Peter Lawford was a bushy-browed, slender, aristocratic, good-looking British leading man in Hollywood films. At age eight he appeared in the film Poor Old Bill (1931); seven years later he visited Hollywood and appeared in a supporting role as a Cockney boy in Lord Jeff (1938). In 1942 he began regularly appearing onscreen, first in minor supporting roles; by the late 1940s he was a breezy romantic star, and his studio promised him (incorrectly) that he would be the "new Ronald Colman." His clipped British accent, poise, looks, and charm made him popular with teenage girls and young women, but he outgrew his typecast parts by the mid '50s and spent several years working on TV, starring in the series Dear Phoebe and The Thin Man. Off screen he was known as a jet-setter playboy; a member of Frank Sinatra's "Rat Pack," he married Patricia Kennedy and became President John F. Kennedy's brother-in-law. From the 1960s he appeared mainly in character roles; his production company, Chrislaw, made several feature films, and he was credited as executive producer of three films, two in co-producer partnership with Sammy Davis Jr. In 1971-72 he was a regular on the TV sitcom The Doris Day Show. He divorced Kennedy in 1966 and later married the daughter of comedian Dan Rowan. He rarely acted onscreen after the mid-'70s.
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