Edmund Gwenn Miracle On 34th Street
Starring Edmund Gwenn Miracle on 34th street is one of the best Christmas movies of all time. Here is a biography of Edmund Gwenn and his movie career.
Full name: Edmund Gwenn ( born Edmund Kellaway)
DOB: September 26th 1877
DOD: September 6th 1959
Where born: London, England
English-born Edmund Gwenn was very much the star of the show in
Miracle on 34th Street 1947
as he battles ridicule and the prospect of being confined to a mental institution before finally being declared the real Santa Claus.
Edmund's role in Miracle 34th Street was undoubtedly the pinnacle of his career.
He even got into character by reading Clement Moore's T'was the night before Christmas and deliberately put on 30 pounds in weight to develop the rotund look expected of Kris Kringle.
His role in the movie was acclaimed and he gained the coveted Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.
To this very day this original Miracle on 34th Street remains a firm family favourite, particularly when it is shown on TV at Christmas.
Anything to do with Santa Claus will always be a favourite with children, though Edmund had previously played in a movie also loved by kids, Lassie Come Home, released in 1943.
Edmund's desire to act saw him ordered out of the family home by his father when he was 17. The young Londoner's acting skills were recognised as he was offered the leading role in George Bernard's stage play Man and Superman in 1902.
World War One put a break on Edmund's acting career as he joined the army. After leaving the military he started acting in movies, first in London then in Hollywood.
However, he kept up his love for the stage in America appearing in several Broadway plays. In fact, Edmund Gwenn starred in both the Broadway stage play Laburnum Grove in 1933 and the movie of the same name three years later.
Edmund's break in Hollywood came in 1935 when RKO signed him up for the film Sylvia Scarlett. The Englishman's film career was now in full flow and in 1940 he played Mr Bennet in the film adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.
Edmund Gwenn also proved his versatility as an actor by playing villainous roles in the 1940 Alfred Hitchcock movie Foreign Correspondent and Dangerous Partners five years later.
Like many actors of this period Edmund was able to meet the demands of television.
Indeed, in another role guaranteed to delight the children, he played a snowman in the Ford Television Theatre's Heart of Gold in 1952.
Edmund continued working right up to his death His last film Calabuch was released in 1958, the year before he died nut he will always be remembered for his iconic role as Kris Kringle in Miracle on 34th Street.