Michael Wilding (actor)

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Michael Wilding
Michael Wilding in Stage Fright trailer.jpg
From the trailer for Stage Fright (1950)
BornMichael Charles Gauntlet Wilding
(1912-07-23)23 July 1912
Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, England, United Kingdom
Died8 July 1979(1979-07-08) (aged 66)
Chichester, West Sussex, England, United Kingdom
Cause of deathHead injury sustained after a fall
Years active19331973
Spouse(s)Kay Young (1937–1951)
Elizabeth Taylor (1952–1957)
Susan Nell (1958–1962)
Margaret Leighton (1964–1976)
ChildrenMichael Howard Wilding (born 1953)
Christopher Edward Wilding (born 1955)
 
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Michael Wilding
Michael Wilding in Stage Fright trailer.jpg
From the trailer for Stage Fright (1950)
BornMichael Charles Gauntlet Wilding
(1912-07-23)23 July 1912
Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, England, United Kingdom
Died8 July 1979(1979-07-08) (aged 66)
Chichester, West Sussex, England, United Kingdom
Cause of deathHead injury sustained after a fall
Years active19331973
Spouse(s)Kay Young (1937–1951)
Elizabeth Taylor (1952–1957)
Susan Nell (1958–1962)
Margaret Leighton (1964–1976)
ChildrenMichael Howard Wilding (born 1953)
Christopher Edward Wilding (born 1955)

Michael Charles Gauntlet Wilding (23 July 1912 – 8 July 1979) was an English stage, television and film actor.

Early life[edit]

Born in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, England, Wilding was a successful commercial artist when he joined the art department of a London film studio in 1933. He soon embarked on an acting career.

Career[edit]

He appeared in numerous British films, often opposite Anna Neagle, but had a less-productive career in Hollywood. His screen performances include Sailors Three (1940), In Which We Serve (1942), Undercover (1943), Piccadilly Incident (1946), Spring in Park Lane (1948), Stage Fright (1950), Torch Song (1953) and The World of Suzie Wong (1960).

In 1952, British exhibitors voted him the fourth-most-popular star at the local box office.[1]

His last appearance was in an uncredited, non-speaking cameo in Lady Caroline Lamb (1972), which co-starred his last wife, Margaret Leighton.

He also appeared on television, including the title role in the 1957 episode "The Trial of Colonel Blood" of NBC's anthology series The Joseph Cotten Show.

Box-office ranking[edit]

At the peak of his career, British exhibitors voted him among the most popular stars in the country:

  • 1947 – seventh-most-popular British star[2]
  • 1948 – fifth-most-popular star[3]
  • 1949 – second-most-popular star[4]
  • 1950 – sixth-most-popular British star[5]
  • 1951 – tenth-most-popular star[6]
  • 1952 – fourth-most-popular British star[1]

Personal life[edit]

Wilding had four wives, Kay Young (married 1937, divorced 1951), actress Elizabeth Taylor (married 1952, divorced 1957), Susan Nell (married 1958, divorced 1962),[7] and actress Margaret Leighton (married 1964 until her death in 1976).

He and Taylor had two sons, Michael Howard Wilding (born 1953) and Christopher Edward Wilding (born 1955). In 1957, he had a short-lived romance with actress Marie McDonald, who was nicknamed "The Body".

In the 1960s, he was forced to cut back on his film appearances because of illness related to his lifelong epilepsy.

Death[edit]

Wilding died in Chichester, West Sussex, as a result of head injuries suffered from a fall down a flight of stairs during an epileptic seizure. His body was cremated and the ashes were scattered.

Filmography[edit]

