Richard Bennett (actor): Actor (1870 - 1944) | Biography
peoplepill id: richard-bennett-6
1 views today
5 views this week
Richard Bennett (actor)

Richard Bennett (actor)

Richard Bennett (actor)
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Actor
Was Actor Screenwriter Stage actor Film actor
From United States of America
Field Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender male
Birth 21 May 1870, Deacon
Death 22 October 1944, Los Angeles (aged 74 years)
Spouse: Adrienne Morrison
Children: Constance BennettJoan BennettBarbara Bennett
Richard Bennett (actor)
The details (from wikipedia)


Clarence Charles William Henry Richard Bennett (May 21, 1870 – October 22, 1944) was an American actor who became a stage and silent screen matinee idol over the early decades of the 20th century. He was the father of actresses Constance Bennett, Barbara Bennett and Joan Bennett by his second wife, actress Adrienne Morrison.


Bennett was born in Deer Creek Township, Cass County, Indiana, in May 1870. Called Clarence until he was 10, he was the eldest child of George Washington Bennett and Eliza Leonora Bennett.:8 His younger sister was Ina Blanche Bennett. For a time, he was a sailor on Great Lakes steamer, a professional boxer, medicine showman, troubadour and night clerk in a hotel in Chicago.

Bennett made his stage debut May 10, 1891, in Chicago, in the The Limited Mail.:15 He went to New York, where his Broadway debut was in His Excellency the Governor (1899), which was produced by Charles Frohman. In his third Broadway production, he played the role as Father Anselm in Frohman's production of A Royal Family (1901–02).

Bennett was married to Grena Heller in 1901 in San Francisco. They soon separated, and were divorced in 1903. Using her married name, she starred in a few plays on Broadway, and went on to a successful career as a music critic for Hearst's New York American.

On November 8, 1903, Bennett and actress Adrienne Morrison were married in Jersey City. They had three daughters, all notable actresses: Constance Bennett, Barbara Bennett and Joan Bennett.

In 1905, Bennett won fame as the leading man, Hector Malone, Jr., in Shaw's Man and Superman. That was followed by his role as Jefferson Ryder in the stage hit, The Lion and the Mouse (1905).

Richard Bennett in 1908

A series of spectacular roles followed. In 1908, he played the role as John Shand opposite Maude Adams in J. M. Barrie's What Every Woman Knows. Frequent quarrels between the stars occurred during the run of the play, and when Adams opened in Peter Pan, Bennett telegraphed his congratulations "on achieving your long ambition to be your own leading man."

Bennett is also known for adapting socially conscious works of Eugène Brieux, including Maternity.

In 1913, Bennett had a theatrical success starring as Georges Dupont in the social disease stage drama Damaged Goods, which he also co-produced. He won a reputation for his curtain harangues, which friends—and critics—said were at least as good as his stage portrayals when he wound up an appearance by stepping in front of the curtain and castigating the police and courts for "narrow-mindedness." He developed this penchant until his ab-lib speeches won greater applause than many of the plays in which he acted.

Bennett reprised his stage role for his feature film debut, Damaged Goods (1914), which co-starred his wife, Adrienne Morrison. He helped adapt the screenplay and direct the drama. In the drama The Valley of Decision (1916), which he wrote, Bennett appeared on the screen with his wife, Morrison, and his three daughters.

In 1922, Bennett starred in Broadway's English-language version of Leonid Andreyev's melodrama, He Who Gets Slapped, playing the title role as He. The success of the play led to a film adaptation by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, with Lon Chaney in Bennett's role.

Bennett and Morrison appeared together on stage in the 1923 play The Dancers. They were divorced in April 1925.

In 1925, he became acquainted with Aimee Raisch in San Francisco, during the production of Creoles, in which she played a minor role. She was a young socialite and aspiring actress who was divorcing her millionaire clubman and polo player husband, Harry G. Hastings.

Bennett and Raisch were married July 11, 1927, in Chicago.

His daughter Joan made her stage debut acting with Bennett in Jarnegan (1928). This play, in which he played Jack Jarnegan, provided one of his favorite roles—that of a belligerent, drunken movie director given to acidulous and profane comments on Hollywood.

He and Raisch separated April 3, 1934, and were divorced in 1937.

The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)
Richard Bennett, Joseph Cotten, Dolores Costello, Don Dillaway, Agnes Moorehead, Ray Collins

With the advent of the talkies the middle-aged Bennett found a niche as a character actor. In 1931 he appeared with his daughter Constance Bennett in Bought.

He played the dying millionaire, John Glidden, in If I Had a Million (1932).

Bennett is probably best known for his role as Major Amberson in Orson Welles's second feature film, The Magnificent Ambersons (1942). Welles's next production, Journey into Fear (1943), was Bennett's final film.

Richard Bennett died at age 74 from a heart attack at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles. Episcopal funeral services were conducted on October 24, 1944, in Beverly Hills. He is interred in Pleasant View Cemetery, Lyme, Connecticut, beside his second wife and mother of his daughters.

