Richard Bennett

American Actor Richard Bennett

From Wikipedia

Richard Bennett (May 21, 1870 – October 22, 1944) was an

American actor who became a stage and silent screen matinee idol over the early

decades of the twentieth century.

He was born in Deacon's Mills, Indiana in 1870 (some sources

state 1872), the son of George Washington Bennett and Eliza Huffman. His

younger sister was Ina Blanche Bennett. For a time, he was a sailor on Great

Lakes steamer, a professional boxer, medicine showman, troubadour and night

clerk in a hotel in Chicago.

His silent movie debut was a reprisal of his stage role in

Damaged Goods (1914), which co-starred his wife, Adrienne Morrison. He helped

adapt the screenplay and direct the drama. In the drama The Valley of Decision

(1916), which he wrote, Bennett appeared on the screen with his wife, Morrison,

and his three daughters.

In 1922, Bennett starred in Broadway's English-language

version of Leonid Andreyev's melodrama He Who Gets Slapped, playing the title

role as He. The success of the play led to its being filmed by

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, with the production starring Lon Chaney in Bennett's role.

With the advent of the talkies the middleaged actor found a niche as a

character actor. In 1931 he appeared with Constance Bennett in Bought!

On November 8, 1903, Bennett and actress Adrienne Morrison

were married in Jersey City. They had three daughters, Constance Bennett

(1904–1965); Barbara Bennett (1906–1958); and Joan Bennett (1910–1990). He and

Morrison were divorced in April 1925. Their first and third daughters,

Constance and Joan, became successful movie stars. Their second daughter,

Barbara, was also briefly an actress, but with less success. The two appeared

together on stage in the 1923 play The Dancers Barbara married the popular

singer Morton Downey. The controversial television talk-show host Morton

Downey, Jr., was Richard Bennett's grandson.

In 1925, he became acquainted with Aimee Raisch in San

Francisco, during the production of Creoles, in which she played a minor role.

She was a young socialite and aspiring actress who was divorcing her

millionaire clubman and polo player husband, Harry G. Hastings.

Bennett and Raisch were married July 11, 1927, in Chicago.

He and Aimee, who later went by Angela, separated April 3, 1934, and were

divorced in 1937. His daughter Joan made her stage debut acting with him in

Jarnegan (1928). This play, in which he played Jack Jarnegan, provided one of

his favourite roles—that of a belligerent, drunken movie director given to

acidulous and profane comments on Hollywood.

Richard Bennett died at age 74 from a heart attack at Good

Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles. Episcopal funeral services were conducted on

October 24, 1944, in Beverly Hills. He is interred in Pleasant View Cemetery,

Lyme, Connecticut, beside his second wife and mother of his daughters.

Bennett was fond of saying that the movie industry was not a

business, but a madhouse.

Birth Date
Age 74
Occuption
  • Actor
Film Industry

Top Movies

Filmography

Year Movie Country Role Credit Ratings
1942 The Magnificent Ambersons United States Maj. Amberson Actor 0.00