David Manners

Active - 1930 - 1936  |   Born - Apr 30, 1900   |   Died - Dec 23, 1998   |   Genres - Drama, Romance, Comedy, Crime

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Biography by Hal Erickson

A descendant of William the Conqueror (or so his studio publicity claimed), Canadian actor David Manners was brought to films by director James Whale, who cast the personable, aristocratic-looking young man in the 1930 filmization of Journey's End. It was Manners' thankless task to be the handsome but ineffectual hero of many a horror film: he was forever being knocked out, locked out, or otherwise detained from promptly rescuing the heroine in such films as Dracula (1931), The Mummy (1932) and The Black Cat (1934). He was better served as one of the Hemingwayesque heroes in The Last Flight (1931) and the unfortunate title character in The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1935). Manners quit film acting in 1936 to pursue a satisfying career as stage performer and novelist. Living in wealthy retirement in his 80s, David Manners was frequently an interview subject for books about his famous Hollywood associates (John Barrymore, Tod Browning, Boris Karloff et. al.); his recollections were always crystal clear, always amusing, and always unadorned (to Mr. Manners, Dracula star Bela Lugosi was nothing more or less than "a pain in the ass").

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