Classic Movie Hub (CMH)
 
 

Job Actor
Years active 1920-1955
Known for Wisecrack butlers and waiters; leering-eyed English gentlemen; crisp lock-jawed British accent
Top Roles Bates, The waiter, Ship's Doctor, Gordon, Cecil Flintridge
Top GenresComedy, Romance, Drama, Musical, Crime, Mystery
Top TopicsRomance (Comic), Mistaken Identity, Romance (Musical)
Top Collaborators , , , (Producer)
Shares birthday with Charles Herbert, John Cromwell, Elizabeth Hartman  see more..

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Eric Blore Overview:

Legendary character actor, Eric Blore, was born on Dec 23, 1887 in London, England. Blore died at the age of 71 on Mar 2, 1959 in Hollywood, CA and was laid to rest in Forest Lawn (Glendale) Cemetery in Glendale, CA.

Early Life and Career

Eric Blore was born on December 23rd, 1887 in Middlesex, England. After graduating college he began his professional career as an insurance agent. However, the daunting and monotonous life as career insurance worker proved to be too much of bore for Blore and decided to give acting a try while touring Australia. At the outbreak of World War I, Blore enlisted in the Artist Rifles and served in the South Wales Borderers. After the war ended he continued his pursuit of acting, finding solace on the London stage. Thanks to his crisp voice, elastic face, and witty demeanor Blore was soon able to find his niche in comedy. He spend the next few years building his reputation, eventually starring in various revues and comedy shows. In 1920 made his film debut in the short comedy A Night Out and a Day In but quickly returned to the stage. He remained in London for three more years before heading across the pond to try his hand at New York.

American Stage Success

In 1923 Blore made his Broadway debut in the musical comedy Little Miss Bluebeard. The show was a smashing success, running for over 170 performances with Blore reviewing excellent reviews. The next year he began to show his behind the scenes talents and worked as lyricists for the revue Andre Charlot's Revue of 1924, which ran over 295 performances. In 1926 he returned to the stage as performer, showing his diversity as actor by playing Teddie Deakin in the mystery drama The Ghost Train. That same year he made Hollywood film debut in the big screen adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. He remained mostly on the stage, however, for the rest of the decade and into the next. He continued to entertain comedic audiences on the stage with successful staged plays like Here's Howe, Meet the Prince and Angela.

In 1930 he began making sporadic appearances on the screen, once again taking an uncredited role in the romantic comedy Laughter. His next two years in the industry would prove much the same, with small inconsequential roles in forgettable films. However, in 1933 all of that would change

Hollywood Success

In 1933 Blore was cast as a haughty but humorous hotel manager in the musical comedy Flying Down to Rio - his first with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Although his screen time was brief, audiences and studios executives were drawn to his smug, charmer, and oh-so British screen presence. The next year he once again cast with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, this time in the Mark Sandrich comedy The Gay Divorcee. He once again delighted audiences with his portrayal highly professional but comically condescending waiter - a role he also previously played on Broadway. The characterization stuck and soon Blore was one of Hollywood's busiest characters of the decade. In 1935 he appeared in 10 ten films, again working with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in Top Hat. He would work with Astaire and Rogers twice more; in 1936's Swing Time and 1937's Shall We Dance. Although Blore was mostly utilized for his comedic skill, he also made the occasional appearance in the screen drama, such as 1937's The Solider and the Lady.

Soon Blore was working with some of the top comedic professionals in Hollywood, performer and artist alike. In 1938 he worked alongside Laurel and Hardy in Miss Swiss and starred opposite Marie Lohr in the Roy William Neill comedy A Gentleman's Gentleman. In 1940 he was cast what he his first of 11 "Lone Wolf" films, playing the faithful butler to master thief turned private investigator Michael Lanyard in The Lone Wolf Strikes. He would remain with the series until its final film The Lone Wolf in London in 1947.

In 1941 he joined great comedic director Preston Sturges for two his most loved films The Lady Eve and Sullivan's Travels. In The Lady Eve Blore moved away from his 'man-servant' roles to play a cad-ish conman posing as British royalty, conning wealthy American travelers out their 'hard-earned' money. In the later film Blore would return to his British-butler caricature, constantly questioning the idealistic tendencies of his film director employer played by Joel McCrea. He appeared in 9 more films that year, including Road to Zanzibar, Lady Scarface, and The Shanghai Gesture.

