too was Bhowani Junction (1956), adapted from a John Masters novel about colonial India on the verge of obtaining independence. Ava Gardner played an Anglo-Indian (mixed race) woman caught between the two worlds of the British and the Indians, and Granger the British officer with whom (in a change from the novel) she ultimately fell in love.

Gardner was in Granger's next film, The Little Hut (1957), a sex farce which proved a surprise smash at the box office. He followed it with a minor Western, Gun Glory (1957). It was his last film under his MGM contract. Granger had turned down the role of Messala in the 1959 film Ben-Hur, reportedly because he did not want to take second billing to Charlton Heston.

Leaving MGM

Granger became a successful cattle rancher. He bought land in New Mexico and Arizona and introduced Charolais cattle to America.

In order to finance this he kept acting. He played a professional adventurer in a film for 20th Century Fox, Harry Black (1958), partly shot in India. He went to England to be in a thriller The Whole Truth (1958) then returned to Los Angeles to support John Wayne in a comic "northern", North to Alaska (1960) By now his marriage to Simmons had ended and Granger decided to relocate to Europe.

Continental European career

Granger went to England to appear in a thriller The Secret Partner (1961). The he went to Italy and played Lot in Robert Aldrich's Sodom and Gomorrah (1962).

He stayed in Italy to make Commando (1962), an action film and Swordsman of Siena (1963), a swashbuckler. He was in a war film The Secret Invasion (1964) for Roger Corman shot in Yugoslavia.

In Germany, Granger acted in the role of Old Surehand in three Western films adapted from novels by German author Karl May, with French actor Pierre Brice (playing the fictional Indian chief Winnetou), in Unter Geiern (Frontier Hellcat) (1964), Der Ölprinz (Rampage at Apache Wells) (1965) and Old Surehand (Flaming Frontier) (1965). He was united with Pierre Brice and Lex Barker, also a hero of Karl May films, in Gern hab' ich die Frauen gekillt (Killer's Carnival) (1966).

In the German Edgar Wallace film series of the 1960s, he was seen in The Trygon Factor (1966). He starred in several Eurospy films such as Das Geheimnis der drei Dschunken (Red Dragon) (1965), Target for Killing (1966) and Requiem for a Secret Agent (1966). He shot The Crooked Road (1965) in Yugoslavia and The Trygon Factor (1966) in Germany. His last studio picture was The Last Safari (1967) shot in Africa and directed by Henry Hathaway.

In 1970 he described his recent movies as "movies not even I will talk about". He later estimated that he made more than $1.5 million in the 1960s but lost all of it.

US television

Granger returned to the US and made a TV movie Any Second Now (1969).

He subsequently replaced actors Lee J. Cobb, Charles Bickford and John McIntire on NBC's The Virginian, as the new owner of the Shiloh ranch on prime-time TV for its ninth year (1971). Granger said he accepted the role for money and because it "seemed like it could be a lot of fun", but was disappointed by the lack of character development for his role.

He played Sherlock Holmes in a poorly received 1972 TV movie version of The Hound of the Baskervilles and played Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in The Royal Romance of Charles and Diana (1982).


In the 1970s Granger retired from acting and went to live in southern Spain, where he invested in real estate and resided in Estepona, Málaga. It was whilst living there that he became a friend and business partner of former Barrister and television producer James Todesco Eldorado (TV series). Together they were involved in real estate investment and development.

He appeared in The Wild Geese (1978) as an unscrupulous banker, who hires a unit of mercenary soldiers (Richard Burton, Roger Moore, Richard Harris and others) to stage a military coup in an African nation. His character then makes a deal with the existing government, and betrays the mercenaries.

In 1980 he was diagnosed with lung cancer and told he had three months to live. Granger later said, "I was 67 and had smoked 60 cigarettes a day for 40 years, but the doctor said if I had an operation there might be a chance of two to four more years of life. So I said, "Who the hell needs that, but you better give me three months to put my house in order.'" Granger underwent the operation, had a lung and a rib removed, only to be informed he didn't have cancer after all - he had tuberculosis.

He returned to acting in 1981 with the publication of his autobiography, claiming he was bored. Granger spent the last decade of his life appearing on television including a guest role in the ABC series The Fall Guy starring Lee Majors and on the stage. He even starred in a German soap-opera called Das Erbe der Guldenburgs (The Guldenburg Heritage) (1987).

He moved to Pacific Palisades, California.

