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George Sanders

Best know for his roles in The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Ghost and Mrs Muir and his Academy Award winning role in All About Eve.


Love, Life and Laughter  


Things to Come
Strange Cargo 
Find the Lady 
The Man Who Could Work Miracles 
Dishonour Bright 
Lloyd’s of London   


Love Is News 
Slave Ship
The Lady Escapes 
Lancer Spy   


International Settlement 
Four Men and a Prayer  


Mr. Moto’s Last Warning 
The Outsider 
So This Is London 
The Saint Strikes Back 
Confessions of a Nazi Spy 
The Saint in London 
Nurse Edith Cavell 
Allegheny Uprising  


The Saint’s Double Trouble 
Green Hell 
The House of the Seven Gables 
The Saint Takes Over 
Foreign Correspondent 
Bitter Sweet 
The Son of Monte Cristo   


The Saint in Palm Springs 
Rage in Heaven
Man Hunt 
The Gay Falcon   


A Date with the Falcon
Son of Fury: The Story of Benjamin Blake
The Falcon Takes Over 
Her Cardboard Lover 
Tales of Manhattan
The Falcon’s Brother
The Moon and Sixpence
The Black Swan 
Quiet Please, Murder   


They Came to Blow Up America
This Land Is Mine 
Appointment in Berlin 
Paris After Dark   


The Lodger
Action in Arabia 
Summer Storm   


Hangover Square 
The Picture of Dorian Gray 
The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry   


A Scandal in Paris 
The Strange Woman   


The Private Affairs of Bel Ami
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir 
Forever Amber   


The Fan 
Samson and Delilah  


All About Eve
Black Jack   


I Can Get It for You Wholesale
The Light Touch  


Assignment – Paris!   


Call Me Madam   


Witness to Murder 
King Richard and the Crusaders
Journey to Italy (Viaggio in Italia)   


Jupiter’s Darling 
The Scarlet Coat 
The King’s Thief   


Never Say Goodbye 
While the City Sleeps 
That Certain Feeling 
Death of a Scoundrel 


The Seventh Sin   


The Whole Truth 
From the Earth to the Moon   


That Kind of Woman 
Solomon and Sheba   


A Touch of Larceny 
The Last Voyage 
Bluebeard’s Ten Honeymoons 
Cone of Silence
Village of the Damned   


Five Golden Hours
Gli Invasori 
The Rebel 
Le Rendez-vous   


Operation Snatch
In Search of the Castaways   


The Cracksman   


Dark Purpose 
The Golden Head
A Shot in the Dark   


Last Plane to Baalbeck 
Trunk to Cairo 
The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders 
The Billionaire  


The Quiller Memorandum   


Warning Shot 
Good Times
The Jungle Book   


King of Africa   


The Candy Man 
The Body Stealers 
The Girl from Rio 
The Best House in London   


The Kremlin Letter 
Rendezvous with Dishonour   


Endless Night 


He was nominated for and won one Best Actor in a Supporting Role Academy Award for his role in All About Eve (1950)

Dear World, I am leaving because I am bored. I feel I have lived long enough. I am leaving you with your worries in this sweet cesspool. Good luck. ~George Sanders (from his suicide note)

George Sanders was born in Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire. At the outbreak of the Russian Revolution in 1917 when George was 11 years old, the family moved to England. Like his brother, (actor Tom Conway) he attended Bedales School and Brighton College, a boys’ independent school in Brighton, then went on to Manchester Technical College. After graduating he worked at an advertising agency, where the company secretary, the aspiring actress Greer Garson, suggested that he take up a career in acting.

Sanders made his British film debut in 1929. Seven years later, after a series of British films, he took his first role in an American production in Lloyd’s of London (1936) as Lord Everett Stacy. His smooth upper-class English accent, his sleek manner and his suave, superior and somewhat threatening air made him in demand for American films for years to come. He gravitated to supporting roles in A-pictures, often with all-British casts, such as Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca (1940), in which he and Judith Anderson played cruel foils to Joan Fontaine‘s character, and in Foreign Correspondent, later that year, where he played one of his few heroic parts in a Europe threatened by Fascism.

