Neil Hamilton

Active - 1923 - 1989  |   Born - Sep 9, 1899 in Lynn, Massachusetts  |   Died - Sep 24, 1984   |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Romance, Mystery, Crime

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Classically handsome film leading man Neil Hamilton was trained in stock companies before making his 1918 film bow. He rose to stardom under the guidance of D. W. Griffith, who cast Hamilton in leading roles in The Great Romance (1919), The White Rose (1923), America (1924) and Isn't Life Wonderful? (1924). In an era when sturdy dependability was one of the prerequisites of male stardom, Hamilton was one of the silent screen's most popular personalities, as well suited to the role of faithful Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby (1925) as he was to the Foreign Legion derring-do of Beau Geste (1927). His pleasant voice and excellent diction enabled Hamilton to make the transition to sound with ease. Unfortunately, he always seemed a bit of a stick in his talkie portrayals, and it wasn't long before he found himself shunted off to "other man" assignments (Tarzan and His Mate) and villainous characterizations (The Saint Strikes Back). By the early 1940s, he had lost both fame and fortune -- and, as he'd ruefully observe later, most of his so-called industry friends. Only the love of his wife and his rock-solid religious convictions saw him through his darkest days. Hamilton made a comeback as a character actor, playing brusque, businesslike types in TV series like Perry Mason and Fireside Theatre. From 1966 through 1968, Neil Hamilton co-starred as poker-faced Commissioner Gordon on the TV series Batman.

Movie Highlights

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