Hume Cronyn

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Hume Cronyn
Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn.jpg
Wife Jessica Tandy and Cronyn at the 1988 Emmy Awards
BornHume Blake Cronyn
(1911-07-18)July 18, 1911
London, Ontario, Canada
DiedJune 15, 2003(2003-06-15) (aged 91)
Fairfield, Connecticut, U.S.
OccupationActor
Years active1934–2003
Spouse(s)Emily Woodruff (1934–36; divorced)[1]
Jessica Tandy (1942–94; her death)
Susan Cooper (1996–2003; his death)
ChildrenTandy
Christopher
AwardsOfficer of the Order of Canada
 
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For the early-20th-century Canadian politician and father of the actor, see Hume Cronyn (politician).
Hume Cronyn
Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn.jpg
Wife Jessica Tandy and Cronyn at the 1988 Emmy Awards
BornHume Blake Cronyn
(1911-07-18)July 18, 1911
London, Ontario, Canada
DiedJune 15, 2003(2003-06-15) (aged 91)
Fairfield, Connecticut, U.S.
OccupationActor
Years active1934–2003
Spouse(s)Emily Woodruff (1934–36; divorced)[1]
Jessica Tandy (1942–94; her death)
Susan Cooper (1996–2003; his death)
ChildrenTandy
Christopher
AwardsOfficer of the Order of Canada

Hume Blake Cronyn, OC (July 18, 1911 – June 15, 2003) was a Canadian actor of stage and screen, who enjoyed a long career, often appearing professionally alongside Jessica Tandy, his wife for over fifty years.[2]

Early life[edit]

Cronyn, one of five children, was born in London, Ontario, Canada, the son of Hume Blake Cronyn, Sr., a businessman and a Member of Parliament for London (after whom the Hume Cronyn Memorial Observatory and asteroid (12050) Humecronyn are named) and Frances Amelia (née Labatt), an heiress of the brewing company of the same name. His paternal grandfather, Verschoyle Cronyn, was the son of the Right Reverend Benjamin Cronyn, an Anglican cleric of the Anglo-Irish Protestant Ascendancy, who served as first bishop of the Anglican diocese of Huron, and founder of Huron College, from which grew the University of Western Ontario. His great-uncle, Benjamin, Jr., was both a prominent citizen and early mayor of London, Ontario, but was later indicted for fraud and fled to Vermont; during his tenure in London he built a mansion called Oakwood, which currently serves as the head office of the Info-Tech Research Group. Cronyn was also a cousin of Canadian-born theater producer, Robert Whitehead, and a first cousin of the Canadian-British artist Hugh Verschoyle Cronyn GM (1905–1996).

Cronyn was the first Elmwood School boarder (at the time Elmwood was called Rockliffe Preparatory School) and boarded at Elmwood between 1917 and 1921. After leaving Elmwood, Cronyn went to Ridley College in St. Catharines, and McGill University in Montreal, where he became a member of The Kappa Alpha Society.

Early in life, Cronyn was an amateur featherweight boxer, having the skills to be nominated for Canada's 1932 Olympic Boxing team.

Career[edit]

Cronyn in Lifeboat, 1944

Subsequent to graduating from Ridley College, Cronyn switched majors, from pre-law to drama, while attending McGill University, and continued his acting studies thereafter, under Max Reinhardt and at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. In 1934, he made his Broadway debut as a janitor in Hipper's Holiday and became known for his versatility, playing a number of different roles on stage. He won a Drama Desk Special Award in 1986. In 1990, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts.[3]

His first Hollywood film was Alfred Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt (1943). He later appeared in Hitchcock's Lifeboat (1944) and worked on the screenplays of Rope (1948) and Under Capricorn (1949). He was nominated for an Academy Award for best supporting actor for his performance in The Seventh Cross (1944) and won a Tony Award for his performance as Polonius opposite Richard Burton's Hamlet (1964). Cronyn bought the screenplay What Nancy Wanted from Norma Barzman — later blacklisted with her husband Ben Barzman — with the idea of producing the film and starring Tandy. However, he sold the screenplay to RKO which later filmed it as The Locket (1946). Cronyn also made appearances in television, The Barbara Stanwyck Show, the Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode "Kill With Kindness" (1956) and Hawaii Five-O episodes "Over Fifty, Steal" (1970) and "Odd Man In" (1971).[4]

In 1990 he won an Emmy award for his role in the TV Movie Age Old Friends.[5]

Cronyn and Tandy[edit]

Cronyn married the actress Jessica Tandy in 1942, and appeared with her in many of their more memorable dramatic stage, film and TV outings, including The Green Years (1946), The Seventh Cross (1944), The Gin Game (1977), Foxfire (1982), *batteries not included (1987), Cocoon (1985) and Cocoon: The Return (1988).

The couple starred in a short-lived (1953–1954) radio series, The Marriage (based on their earlier Broadway play, The Fourposter), playing New York attorney Ben Marriott and his wife, former fashion buyer Liz, struggling with her switch to domestic life and their raising an awkward teenage daughter (future soap opera star Denise Alexander). The show was scheduled to move from radio to television, with Cronyn producing as well as acting in the show. However, Tandy suffered a miscarriage and the show's debut was delayed a week. The series premiered in July 1958 to "warm and enthusiastic reviews."[6] It ran one season.

