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Miles Mander

Miles Mander (May 14 1888February 8 1946), born Lionel Henry Mander (and sometimes credited as Luther Miles), was a well-known and versatile English character actor of the early Hollywood cinema, also a film director and producer, and a playwright and novelist.

Early life

Miles Mander was the second son of Theodore Mander, builder of Wightwick Manor, of the prominent Mander family, industrialists and public servants of Wolverhampton, Staffordshire, in Midland England. He was the younger brother of Sir Geoffrey Mander, the Member of Parliament. He was educated at Harrow School, Loretto School and McGill University. But he soon broke away from the predictable mould of business and philanthropy. He was an early aviator, a captain in the Royal Army Service Corps in World War I. He spent his 20s in New Zealand farming sheep, with his uncle, Martin Mander.

Film career

He achieved success as Sir Hugh Boycott in The First Born (1928) which he directed and acted in, and which was based on his own novel and play. He is better remembered for his character portrayals of oily villains, many of them English gentlemen or upper-crust cads - such as Cardinal Richelieu in the The Three Musketeers (1939). In his Hollywood debut, he had portrayed King Louis XIII in the 1935 version of that same Alexandre Dumas, père classic. Other famous film credits included Wuthering Heights with Lawrence Olivier and Merle Oberon.

Personal life

His first wife was an Indian princess, Princess Prativa Devi, the daughter of the Maharajah Nripendra Narayan of Cooch Behar. His brother Alan married her sister, Princess Sudhira. He married secondly Kathren ('Bunty') French, of Sydney, Australia, by whom he had a son, Theodore. He wrote a book of memoirs and advice to him, To My Son -- in Confidence (1934). He died suddenly of a heart attack at the Brown Derby restaurant in Los Angeles, aged 57.

Filmography

As actor

As director

  • The Whistler (1926) short made in Phonofilm
  • The Sheik of Araby (1926) short made in Phonofilm
  • Knee Deep in Daisies (1926) short made in Phonofilm
  • The Fair Maid of Perth (1926) short made in Phonofilm
  • False Colours (1927) short made in Phonofilm
  • The Sentence of Death (1927) U. S. title His Great Moment, short made in Phonofilm
  • Packing Up (1927) short made in Phonofilm
  • As We Lie (1927) short film made in DeForest Phonofilm
  • The First Born (1928)
  • The Woman Between (1931) U.S. title The Woman Decides
  • Fascination (1931)
  • Youthful Folly (1934)
  • The Morals of Marcus (1935)
  • The Flying Doctor (1936)

As writer

  • Lovers in Araby (1924)
  • As We Lie (1927) (story)
  • The First Born (1928)
  • The Woman Between (1931/I) aka The Woman Decides (USA)
  • The Mistress of Atlantis (1932) aka The Lost Atlantis (USA)
  • The Lodger (1932) aka The Phantom Fiend (USA)
  • The Morals of Marcus (1935)
  • The Flying Doctor (1936)

As producer

  • Watchtower Over Tomorrow (1945) (uncredited)
  • Knee Deep in Daisies (1926)
  • The First Born (1928)
  • The Flying Doctor (1936)

External links

Sources

  • Miles Mander, To my Son -- in Confidence, Faber, 1934
  • Miles Mander, Gentleman by Birth, 1933
  • Sir Geoffrey Le Mesurier Mander (ed), The History of Mander Brothers, Wolverhampton. 1955
  • C. Nicholas Mander, Varnished Leaves: a biography of the Mander Family of Wolverhampton, 1750-1950, Owlpen Press, 2004
  • Patricia Pegg, A Very Private Heritage: the private papers of Samuel Theodore Mander, 1853-1900, Malvern, 1996

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