Conway Tearle

Active - 1914 - 1936  |   Born - May 17, 1878   |   Died - Oct 1, 1939   |   Genres - Drama, Romance, Crime

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Biography by Hal Erickson

American actor Conway Tearle headed for England after graduating West Point, in hopes of pursuing a stage career. He made his theatrical debut in 1892, working steadily in London until his return to the States thirteen years later. Establishing himself as a romantic lead on Broadway, Tearle eased in motion pictures in 1914 with The Nightingale. None of his silent films were particularly memorable, but he was able to build up a following in roles calling for dependability and inner strength. Such was his fame with female fans that the ad copy of his first talking picture, The Gold Diggers of Broadway (1929), enthusiastically promised "love scenes as only CONWAY TEARLE can play them." Unfortunately the actor was well past 50 when talkies came in, and also reportedly was fighting a losing battle with Demon Rum. By the mid '30s Tearle's stock in Hollywood had fallen so low that he was forced to accept a starring job in a mercifully brief series of B-westerns! Conway Tearle's last film role of value was as Prince of Verona in Romeo and Juliet (1936), wherein he carried himself well despite the fact that he (and the rest of the cast, for that matter) was twenty years too old for the part.

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