Herbert Marshall

Herbert Marshall
M.B. Paul / Columbia


Herbert Marshall
Film: South side of the 6200 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Born May 23, 1890 in London, United Kingdom
Died Jan. 22, 1966 of heart attack in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Described as an urbane Briton, Herbert Marshall had an acclaimed career that included roles on stage, screen and TV.

Marshall enjoyed a half-century of success as a performer after overcoming the loss of his right leg from a World War I combat injury. He got around so well on an artificial limb that his audiences generally were unaware of his disability.

Born in London in 1890, Marshall was the son of a well-known British stage actor. As a young man he attended St. Mary's College in Harlow, England.

At the age of 20, a stage manager friend of his father hired him as an assistant.

Hollywood legend has it that in 1911, an actor became ill and Marshall was pressed into service for a walk-on role. He supposedly became so entranced with the footlights that he took up the career that made him internationally famous for 50 years.

In World War I, Marshall and actor Ronald Colman joined the 14th London Scots Regiment and saw action on a number of European fronts. He was severely wounded in 1915 and lost his right leg. His conduct won him a citation for his bravery.

After 13 months in the hospital, Marshall returned to acting and became an immediate success. He had many stage roles before turning to motion pictures. His first film, "Mumsie," was a silent English picture that starred Pauline Frederick.

His stage career later expanded to Broadway. In 1929, he made his first talkie and American film, costarring with Jeanne Eagels in "The Letter." Then came "Secrets of a Secretary" with Claudette Colbert and "The Painted Veil" with Greta Garbo.

With the advent of radio and television, Marshall worked in both mediums.

The handsome, soft-spoken actor made infrequent appearances in his later career, which he blamed on changing film tastes and poor health.

"They don't seem to make my type of pictures anymore — the type that was termed 'drawing room' for lack of a better name," he once told The Times.

Among his better known films were "The Razor's Edge," "Duel in the Sun," "A Bill of Divorcement" and "The Moon and Sixpence." He appeared in about 40 films. His last film was 1965's "The Third Day."

Marshall was married five times. He was divorced from model Lee Russell, actress Edna Best and model Molly Maitland. His fourth wife, ex-showgirl Boots Mallory, died in 1958. His fifth wife was department store buyer Dee Ann Kauhmann.

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