86 (passed away Mar. 8th, 1977)
Oct. 3rd, 1890
Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Henry Hull's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles1966 - The Chase
1965 - The Fool Killer
1961 - Master of the World
1958 - The Buccaneer
1955 - Man with the Gun
1953 - Inferno
1951 - Hollywood Story
1949 - Colorado Territory
1949 - The Fountainhead
1945 - Objective, Burma!
1944 - Lifeboat
1941 - High Sierra
1940 - The Return of Frank James
1939 - Nick Carter, Master Detective
1939 - Jesse James
1939 - Babes in Arms
1938 - Boys Town
1935 - Werewolf of London
1934 - Midnight
1922 - One Exciting Night
Guest TV Roles
Sheriff B. Banneman Brown
Sheriff Pat Patterson
Alky - Bootlegger Leader
Henry Hull, the actor who created the role of Jeter on Broadway in Tobacco Road (1941), was born in Louisville, Kentucky on October 13, 1890, the son of a drama critic. Originally intending to become an engineer, he became an actor and made his Broadway debut in the play "Green Stockings" less than two weeks before his 21st birthday, on October 2, 1911. Two years later, he appeared again on Broadway in support of John Barrymore (I) in "Believe Me Xantippe." He then quit the stage to go prospecting for gold, using his skills as a mining engineer. When he failed to find his Eldorado, Hull turned back to acting, appearing in "The Man Who Came Back" in 1916. He made his first films at the nearby World Studios in 1917, most famously starring as the ill-fated Aleksandr Kerensky in Rasputin, the Black Monk (1917). The following year, he appeared in the second film adaptation of Louisa May Alcott' 's famous novel Little Women (1918).
Although he appeared in about a dozen films after World War One until the mid-1930s, Hull concentrated on the stage until he went to Hollywood to appear as Magwitch in Great Expectations (1934). He even had a play he wrote produced on Broadway, "Manhattan," which made its debut on August 15, 1922 at the Playhouse Theatre, and ran for a respectable (for the time) 86 performances. : Hull made his mark in the history of the horror film, one of Hollywood's most venerable genre's, by appearing in the title role in Werewolf of London (1935). At six fee tall and slender, Hull had a rich and cultured voice, which put him in demand as a supporting player in the Golden Age of Hollywood. However, he was a mannered movie actor in a style that became eclipsed after the death of John Barrymore, and often he gave a performance, such as that of the newspaper editor in The Return of Frank James (1940) that was a thick slice of ham. However, his mannerisms and plummy voice were perfect for certain roles such as the obnoxious millionaire conceived by populist John Steinbeck for Lifeboat (1944).
Hull's greatest success as an actor was on Broadway, limning Erskine Caldwell's Jeter in Tobacco Road (1941), which still ranks as the longest-running drama in the Great White Way's history, opening on December 4, 1933 and closing on May 31, 1941 after 3,182 total performances. (Hull, of course, did not play the entire run; Jeeter was played by James Barton (I) and Will Geer; by early 1936, he was starring on Broadway in Maxwell Anderson (I)'s "The Masque of Kings".) When John Ford (I) came to cast the film of Tobacco Road (1941), he cast lovable old coot Charley Grapewin as Jeeter; Grapewin had been memorable as Grandpa Joad the year before in Ford's classic adaptation of Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath (1940).
Henry Hull's last film appearance was as a sort of chorus along with Jocelyn Brando in The Chase (1966). He was the brother of actor Shelly Hull, the brother-in-law of Shelly's wife Josephine Hull and the father of producer Shelley Hull (I) with his wife, the actress Juliet Fremont, whom he had appeared with on Broadway in 1916 in "The Man Who Came Back." Their son Henry Hull Jr. had a minor career on Broadway, appearing in and serving as assistant stage manager in his father's "The Masque of Kings," as well as appearing in the ensemble in the legendary "Hamlet" of John Gielgud that was on Broadway in 1936.
- Lived on an Old Lyme, Connecticut farm with his wife for over thirty years. Following her death in 1971 and after suffering a stroke, he moved to his daughter Joan's home in Cornwall, England.
- Father of producer 'Shelley Hull (I)' (qv).
- Enrolled at Cooper Union and Columbia University and studied engineering. During one brief juncture he worked as an assayer and mineralogist.
- Brother of actor 'Shelly Hull' (qv); brother-in-law of Shelly's spouse, actress 'Josephine Hull' (qv).
- Had three children: Henry Jr., an infrequent performer and stage manager; Shelley (named after his deceased brother and a prolific TV producer); and Joan.
- Died in England but was interred in the Rockland Cemetery in Sparkill, New York next to his wife.
- Born in Louisville Kentucky, the son of William Madison and Elinor (Vaughn) Hull, he moved to New York City with his family in 1902 where his father, a newspaper editor, critic and editor, was offered a position in the Klaw and Erlanger theatre syndicate booking office.
- His actress wife, Juliet van Wyck Fremont (1884-1971), was the granddaughter of Civil War general and explorer John C. Fremont. The couple appeared together on Broadway in "The Man Who Came Back" in 1916.
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