Alec B. Francis

Active - 1912 - 1934  |   Born - Jan 1, 1869   |   Died - Jul 6, 1934   |   Genres - Drama, Romance

Share on

Biography by Hal Erickson

Briton Alec B. Francis spent the early part of his professional life as a barrister. He switched to acting in the 1890s, utilizing his delicate features and kindly demeanor to play a variety of middle-aged character parts. Emigrating to the U.S., he made his first films for the Vitagraph Company in 1911. His movie bow was in Vanity Fair, which starred Helen Gardner and John Bunny. Slight of stature, Francis often found himself cast as the hero's avuncular confidante or comic sidekick, as in the recently rediscovered 1915 version of Alias Jimmy Valentine. His most frequent screen persona was as the wise old man (be he pauper or prince) who'd garnered enough life experiences to solve all the problems of the younger leading characters; a typical Francis role was the happy-go-lucky blind gent in The Man Who Had Everything (1921). Francis effortlessly survived the transition to sound, surprising one and all as the mystery murderer in The Bishop Murder Case (1930), then appearing in such roles as Mr. Brownlow in the 1933 version of Oliver Twist and the King of Hearts in that same year's filmization of Alice in Wonderland. Alec B. Francis died after an emergency operation at the age of 65.

Movie Highlights

See Full Filmography