Eric Blore

Biography

Date of Birth 23 December 1887, London, England, UK Date of Death 2 March 1959, Hollywood, California, USA (heart attack) Height 5' 8" (1.73 m) Mini Biography Born in London, Eric Blore came out of college and started his working life as an insurance agent. But while touring in Australia he took an interest in the stage and theater. He gave up his insurance job and turned to acting after returning to England. With his elfish long, straight nose, squint-eyed demeanor and a crisp voice, he successfully began a career starring in many shows and revues, focusing on traditional British comedy. Encouraged further, in 1923 he came to New York and was almost immediately using his London stage experience on Broadway. Though there were a few dramatic parts, he inevitably played comic roles in musical comedies and revues (some of which he also received billing as a lyricist) regularly from 1923 to 1933. He would return once again some ten years later to take on multiple roles for Ziegfeld Follies of 1943. No stranger to film, as early as 1920 he had tried his hand in British cinema. And in 1926 he did the US silent version of The Great Gatsby (1926) that starred Warner Baxter. His familiar role as a head waiter began with his first Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers film, Flying Down to Rio (1933). With a foot still on Broadway, in 1933 he played the waiter in the stage version of The Gay Divorcee and was then tapped to reprise the role in the film version with Fred and Ginger. Blore had been perfecting his basic comic characters since his London days - a leering-eyed English gentlemen - brusque/wise-acre butler or waiter or other service provider -- with a lock-jawed British accent. These characters accompanied by Blore's flawlessly timed delivery were thoroughly applicable and effective as he moved permanently to Hollywood character acting. He played a fair spectrum of other roles, even in a few rare dramas, such as the adventure The Soldier and the Lady (1937) and Island of Lost Men (1939). Blore was very busy with movies between 1934 through most of the 1940s. He appeared in five of the nine Fred and Ginger dance musicals. Some of his best mugging and scripted lines were in Top Hat (1935) and Shall We Dance (1937) of that series. He was also cast very effectively as valet/butler Jamison in the screen adaptations of the Wolfe Kaufman Lone Wolf mystery novel series. There were eleven films between 1940 and 1947 with all but the last three starring the dashing, sonorous-voiced Warren William (who had a greater profile than 'The Great Profile', 'John Barrymore' ) as Michael Lanyard. This was a popular series with first-rate scripts and good production values to keep the public coming back for more. Blore was also invited into the company of stock players ruled over by zany comedy director Preston Sturges. Though Blore only did two films for Sturges, his role in the first of these The Lady Eve (1941) was a Blore tour de force. Playing the suave confidence man, Pearly, to his old bunko acquaintances Barbara Stanwyck and Charles Coburn, he took the role of pseudo-wealthy Sir Alfred McGlennan Keith to fleece the local American business gentry. His scene with a gullible Henry Fonda taking in Sir Alfred's concocted story of Stanwyck being a twin daughter of the lady of the manor by way of her coachman is a delight, punctuated with Blore interrupting perplexed Fonda's questions with a loud shhhhhhh of silence at each. Inevitably, the parts started to become less frequent. Several of Blore's 1940s movies were with lesser known up-and-comers or older stars as himself. Still he enjoyed a mix of variety, including the opportunity of animation immortality when Disney chose him for the voice of Mr. Toad in the classic short The Wind in the Willows (1949). But for two widely spaced appearances, Blore essentially retired by 1955. And as sometimes is the case when personalities move into obscurity, their deaths are prematurely announced. Such was with Blore when the New Yorker journalist Kenneth Tynan reported him as already passed on. Blore's lawyer raised a flurry, as did the editor of the New Yorker who claimed the periodical had never had to print a retraction. The night before the highly profiled retraction appeared, Blore indeed passed away. And the next morning the New Yorker was the only publication with the wrong information. It seems like Blore would have been particularly tickled with the irony of this last comedic bit in honor of his passing. IMDb Mini Biography By: William McPeak Spouse Clara Blore (12 June 1926 - 2 March 1959) (his death) 1 child Violet Winter (1917 - 1919) (her death)

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Known For
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The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad

Mr. Toad (voice)

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Shall We Dance

Cecil Flintridge

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Winter Wonderland

Luddington

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Submarine Base

Spike, Morgan's aide

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Disney's Timeless Tales, Vol. 2 - Ugly Duckling/The Wind in the Willows/The Country Cousin/Ferdin...

J. Thaddeus Toad (voice)

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Quality Street

Recruiting Sergeant

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The Ex-Mrs. Bradford

Stokes, Bradford's Butler

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Breakfast for Two

Butch - Blair's Valet

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Hitting a New High

Cedric Cosmo, aka Captain Braceridge Hemingway

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The Moon and Sixpence

Capt. Sandy Nichols

Starring In
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Once Upon a Studio

Mr. Toad (voice) (archive sound)

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Marilyn - Made in Hollywod

Mackinaw (archive footage)

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The Silver Screen: Color Me Lavender

(archive footage)

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The Legend of Marilyn Monroe

Actor 'Love Happy' (archive footage) (uncredited)

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Bowery to Bagdad

Genie of the Lamp

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Fancy Pants

Sir Wimbley

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Love Happy

Mackinaw

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The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad

Mr. Toad (voice)

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Romance on the High Seas

Ship's Doctor

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Winter Wonderland

Luddington

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Kitty

Dobson

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Holy Matrimony

Henry Leek

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Submarine Base

Spike, Morgan's aide

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The Sky's the Limit

Jackson - Phil's Butler (uncredited)

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Forever and a Day

Charles

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The Moon and Sixpence

Capt. Sandy Nichols

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Sullivan's Travels

Sullivan's valet

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Confirm or Deny

Mr. Hobbs, Regency Hotel

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Three Girls About Town

Charlemagne

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Road to Zanzibar

Charles Kimble

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The Lady Eve

Sir Alfred McGlennan Keith

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Lady Scarface

Mr. Hartford

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The Lone Wolf Takes a Chance

Jamison

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The Shanghai Gesture

Caesar Hawkins

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'Til We Meet Again

Sir Harold Pinchard

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Music in My Heart

Griggs

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Island of Lost Men

Herbert

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Joy of Living

Potter

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Avventura A Vallechiara

Edward, Advisor to Victor Albert

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Sunday Night at the Trocadero

Eric Blore

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Shall We Dance

Cecil Flintridge

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Breakfast for Two

Butch - Blair's Valet

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It's Love I'm After

Digges

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Hitting a New High

Cedric Cosmo, aka Captain Braceridge Hemingway

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Quality Street

Recruiting Sergeant

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Piccadilly Jim

Bayliss, Jim's Butler

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Swing Time

Gordon

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The Ex-Mrs. Bradford

Stokes, Bradford's Butler

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Top Hat

Bates

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The Good Fairy

Dr. Metz

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I Live My Life

Grove, Bentley's Butler

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I Dream Too Much

Roger Briggs

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The Gay Divorcee

The Waiter

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Behold My Wife!

Benson (butler)

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Flying Down to Rio

Mr. Butterbass, Asst. Hotel Manager

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Tarnished Lady

Jewelry Counter Clerk (uncredited)

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Disney's Timeless Tales, Vol. 2 - Ugly Duckling/The Wind in the Willows/The Country Cousin/Ferdin...

J. Thaddeus Toad (voice)

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Laughter

Party Guest in Angel Costume (uncredited)

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