Henry Kolker

1874 - 1947

Stalwart character actor Henry Kolker appeared on the Broadway stage from 1904, comedy being his forte early on. Later, as a leading man in romantic dramas, he partnered famous stars like Alla Nazimova. Moving on to films in 1914 as actor/director, he became noted in particular for directing Disraeli (1921), starring George Arliss (now a lost film, except for one reel). Plagued by ill-health and much publicised marital problems, Kolker's star had waned somewhat by the end of the silent era. However, he continued to remain in demand as a supporting actor, generally typecast as stern judges, priests, heavy fathers and cuckolded husbands. Usually scowling and sombre, he chided and glowered over stars like Melvyn Douglas, Gary Cooper and Katharine Hepburn (arguably his best role being the latter's father, Edward Seton, in Holiday (1938)). He was equally effective in the role of banker John Fair in The Crash (1932), and as Friar Laurence in George Cukor's Romeo and Juliet (1936). Kolker rem

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