Holmes in 1919
|Died||September 30, 1959 (aged 81)|
Taylor Holmes (May 16, 1878 - September 30, 1959) was an actor who appeared in over 100 Broadway plays in his five-decade career. However, he is probably best remembered for his screen performances, which he began in silent films in 1917. Among his earliest starring roles is in George K. Spoor's 1918 production A Pair of Sixes.
Holmes was born on May 16, 1878, in Newark, New Jersey.
He made his Broadway debut in February 1900 in the controversial play Sapho, which was briefly closed for indecency. Holmes played Rosencrantz with E. H. Sothern in a production of Hamlet and toured with Robert Edeson. He appeared in stage hits such as The Commuters, The Music Master, and His Majesty Bunker Bean.
Early film appearances included Efficiency Edgar's Courtship and Fools for Luck.
By the 1940s, he was working more on film than on stage. Holmes played a number of memorable roles, including the gullible millionaire conned in Nightmare Alley (1947), a shifty lawyer in Kiss of Death (1947), the Bishop of Avranches, who fiercely denounces Pierre Cauchon in the Ingrid Bergman Joan of Arc (1948), Marilyn Monroe's potential father-in-law in the 1953 Gentlemen Prefer Blondes ("I don't want to marry your son for his money, I want to marry him for your money!"), and the voice of King Stefan in Disney's animated feature Sleeping Beauty (1959), Holmes' last credited screen role in which he replaced Hans Conried, who was the model reference of Stefan and recorded only a few additional dialogues. He also played Ebenezer Scrooge in what is largely considered a notoriously bad (and cheaply made) half-hour television version of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, first telecast in 1949.
Only months after the release of his final film, Sleeping Beauty (1959), as King Stefan, Taylor Holmes died on September 30, 1959, at the age of 81.
He was married to actress Edna Phillips and was the father of actors Phillips Holmes, Madeleine Taylor Holmes, and Ralph Holmes.