George Sanders and Dolores del Rio in International Settlement (1938)

George Sanders and Dolores del Rio in International Settlement (1938)

His early leading roles were in B-pictures and adventure serials; in his first American job as a leading man, the rarely-seen International Settlement, (1938) with Dolores Del Rio he rose above material to play a sophisticated British man of danger; it did so well that it led to the title role in two popular wartime film series with similar characters, one based on The Falcon and the other on The Saint. He played a smooth American Nazi in Confessions of a Nazi Spy (1939) with Edward G. Robinson. Rage in Heaven (1941), an early film noir, cast him as the trustworthy good guy whose best friend, Robert Montgomery, goes murderously insane and sets him up for the rap, but such forays were seldom. By 1942, Sanders handed the role of the Falcon to his brother Tom, in The Falcon’s Brother. The only other film in which the two acting siblings appeared together was Death of a Scoundrel (1956), in which they also played brothers.

Sanders played Lord Henry Wotton in the film version of The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945) and was the third lead in The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947) with Gene Tierney and Rex Harrison in the leads. Sanders starred with Angela Lansbury in Albert Lewin’s The Private Affairs of Bel Ami (1947), based on the novel by Guy de Maupassant. Sanders and Lansbury also featured in Cecil B. deMille’s biblical epic Samson and Delilah (1949).

For his role as the acerbic, cold-blooded theatre critic Addison DeWitt in All About Eve (1950) Sanders won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. He then starred as Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert in Ivanhoe (1952), dying in a duel with Robert Taylor after professing his love for the Jewish maiden Rebecca, played by Elizabeth Taylor. Sanders starred as King Richard the Lionheart in King Richard and the Crusaders (1954).

Image from the movie "The Picture of Dorian Gray"

© 1945 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) − All right reserved.

Sanders went into television with the series The George Sanders Mystery Theater (1957). He also portrayed Mr. Freeze in two episodes of the live-action TV series Batman, both shown in February 1966. Sanders voiced the malevolent Shere Khan in the Walt Disney production of The Jungle Book (1967). He had a supporting role in John Huston’s The Kremlin Letter (1969), in which his first scene showed him dressed in drag and playing piano in a gay bar in San Francisco.

On October 27 1940 Sanders married Susan Larson (real name Elsie Poole). The couple divorced in 1949. From later that year until 1954 Sanders was married to Zsa Zsa Gabor, with whom he starred in the film Death of a Scoundrel (1956) after their divorce. On February 10 1959 Sanders married Benita Hume, widow of Ronald Colman. She died in 1967, the same year Sanders’s brother Tom Conway died of liver failure; Sanders endured a further blow in the same year with the death of his mother, Margarethe.

Sanders’s autobiography, Memoirs of a Professional Cad, was published in 1960 and gathered critical praise for its wit. Sanders suggested the title A Dreadful Man for his biography, which was later written by his friend Brian Aherne and published in 1979. Sanders’s last marriage, on December 4 1970, was to Magda Gabor, the elder sister of his second wife. This marriage lasted only 32 days, after which he began drinking heavily.

Sanders suffered from dementia, worsened by waning health, and visibly teetered in his last films, owing to a loss of balance. According to Aherne’s biography, he also had a minor stroke. Sanders could not bear the prospect of losing his health or needing help to carry out everyday tasks, and became deeply depressed.

On April 23 1972, Sanders checked into a hotel in Castelldefels, a coastal town near Barcelona. He was found dead two days later, having gone into cardiac arrest after swallowing the contents of five bottles of the barbiturate Nembutal.

Sanders’s body was returned to Britain for funeral services, after which it was cremated and the ashes were scattered in the English Channel.

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