Image of William Powell

William Powell

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia William Horatio Powell (July 29, 1892 – March 5, 1984) was an American actor. A major star at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, he was paired with Myrna Loy in 14 films, including the Thin Man series based on the Nick and Nora Charles characters created by Dashiell Hammett. Powell was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor three times: for The Thin Man (1934), My Man Godfrey (1936), and Life with Father (1947). After high school, he left home for New York and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts at the age of 18. In 1912, Powell graduated from the AADA, and worked in some vaudeville and stock companies. After several successful experiences on the Broadway stage, he began his Hollywood career in 1922, playing a small role as an evil henchman of Professor Moriarty in a production of Sherlock Holmes with John Barrymore. His most memorable role in silent movies was as a bitter film director opposite Emil Jannings' Academy Award-winning performance as a fallen general in The Last Command (1928). This success, along with Powell's pleasant speaking voice, led to his first starring role as amateur detective Philo Vance in the "talkie" The Canary Murder Case (1929). Powell's most famous role was that of Nick Charles in six Thin Man films, beginning with The Thin Man in 1934, based upon Dashiell Hammett's novel. The role provided a perfect opportunity for Powell, with his resonant speaking voice, to showcase his sophisticated charm and witty sense of humor, and he received his first Academy Award nomination for The Thin Man. Myrna Loy played his wife, Nora, in each of the Thin Man films. Their on-screen partnership, beginning alongside Clark Gable in 1934 with Manhattan Melodrama, was one of Hollywood's most prolific, and they appeared in 14 films together. Loy and Powell starred in the Best Picture of 1936, The Great Ziegfeld, with Powell in the title role and Loy as Ziegfeld's wife Billie Burke. That same year, he also received his second Academy Award nomination, for the comedy My Man Godfrey. In 1935, he starred with Jean Harlow in Reckless. A serious romance developed between them, and in 1936, they were reunited on screen and with Loy and Spencer Tracy in the screwball comedy Libeled Lady. However, Harlow surprisingly and quickly became ill, and died from uremia at the age of 26 in June 1937 before they could marry. His distress over her death, as well as a cancer diagnosis of his own, caused him to accept fewer acting roles. Powell's career slowed considerably in the 1940s, although he received his third Academy Award nomination in 1947 for his role as the cantankerous Clarence Day, Sr., in Life with Father. His last film was 1955's Mister Roberts. Powell died in Palm Springs, California, on March 5, 1984, at the age of 91 from heart failure, nearly 30 years after his retirement. He is buried at the Desert Memorial Park in Cathedral City, California, near his third wife Diana Lewis, and his only child, his son William David Powell.