One of his last roles was in the 1989–90 Broadway production of The Circle by W. Somerset Maugham, opposite Glynis Johns and Rex Harrison in Harrison's final role. The production actually opened at Duke University for a three-week run, followed by performances in Baltimore and Boston before opening on 14 November 1989 on Broadway.

Personal life

He was married three times:

  • Elspeth March (1938–1948); two children, Jamie and Lindsay
  • Jean Simmons (1950–1960), (with whom he had starred in Adam and Evelyne, Young Bess and Footsteps in the Fog); one daughter, Tracy
  • Caroline LeCerf (1964–1969); one daughter, Samantha
  • Granger claimed in his autobiography that Deborah Kerr had approached him romantically in the back of his chauffeur-driven car at the time he was making Caesar and Cleopatra. Although at the time he was married to Elspeth March, he states that he and Kerr went on to have an affair. When asked about this revelation, Kerr's response was, "What a gallant man he is."

    In 1956 Granger became a naturalised citizen of the United States.

    He died in Santa Monica, California from prostate and bone cancer at the age of 80.

    His niece is Antiques Roadshow appraiser Bunny Campione, the daughter of his sister, Iris.


    In 1970 Granger said "Stewart Granger was quite a successful film star, but I don't think he was an actor's actor."

    Among the films that Granger was announced to star in, but that ended up being made with other actors, were Ivanhoe (1952), Mogambo (1953), The King's Thief (1955) and Man of the West (1958).

    Box office ranking

    At the peak of his career, exhibitors voted Granger among the top stars at the box office:

  • 1945 – 9th biggest star in Britain (2nd most popular British star)
  • 1946 – 6th biggest star in Britain (3rd most popular British star)
  • 1947 – 5th most popular British star in Britain
  • 1948 – 5th most popular British star in Britain.
  • 1949 – 7th most popular British star in Britain.
  • 1951 – most popular star in Britain according to Kinematograph Weekly
  • 1952 – 19th most popular star in the US
  • 1953 – 21st most popular star in the US and 8th most popular in Britain
  • Unmade films

  • In 1944 it was reported Granger's ambition was to play Rob Roy – J. Arthur Rank announced he was interested in a Rob Roy project in 1945 but it was never made
  • Digger's Republic for Leslie Arliss as Stafford Parker (1946) – this became Diamond City with David Farrar in the role instead
  • Self-Made Man (1947) from a script by Alan Campbell about a cocky type who comes out of the RAF and makes and loses a million dollars
  • Christopher Columbus in the title role (1947) – film was eventually made with Fredric March
  • Pursuit of Love for producer Davis Lewis at Enterprise Studios (1947)
  • Treacher (1947) produced by Nunnally Johnson for Universal
  • The Saxon Charm (1947)
  • Reported as testing for John Huston in Quo Vadis (1949)
  • The House by the Sea based on book by Jon Godden, with Granger as producer (1949)
  • The Donnybrook Fighter (1952)
  • Robinson Crusoe (early 1950s)
  • Highland Fling (1957)
  • Ever the Twain (1958)
  • biography of Miguel Cervantes for his own production company(1958)
  • The Night Comers with Jean Simmons - adaptation of Eric Ambler book State of Siege
  • The Four Winds from a 1954 novel by David Beatty - for his own production company, Tracy Productions (1958)
  • I Thank a Fool (1962)
  • Select theatre credits

  • The Courageous Sex by Mary D. Sheridan – Birmingham, May 1937
  • The Millionairess by George Bernard ShawMalvern Festival, July 1937 – with Elspeth March
  • The Apple Cart – Malvern Festival, August 1937 – with Elspeth March
  • Victoria, Queen and Empress – Birmingham Repertory, September 1937 – as Gladstone
  • The Sun Never Sets – Drury Lane Theatre, London, 1938
  • Serena Blandish – 1938 – with Vivien Leigh
  • Romeo and Juliet – Buxton Festival, September 1939 – with Robert Donat and Constance Cummings, as Tybalt
  • The Good Natured Man by Oliver Goldsmith – Buxton Festival, September 1939 – with Robert Donat and Constance Cummings
  • Autumn – with Flora Robson
  • House in the Square – St Martins Theatre, London, April 1940
  • To Dream Again – Theatre Royal, August 1942
  • Rebecca
  • wartime tour of Gaslight with Deborah Kerr
  • The Power of Darkness adapted from by Peter Glenville from the story by Leo Tolstoy – March–April 1949 – with Jean Simmons
  • The Circle – 1989 – with Rex Harrison and Glynis Johns
  • Select radio performance

  • Continuous Performance – the Film – BBC, December 1946
  • References

    Stewart Granger Wikipedia