Later Career

Blore continued to play "America's most famous butler" in films One Dangerous Night, Forever and a Day, and Heavenly Music. In 1943 he even joined Fred Astaire one last time in the movie musical The Sky's the Limit. However, by the end of the decade Blore's sophisticated English butler character seemed to slip from the collective consciousness and soon he struggled to find strong roles in quality films. He began appearing in forgettable films such as Men in Her Diary, Winter Wonderland and Romance on the High See. In 1949 he lent his memorable English voice to the Disney production The Adventure of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, as the titular character of Mr. Toad. He would appear in three more films, his final appearance in the 1955 comedy Bowery to Bagdad before retiring due to a stroke.

In 1959, film critic for New Yorker magazine Kenneth Tynan accidentally misspoke when he referred to Blore as "the late Eric Blore." Blore's lawyer's then requested a retraction of the statement and apology. Tynan complied with the request and on March 3nd, 1959 the New Yorker issued their apology. However, in a twist of fate, Eric Blore died on March 2, 1959. He was 71 years old.

(Source: article by Minoo Allen for Classic Movie Hub).

HONORS and AWARDS:

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Blore was never nominated for an Academy Award.

BlogHub Articles:

What a Character:

By Cameron on Nov 17, 2014 From The Blonde At The Film

This is my entry in the 3rd annual What a Character! blogathon hosted by the wonderful blogs Once Upon a Screen, Outspoken and Freckled, and Paula’s Cinema Club. This blogathon celebrates character actors who rarely starred in films but made an enormous impact in smaller roles. Be sure to chec... Read full article


What a Character:

By Cameron on Nov 17, 2014 From The Blonde At The Film

This is my entry in the 3rd annual What a Character! blogathon hosted by the wonderful blogs Once Upon a Screen, Outspoken and Freckled, and Paula’s Cinema Club. This blogathon celebrates character actors who rarely starred in films but made an enormous impact in smaller roles. Be sure to chec... Read full article


, Happy Birthday! Born December 23rd; 1887-1959 (2)

By C. S. Williams on Dec 23, 2013 From Classic Film Aficionados

His manner was clipped, his nose was long, his pate partially bald, a snotty yet loveable demeanor were part of his standard characterization. His elongated breath of disapproval marked as an omen of comedic things to come.  Very British were his tones, and very successful was as the man ... Read full article


, Happy Birthday! Born December 23rd; 1887-1959

By C. S. Williams on Dec 23, 2013 From Classic Film Aficionados

His manner was clipped, his nose was long, his pate partially bald, a snotty yet loveable demeanor were part of his standard characterization. His elongated breath of disapproval marked as an omen of comedic things to come.  Very British were his tones, and very successful was as the man ... Read full article


, Happy Birthday! Born December 23rd; 1887-1959

By C. S. Williams on Dec 23, 2013 From Classic Film Aficionados

His manner was clipped, his nose was long, his pate partially bald, a snotty yet loveable demeanor were part of his standard characterization. His elongated breath of disapproval marked as an omen of comedic things to come.  Very British were his tones, and very successful was as the man ... Read full article


See all articles

Eric Blore Quotes:

Claudius Augustus Lucius Jamison: I've seen better drivers in a golf bag.


Mr. Hartford: [to Seidel] Why, your kennels aren't fit for a dog.


Mr. Toad: Gad! What is it?
Cyril Proudbottom: Lumme, Guv'nor! It's a motorcar.
Mr. Toad: Motorcar?
[the motorcar passes by, knocking the cart over and leaving Toad on the ground]
Mr. Toad: A motorcar. Gad! What have I been missing.
[Starts making car noises]


read more quotes from Eric Blore...



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Eric Blore Facts
Biography in: "American National Biography". Supplement 1, pp. 52-53. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Had one grandchild at the time of his death.

Son, Eric Blore, Jr., Born May 13, 1927 in New York, N.Y.

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