Birthday: May 17th, 1878Date of Death: October 1st, 1939
Conway Tearle (May 17, 1878 – October 1, 1938) was an Anglo-American stage actor who went on to perform in silent and early sound films
Tearle's performance that night led to his first appearance on the London stage playing the Viscomte de Chauvin, the lead role in "The Queen's Double” on April 27, 1901 at the Garrick Theatre, He next toured Australia playing the title role in Ben Hur for some months before returning to London to star in the play, The Best of Friends at the Theatre Royal. Tearle divided the following four seasons equally with companies headed by Ellen Terry and Sir Charles Wyndham.
In 1905 Tearle returned to America to play opposite Grace George in the short lived play Abigail. Over the next eight years or so Tearle played in a number of Broadway productions that failed to excite New York audiences. He did at times though garner singular praise for his performances in such plays as The New York Idea, The Liars, Major Barbara, and others. In 1908/09 Tearle reprised his title role in a lavish Klaw and Erlinger road production of Ben Hur.
Tearle turned to Hollywood in 1914 where he would find considerable success playing romantic leads. His first film was The Nightingale, a story by Augustus Thomas about a slum girl (Ethel Barrymore) who rose to be a great opera star. His last was in a 1936 film adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet with John Barrymore. Overall Tearle appeared in some 93 films over his career and at one point was thought to be the highest paid actor in America. On December 16, 1931, Conway appeared with co-star Kay Francis at the grand opening of the Paramount Theater in Oakland, California, which hosted the premiere of their film The False Madonna, released by Paramount Pictures.
The following year Tearle scored a major hit on Broadway in the original 1932 production of Dinner at Eight, creating the role of fading screen idol Larry Renault which would later be played on film by John Barrymore. His last two Broadway appearances were in short productions of Living Dangerously in 1935 and Antony and Cleopatra two years later.
died in Hollywood, California from a heart attack, on October 1, 1938, aged 60.