Bennett was fond of saying that the movie industry was not a business, but a madhouse.

Select theatre credits

Date Title Role Notes
May 10, 1891 The Limited Mail Tombstone Jake Standard Theatre, Chicago
First appearance on the professional stage, beginning in a small role but eventually playing the lead
Production is on the road for a total of 54 weeks:15–16
New York debut November 16, 1891, at Niblo's Garden
May 1897 A Round of Pleasure Harry Spaulding Knickerbocker Theatre, New York
October 4, 1897– The Proper Caper Achille Hoyt's Theatre, New York
Produced by Gustave Frohman
Cast includes Henry Bergman, Amelia Bingham, Alice Fischer
November 22, 1897– The White Heather Dick Beach Academy of Music, New York
Written by Cecil Raleigh and Henry Hamilton, produced by Charles Frohman
February 13–March 25, 1899 Her Atonement Charles Le Roy Academy of Music, New York
Produced by Charles Frohman
March 29, 1899– At the White Horse Tavern Frederick Siedler Wallack's Theatre, New York
Produced by Charles Frohman
Bennett replaces Joseph Holland
May 9, 1899– His Excellency the Governor Captain Rivers Lyceum Theatre, New York
Written by Robert Marshall, produced by Charles Frohman
March 26–April 1900 Twelve Months Later Frederick Siedler Hoyt's Theatre, New York
Sequel to At the White Horse Tavern
September 5, 1901–February 1902 A Royal Family Father Anselm Lyceum Theatre, New York
Written by Robert Marshall, produced by Charles Frohman
December 30, 1901–February 1902 Sweet and Twenty Villain Hoyt's Theatre, New York
Written by Basil Hood, produced by Charles Frohman
October 20–November 1902 His Excellency the Governor Captain Rivers Garrick Theatre, New York
November 17, 1902–January 1903 Imprudence Jimmy Greaves Empire Theatre, New York
October 19–December 1903 The Best of Friends The Boer Boy Academy of Music, New York
Written by Cecil Raleigh, produced by Charles Frohman
Cast includes Lionel Barrymore
December 29, 1903–May 1904 The Other Girl Mr. Taylor Criterion Theatre, Empire Theatre, Lyceum Theatre, New York
Cast includes Lionel Barrymore (Mr. Sheldon), Elsie de Wolfe (Estelle Kitteridge), Frank Worthing (Dr. Clifton Bradford)
September 5, 1905– Man and Superman Hector Malone, Jr. Hudson Theatre, New York
Written by George Bernard Shaw, produced by Charles Dillingham
Cast includes Edward Abeles (Henry Straker), Clara Bloodgood (Violet Robinson), Fay Davis (Anne Whitefield), Alfred Hickman (Octavius Robinson), Robert Loraine (John Tanner)
November 20, 1905– The Lion and the Mouse Jefferson Ryder Lyceum Theatre, Grand Opera House, Hudson Theatre, Academy of Music, New York
Written by Charles Klein, produced by Henry B. Harris
Cast includes Edmund Breese (John Burkett Ryder)
August 30, 1906–February 1907 The Hypocrites Lennard Wilmore Hudson Theatre, New York
Written by Henry Arthur Jones, produced by Charles Frohman
Cast includes Viva Birkett, W. H. Denny, Leslie Faber, Doris Keane, Jessie Millward
January 20–March 1908 Twenty Days in the Shade Henri, Comte de Merville Savoy Theatre, New York
Produced by Charles Frohman
Cast includes Pauline Frederick
September 5–September 1908 Diana of Dobson's Victor Bretherton Savoy Theatre, New York
Written by Cicely Hamilton, produced by Charles Frohman
December 23, 1908–June 1909 What Every Woman Knows John Shand Empire Theatre, New York
Written by J. M. Barrie, produced by Charles Frohman
Cast includes Maude Adams (Maggie Wylie), David Torrence (David Wylie), Lumsden Hare (Charles Venables)
August 11–September 1910 The Brass Bottle Horace Ventimore Lyceum Theatre, New York
Written by F. Anstey, produced by Charles Frohman
January 9–May 1911 The Deep Purple William Lake Lyric Theatre, New York
September 14–December 1911 Passers-by Criterion Theatre, New York
December 25, 1912–May 1913 Stop Thief Jack Doogan Gaiety Theatre, New York
March 14–May 1913 Damaged Goods Georges Dupont Fulton Theatre, New York
Produced by Richard Bennett and Wilton Lackaye, Jr.
January 6–January 1915 Maternity Princess Theatre, New York
Written by Eugene Brieux, adapted by Richard Bennett
April 4–May 1916 Rio Grande Empire Theatre, New York
Written by Augustus Thomas
February 13–March 1917 The Morris Dance Little Theatre, New York
April 9–May 1917 Bosum Friends Liberty Theatre, New York
August 9–August 1917 The Very Idea Alan Camp Astor Theatre, New York
Written by William LeBaron
September 14, 1918–May 1919 The Unknown Purple Lyric Theatre, New York
Written by Roland West and Carlyle Moore
April 8–May 1919 A Good Bad Woman Harris Theatre, New York
Written by William Anthony McGuire, directed by Richard Bennett
December 19, 1919–May 1920 For the Defense Christopher Armstrong Playhouse Theatre, New York
Written by Elmer Rice
February 2–May 1920 Beyond the Horizon Robert Mayo Morosco Theatre, New York
Written by Eugene O'Neill, directed by Homer Saint-Gaudens
September 5–November 1921 The Hero Andrew Lane Belmont Theatre, New York
January 9–June 1922 He Who Gets Slapped He Garrick Theatre, New York
October 17, 1923–February 1924 The Dancers Tony Broadhurst Theatre, New York
Written by Gerald Du Maurier
Cast includes Barbara Bennett
November 24, 1924–October 1925 They Knew What They Wanted Tony Garrick Theatre, New York
Written by Sidney Howard
December 17, 1926–February 1927 Oh, Please Sammy Sands Fulton Theatre, New York
Written by Maurice Hennequin and Pierre Veber
Cast includes Helen Broderick, Beatrice Lillie, Charles Winninger
September 24, 1928–January 1929 Jarnegan Jack Jarnegan Longacre Theatre, New York
Directed by Richard Bennett
Cast includes Joan Bennett (stage debut)
October 14–November 1930 Solid South Major Bruce Follonsby Lyceum Theatre, New York
Directed by Rouben Mamoulian
Cast includes Bette Davis, Jessie Royce Landis
September 25, 1935–March 1936 Winterset Judge Gaunt Martin Beck Theatre, New York
Written by Maxwell Anderson, directed by Guthrie McClintic
Cast includes Burgess Meredith

