Like his fellow character actors C. Aubrey Smith and Sir Guy Standing, the dignified Henry Stephenson was seemingly born with a relief map of the British Empire chiseled on his countenance. Born in the British West Indies, Stephenson was educated at England's Rugby College. He turned to acting in his twenties, touring the provinces before settling into leading roles in London and New York. Though he made a smattering of silent film appearances, Stephenson's movie career did not really begin until 1932, with his supporting appearance in The Animal Kingdom. Virtually always cast as an aristocrat or man of means, Stephenson essayed such roles as Mr. Laurence in Little Women (1933), Sir Joseph Banks in Mutiny on the Bounty (1935), the Duke of Norfolk in The Prince and the Pauper, and Count Matthieu de Lesseps in Suez (1938). Henry Stephenson acted in films until his mid-seventies; his last film assignments included the part of Mr. Brownlow in the David Lean-directed Oliver Twist (1948).