Tim Whelan Sr.

Active - 1923 - 1955  |   Born - Jan 1, 1893   |   Died - Jan 1, 1957   |   Genres - Comedy, Musical, Drama, Crime, Romance

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Biography by Bruce Eder

A former stage actor and director, Tim Whelan entered the movie business as a screenwriter in 1920, specializing in comedy with Harold Lloyd. He became a director in the late '20s in England, and continued in this capacity, in a less distinguished manner, in Hollywood after the outbreak of World War II. His best films were all made under the auspices of Sir Alexander Korda's London Films, including the romantic comedy The Divorce of Lady X (1938) with Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon, the drama St. Martin's Lane (1938) with Vivien Leigh, Rex Harrison, and Charles Laughton, the spy thriller Q Planes (1939) with Laurence Olivier, Ralph Richardson, and Valerie Hobson, and the Arabian Nights fantasy The Thief of Bagdad (1940) with Sabu and Conrad Veidt (co-directed with Michael Powell and Ludwig Berger). Whelan's most notable American film was the musical comedy Higher and Higher (1943), which marked Frank Sinatra's screen debut.

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