YearTitleRoleOther notes
1972Lady Caroline LambLord Holland
1970WaterlooSir William Ponsonby
1968The Sweet RideMr. Cartwright
Code Name, Red RosesEnglish General
1963Last Seen Wearing Blue Jeansthe Alfred Hitchcock Hour
1962A Girl Named TamikoNigel Costairs
1961The Best of EnemiesBurke
The Naked EdgeMorris Brooke
1960The World of Suzie WongBen Marlowe
1959Danger WithinMajor Charles Marquand
1956ZarakMajor Michael Ingram
1955The Scarlet CoatMajor John Andre
The Glass SlipperPrince Charles
1954The EgyptianAkhnaton
1953Torch SongTye Graham
1952Trent's Last CasePhilip Trent
Derby DayDavid Scott
1951The Lady with the LampSidney Herbert/Lord Herbert of Lea
The Law and the LadyNigel Duxbury/Lord Henry Minden aka Hoskins
1950Into the BlueNicholas Foster
Stage FrightDet. Insp. Wilfred 'Ordinary' Smith
1949Under CapricornHon. Charles Adare
Maytime in MayfairMichael Gore-Brown
1948Spring in Park LaneRichard
1947An Ideal HusbandViscount Arthur Goring
The Courtneys of Curzon StreetSir Edward Courtney
1946CarnivalMaurice Avery
Piccadilly IncidentCapt. Alan Pearson
1944English Without TearsTom Gilbey
1943Dear OctopusNicholas Randolph
UndercoverConstantine
1942Secret MissionPvt. Nobby Clark
In Which We ServeFlags
Ships with WingsLt. David Grant
1941Cottage to LetAlan Trently
KippsRonnie Walshingham
Spring MeetingTony Fox-Collier
The Farmer's WifeRichard Coaker
Mr. Proudfoot Shows a LightOfficer
1940Sailors Don't CareDick
Sailors ThreeJohnny Wilding
ConvoyDot
Tilly of BloomsburyPercy Welwyn
The Big BlockadeCaptain
1939There Ain't No JusticeLen Charteris
1936When Knights Were BoldUncredited role
Wedding Group
1935Late Extra
1933Heads We Go
Bitter SweetUncredited role
Channel CrossingPassenger Boarding Ferry

Television[edit]

YearTitleRoleOther notes
1973Frankenstein: The True StorySir Richard FanshaweTV film
1968MannixPhillip Montford/Sir Arnold SaltEpisode: A View of Nowhere
1966Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler TheatreMajor TuckerEpisode: The Fatal Mistake
The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.Franz JosephEpisode: The Lethal Eagle Affair
1963Burke's LawDr. Alex SteinerEpisode: Who Killed Sweet Betsy?
The Alfred Hitchcock HourDavid SaundersEpisode: Last Seen Wearing Blue Jeans
1962Saints and SinnersSir RobertEpisode: A Night of Horns and Bells
1958, 1959Playhouse 90Sir John Alexander
Chris Hughes
Episode: Verdict of Three
Episode: Dark as the Night
1959Lux PlayhouseStephen MacIllroyEpisode: The Case of the Two Sisters
1958TargetEpisode: The Clean Kill
Climax!Lt. MacKenzie BartonEpisode: The Volcano Seat (1)
Episode: The Volcano Seat (2)
1957The Joseph Cotten ShowColonel BloodEpisode: The Trial of Colonel Blood
1955, 1956The 20th Century Fox HourRobert Marryot
Captain Robert Wilton
Episode: Cavalcade
Stranger in the Night
1956Screen Director's PlayhouseDavid ScottEpisode: The Carroll Formula

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Vivien Leigh Actress Of The Year.". Townsville Daily Bulletin (Qld. : 1885 - 1954) (Qld.: National Library of Australia). 29 December 1951. p. 1. Retrieved 9 July 2012. 
  2. ^ 'Bing's Lucky Number: Pa Crosby Dons 4th B.O. Crown', The Washington Post (1923-1954) [Washington, D.C] 3 January 1948: 12.
  3. ^ "Bing Crosby Still Best Box-office Draw.". The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954) (NSW: National Library of Australia). 31 December 1948. p. 3. Retrieved 11 July 2012. 
  4. ^ "Film World Anna Neagle: Biggest U.K. Box-Office Draw.". The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 - 1954) (Perth, WA: National Library of Australia). 23 January 1950. p. 9. Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  5. ^ "Success Of British Films." Times [London, England] 29 December 1950: 4. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 11 July 2012.
  6. ^ "Films That Make Money." Times [London, England] 28 December 1951: 7. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 11 July 2012.
  7. ^ Wilding, Michael & Pamela Wilcox, Apple Sauce (London: Allen & Unwin, 1982) pp. 140-144.

External links[edit]

Husband of Elizabeth Taylor
Preceded by
Conrad Hilton Jr.
Husband of Elizabeth Taylor
(by order of marriage)

1952–1957
Succeeded by
Mike Todd