The couple had a daughter, Tandy, and a son, Christopher. Cronyn and Tandy lived on Children's Bay Cay in the Bahamas, then at a lakeside estate in Pound Ridge, New York, and, finally, in Easton, Connecticut, in a two-story Dutch colonial house on five acres.[7] Jessica Tandy died in 1994.

Personal life[edit]

After he was widowed, Cronyn married author/playwright Susan Cooper (with whom he had co-written Foxfire) in July 1996. His 1991 autobiography was titled A Terrible Liar (ISBN 0-688-12844-0).

In 1979, Cronyn was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame.[8] In 1988, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. Cronyn was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame in 1999.[9] He died in 2003 of prostate cancer, aged 91.

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
1943Shadow of a DoubtHerbie Hawkins
1943Phantom of the OperaGerard
1943The Cross of LorraineDuval
1944LifeboatStanley 'Sparks' Garett
1944The Seventh CrossPaul RoederNominated—Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
1945Main Street After DarkKeller
1945The Sailor Takes a WifeFreddie Potts
1945A Letter for EvieJohn Phineas McPherson
1946Ziegfeld FolliesMonty
1946The Postman Always Rings TwiceArthur Keats
1946The Green YearsPapa Leckie
1947The Beginning or the EndDr. J. Robert Oppenheimer
1947Brute ForceCapt. Munsey
1948The Bride Goes WildJohn McGrath
1949Top o' the MorningHughie Devine
1951People Will TalkProf. Rodney Elwell
1956Crowded ParadiseGeorge Heath
1959The Moon and SixpenceDirk StroeveTelevision film
1959A Doll's HouseNils KrogstadTelevision film
1960Juno and the PaycockN/ATelevision film
1960Sunrise at CampobelloLouis Howe
1963CleopatraSosigenes
1964Richard Burton's HamletPolonius
1969The ArrangementArthur Houghton
1969Gaily, GailyTom Grogan
1970There Was a Crooked Man...Dudley Whinner
1974The Parallax ViewBill Rintels
1974ConrackMr. Skeffington
1981RolloverMaxwell Emery
1981Honky Tonk FreewaySherm
1981The Gin GameWeller MartinTelevision film
1982The World According to GarpMr. Fields
1984ImpulseDr. Carr
1985Brewster's MillionsRupert Horn
1985CocoonJoe FinleyNominated—Saturn Award for Best Actor
1987*batteries not includedFrank Riley
1987FoxfireHector NationsTelevision film
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
1988Cocoon: The ReturnJoe FinleyNominated—Saturn Award for Best Actor
1989Day OneJames F. ByrnesTelevision film
1989Age-Old FriendsJohn CooperTelevision film
CableACE Award for Best Actor in a Movie or Miniseries
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
1991Christmas on Division StreetCleveland MeriwetherTelevision film
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
1992Broadway BoundBenTelevision film
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
1993To Dance with the White DogRobert Samuel PeekTelevision film
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
1993The Pelican BriefJustice Rosenberg
1994CamillaEwald
1996Marvin's RoomMarvinNominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
199712 Angry MenJuror #9Television film
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
1997AloneJohn WebbTelevision film
1998Seasons of LoveLonzoTelevision film
1999Sea PeopleMr. John McRaeTelevision film
1999Santa and PeteSaint NickTelevision film
2000Yesterday's ChildrenOld Sunny SuttonTelevision film
2001Off SeasonSam Clausner

Television[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
1949The Ford Theatre HourHugo BarnsteadEpisode: "Once Sunday Afternoon"
1949SuspenseDr. VioletEpisode: "Dr. Violet"
1950The Ford Theatre HourHarry BinionEpisode: "Room Service"
1950SuspenseSig2 episodes
1950Pulitzer Prize PlayhouseCharles PonziEpisode: "The Ponzi Story"
1950The Philco-Goodyear Television PlayhouseN/AEpisode: "The Reluctant Landlord"
1953OmnibusBartenderEpisode: "Glory in the Flower"
1954The Motorola Television HourAnthony UpdykeEpisode: "The Family Man"
1954The MarriageBen Marriot8 episodes
1955Producers' ShowcaseMichaelEpisode: "The Fourposter"
1955OmnibusHarold 'Mitch' MitchellEpisode: "Advice to Bathers"
1955The Philco-Goodyear Television PlayhouseBen MarriotEpisode: "Christmas 'til Closing"
1956The United States Steel HourPriam FarllEpisode: "The Great Adventure"
1956Climax!Reverend Mr. MuldoonEpisode: "The Fifth Wheel"
1970–1971Hawaii Five-OLewis Avery Filer2 episodes

Stage[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Hume Cronyn". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved 28 November 2012. 
  2. ^ Fairfield, Connecticut (June 18, 2003). "Hume Cronyn dead aged 91". The Age (Melbourne). Retrieved 2010-11-07. 
  3. ^ "Lifetime Honors: National Medal of Arts". Retrieved 28 November 2012. 
  4. ^ Cronyn-Tandy Collection at the Library of Congress
  5. ^ The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present. Ballantine Books. 2013. p. 1440. ISBN 0-345-45542-8. 
  6. ^ Cronyn, Hume (1991). Terrible Liar. New York: William Morrow and Company. pp. 254–256. ISBN 0688128440. 
  7. ^ Gussow, Mel. "AT HOME WITH: Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy; The Driven Mr. and Mrs. Daisy". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 November 2012. 
  8. ^ Hume Cronyn
  9. ^ "Canada's Walk of Fame—Hume Cronyn". Retrieved 28 November 2012. 

External links[edit]