Sunday, May 03, 2009

The Forgotten Career of EE Clive

EE Clive was a character actor from Blaenavon. After abandoning a fledgling career in medicine he decided instead to slap on the greasepaint and tread the boards. For 10 years he toured Britain in various theatrical productions before sailing to America. In Boston he set up his own acting company and by the 1920s he was operating in Hollywood. Inevitably he made the move into cinema. Although his movie career came relatively late in life the Welsh actor was always in demand. He specialised in playing officious bureaucrats, aristocrats, butlers, policemen, etc. Although his roles were often quite minor he turned up in some classic flicks such as The Invisible Man (1933), Bride of Frankenstein (1935) and Hitchcock's Foreign Correspondent (1940). And along the way he rubbed shoulders with greats like Ginger Rogers, Jack Benny, Dorothy Lamour, Betty Grable, Tyrone Power, Al Jolson, Shirley Temple, Mickey Rooney, Bette Davis, Jean Harlow, Johnny Weissmuller, Humphrey Bogart, Myrna Loy and Spencer Tracy amongst many others. EE Clive died in Hollywood in 1940.

*In the above still from Bride of Frankenstein, Clive, as the Burgomaster, gets his comeuppance at the hands of Frankenstein's monster, played by Boris Karloff.