Montagu Love

Active - 1914 - 1946  |   Born - Mar 15, 1877   |   Died - May 17, 1943   |   Genres - Drama, Romance, Adventure

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Burly, military-mustached British actor Montague Love may well have been the finest villain of the silent screen. Love's first important job was as a London newspaper cartoonist; assigned to cover the Boer War, Love gained popularity by virtue of his vivid battle sketches. After launching his stage career in Britain, Love came to the U.S. in a 1913 road-company production of Cyril Maude's Grumpy. His film career commenced at New Jersey's World Studios in 1915. Concentrating on villainy in the 1920s, Love menaced Valentino in Son of the Sheik (1926), John Barrymore in Don Juan (1926), and Lillian Gish in The Wind (1928). Despite the sinister nature of his roles, the offscreen Love was highly respected for his courteous nature and his courage under pressure. During the talkie era, Love's bad-guy activities diminished to the point that he was avuncular and likeable in such films as A Damsel in Distress (1937) and Gunga Din (1939). He was often called upon to portray historic leaders, notably Henry VIII in The Prince and the Pauper (1937), King Philip II in The Sea Hawk (1940), and two American presidents: Jefferson in Alexander Hamilton (1931) and Washington in The Remarkable Andrew (1942). Montague Love's final film, The Constant Nymph, was released three years after his death in 1943.

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