British actor Trevor Howard trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and while there he made his London stage debut in 1934; however, his subsequent work onstage gained little attention until the mid-'40s. While fighting World War II with the Royal Artillery, he was injured and discharged. Howard made his feature film debut in 1944; soon he attained star status as the result of playing the romantic lead in David Lean's Brief Encounter (1945). Thus began a long and consistently successful film career. At first, Howard was cast in romantic leads, but then began playing more heroic leads before eventually moving into character roles. Regardless of his role, he was known as a consistent, polished actor with an understated, true-to-life style. At first appearing exclusively in British films, he began appearing occasionally in Hollywood productions in the mid-'50s. For his performance as the father in Sons and Lovers (1960) he received a Best Actor Oscar nomination. He was married to actress Helen Cherry, with whom he appeared in A Soldier for Christmas (1944).
Biography by Rovi
- Gained much success and acclaim performing on the West End stage and with the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon after training at RADA.
- Was reportedly initially turned down for military service by both the RAF and the British Army, but went on to serve as a second lieutenant with the Army Signal Corps in 1940 due to manpower shortage.
- Made his film debut in the uncredited role of a naval officer in the Carol Reed war drama The Way Ahead.
- Was a member of the renowned Marylebone Cricket Club and insisted on a clause in his contracts that excused him from filming to attend test matches.
- Won the BAFTA Film Award for Best British Actor for his work in 1958's The Key and a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Single Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for his work in 1963's Invincible Mr. Disraeli.