Select filmography

Date Title Role Notes
1914 Damaged Goods George Dupont Cast: Adrienne Morrison, John Steppling
1916 And the Law Says Lawrence Kirby Cast: George Periolat, Adrienne Morrison, William Carroll
1916 Philip Holden — Waster Philip Holden Cast: George Periolat, Adrienne Morrison, Rhea Mitchell, Clarence Burton, Orral Humphrey
1916 The Sable Blessing George Slocum Cast: Rhea Mitchell, Adrienne Morrison, George Newton, George Periolat
1916 The Valley of Decision Young Manhood/Arnold Gray Cast: Adrienne Morrison, George Periolat
1917 The Gilded Youth John Slocum Cast: Rhea Mitchell, Adrienne Morrison, George Periolat, Charles Newton
1919 Secret Marriage Screenwriter
1919 The End of the Road Doctor Cast: Claire Adams, Alice Brady
1921 R.S.V.P. Technical director
1921 The Barnstormer Technical director
1924 The Eternal City Bruno Cast: Barbara La Marr, Bert Lytell
1924 Youth for Sale Montgomery Breck Cast: May Allison, Sigrid Holmquist, Charles Emmett Mack, Dorothy Allen
1925 Lying Wives Ted Stanhope Cast: Clara Kimball Young, Madge Kennedy, Edna Murphy, Niles Welch, J. Barney Sherry
1928 The Home Towners Vic Arnold Cast: Doris Kenyon, Robert McWade, Robert Edeson, Gladys Brockwell, John Miljan, Vera Lewis
1931 Five and Ten John Rarick Cast: Marion Davies, Leslie Howard
1931 Bought David Meyer Cast: Constance Bennett, Ben Lyon
1931 Arrowsmith Gustav Sondelius Cast: Ronald Colman, Helen Hayes
1932 This Reckless Age Donald Ingals Cast: Buddy Rogers, Peggy Shannon
1932 No Greater Love Surgeon Cast: Dickie Moore
1932 Madame Racketeer Elmer Hicks Cast: Alison Skipworth, George Raft
1932 Strange Justice Kearney Cast: Marian Marsh, Reginald Denny
1932 If I Had A Million John Glidden Cast: Gary Cooper, Charles Laughton, May Robson
1933 Big Executive Commodore Richardson Cast: Ricardo Cortez
1934 Nana Gaston Greiner Cast: Anna Sten, Lionel Atwill
1935 This Woman is Mine Korn Gregory Ratoff, John Loder, Benita Hume
1942 The Magnificent Ambersons Major Amberson Cast: Joseph Cotten, Dolores Costello, Anne Baxter, Tim Holt
1943 Journey into Fear Ship's captain Cast: Joseph Cotten, Dolores del Río

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
Search trend
comments so far.
From our partners
Sections Richard Bennett (actor)

arrow-left arrow-right instagram whatsapp myspace quora soundcloud spotify tumblr vk website youtube pandora tunein iheart itunes