Excessive drinking damaged him and a highly erratic film career was the result. He often found himself unemployable due to his unreliability. He died at age 50 of alcohol-related causes although the official report was a heart attack.
From an artistic family. His mother was a writer and father a painter and member of the Royal Academy. His brother and sister were also painters.
Is interred with his last wife, Vera, at Westwood Memorial Park, Los Angeles, USA.
Married four times and had three children: Sally, an actress, Nicholas and Kim.
Often credited with originating the style of speech generally equated with pirates. After his spectacular turn as Long John Silver in the Disney version of Treasure Island (1950), actors playing pirates in film, radio, television, and theatre, all tended to use (and still use) the same pseudo-Cornish accent Newton came up with.
Some sources give his cause of death as a stroke.
The voice of Captain McAllister in "The Simpsons" (1989) is based on his portrayal of Long John Silver.
Was assistant stage manager and painting scenery at the Birmingham Repertory Company as a teenager. He made his debut there in a production of "Captain Brassbound's Conversion" (1920). Became a stage star when Noel Coward cast him in the popular musical revue "Bitter Sweet" which ran for over a year at Her Majesty's Theatre. Later Coward had Newton take over from Laurence Olivier in his classic play "Private Lives" in New York.
Was declared bankrupt in his absence on September 24th 1954 at the London Bankruptcy Buildings. He owed a total of £46,300 to the Inland Revenue in unpaid taxes and approximately £700 to other creditors. He was at the time filming in Australia. (The Times, September 25th 1954).
Was voted one of the top ten British money-making stars in the Motion Picture Herald-Fame Poll from 1947 to 1951.