Read bio at tmdb | Read bio at Wikipedia
Born:
Jul 29, 1892 In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Movie/TV Credits:
109
First Appeared:
In the movie Sherlock Holmes 1922-03-07
Latest Project:
Movie William Powell: A True Gentleman 2005-08-02
Known For
Poster of The Great Morgan
Poster of She's a Sheik
Poster of Time to Love
Poster of Senorita
Filmography
Movie Alias Nick and Nora Nick 2005-01-05
Movie William Powell: A True Gentleman Unknown 2005-08-02
Movie Harlow: The Blonde Bombshell Himself 1993-02-06
Movie Hollywood Remembers: Myrna Loy - So Nice to Come Home to (archive footage) 1991-01-01
Movie The Spencer Tracy Legacy: A Tribute by Katharine Hepburn 1986-03-09
Movie Hollywood Out-takes and Rare Footage Himself (archive footage) 1983-02-25
Movie That's Entertainment, Part II (archive footage) 1976-05-17
Movie Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? (archive footage) 1975-08-06
Movie The Big Parade of Comedy Nick Charles (archive footage) 1964-09-02
Movie Mister Roberts Lt. 'Doc' 1955-07-13
Movie How to Marry a Millionaire J.D. Hanley 1953-10-29
Movie The Girl Who Had Everything Steve Latimer 1953-03-27
Movie The Treasure of Lost Canyon Homer 'Doc' Brown 1952-03-01
Movie It's a Big Country Professor 1951-11-20
Movie Take One False Step Professor Andrew Gentling 1949-06-22
Movie Dancing in the Dark Emery Slade 1949-12-02
Movie Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid Mr. Peabody 1948-08-11
Movie Song of the Thin Man Nick Charles 1947-08-28
Movie Life with Father Clarence Day Sr. 1947-09-13
Movie The Senator Was Indiscreet Senator Melvin G. Ashton 1947-12-26
Movie The Hoodlum Saint Terence Ellerton 'Terry' O'Neill 1946-04-04
Movie Ziegfeld Follies Flo Ziegfeld 1945-08-13
Movie The Great Morgan 1945-01-01
Movie The Thin Man Goes Home Nick Charles 1945-01-25
Movie Twenty Years After 1944-01-01
Movie The Heavenly Body William S. Whitley 1944-03-23
Movie The Youngest Profession Himself - Guest Star 1943-02-26
Movie Crossroads David Talbot aka Jean Pelletier 1942-07-23
Movie Shadow of the Thin Man Nick Charles 1941-11-21
Movie Love Crazy Steve Ireland 1941-05-23
Movie The Miracle of Sound 1940-01-01
Movie I Love You Again Larry Wilson aka George Carey 1940-08-09
Movie Hollywood: Style Center of the World Himself 1940-05-29
Movie Another Thin Man Nick Charles 1939-01-01
Movie From the Ends of the Earth 1939-05-28
Movie The Baroness and the Butler Johann Porok 1938-02-18
Movie The Last of Mrs. Cheyney Charles 1937-02-19
Movie The Emperor's Candlesticks Baron Stephan Wolensky 1937-07-02
Movie The Romance of Celluloid 1937-08-26
Movie Double Wedding Charles Lodge 1937-10-15
Movie The Great Ziegfeld Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. 1936-04-08
Movie The Ex-Mrs. Bradford Dr. Lawrence Bradford 1936-05-13
Movie Libeled Lady William 'Bill' Stephens Chandler 1936-10-09
Movie My Man Godfrey Godfrey 1936-09-17
Movie After the Thin Man Nick Charles 1936-12-25
Movie Reckless Ned Riley 1935-04-17
Movie Star of Midnight Clay 'Dal' Dalzell 1935-04-19
Movie Escapade Fritz 1935-07-05
Movie Rendezvous Lt. William 'Bill' Gordon / Anson Meridan 1935-10-25
Movie Fashions of 1934 Sherwood Nash 1934-02-14
Movie Manhattan Melodrama Jim Wade 1934-05-04
Movie Evelyn Prentice John Prentice 1934-11-09
Movie The Thin Man Nick Charles 1934-05-25
Movie The Key Capt. Bill Tennant 1934-06-09
Movie Lawyer Man Anton Adam 1933-01-07
Movie Private Detective 62 Donald Free 1933-06-10
Movie The Kennel Murder Case Philo Vance 1933-10-28
Movie Double Harness John Fletcher 1933-07-21
Movie High Pressure Gar Evans 1932-01-30
Movie Jewel Robbery The Robber 1932-08-13
Movie One Way Passage Dan Hardesty 1932-10-22
Movie Man of the World Michael Trevor 1931-03-28
Movie The Road to Singapore Hugh Dawltry 1931-10-10
Movie Ladies' Man Jamie Darricott 1931-05-09
Movie Behind the Make-Up Gardoni 1930-01-11
Movie Street of Chance John D. Marsden / 'Natural' Davis 1930-02-08
Movie The Benson Murder Case Philo Vance 1930-04-13
Movie For the Defense William Foster 1930-07-18
Movie Shadow of the Law Jim Montgomery aka John Nelson 1930-06-06
Movie Paramount on Parade Philo Vance 1930-04-22
Movie The Canary Murder Case Philo Vance 1929-02-16
Movie The Four Feathers Capt. William Trench 1929-06-01
Movie The Greene Murder Case Philo Vance 1929-08-11
Movie Charming Sinners Karl Kraley 1929-08-16
Movie Pointed Heels Robert Courtland 1929-12-20
Movie Feel My Pulse Her Nemesis 1928-02-26
Movie Beau Sabreur 1928-01-22
Movie Partners in Crime Smith 1928-03-01
Movie The Last Command Lev Andreyev 1928-01-22
Movie The Dragnet Unknown 1928-05-01
Movie Forgotten Faces Froggy 1928-08-05
Movie Interference Philip Voaze 1928-11-04
Movie The Vanishing Pioneer 1928-06-23
Movie Senorita Manuel Oliveros 1927-04-01
Movie Love's Greatest Mistake 1927-02-20
Movie New York Unknown 1927-01-30
Movie Special Delivery Harold Jones 1927-05-06
Movie Time to Love 1927-06-18
Movie Nevada Clan Dillon 1927-08-01
Movie Paid to Love Prince Eric 1927-07-23
Movie She's a Sheik Kada 1927-11-12
Movie Desert Gold Unknown 1926-03-22
Movie White Mice Unknown 1926-01-31
Movie The Runaway Jack Harrison 1926-04-04
Movie Sea Horses Unknown 1926-02-22
Movie Beau Geste Boldini 1926-08-24
Movie Aloma of the South Seas Van Templeton 1926-05-15
Movie The Great Gatsby George Wilson 1926-11-21
Movie Tin Gods Tony Santelli 1926-09-19
Movie Too Many Kisses Julio 1925-01-11
Movie The Beautiful City Nick Di Silva 1925-10-25
Movie My Lady's Lips 1925-07-01
Movie Dangerous Money Unknown 1924-10-13
Movie Romola Tito Melema 1924-12-06
Movie Under the Red Robe 1923-11-12
Movie The Bright Shawl Gaspar De Vaca 1923-04-22
Movie Sherlock Holmes Forman Wells 1922-03-07
Movie Outcast Unknown 1922-12-07
Movie When Knighthood Was in Flower Francis I (as William H. Powell) 1922-09-15

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