Leo G. Carroll

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Leo Gratten Carroll , (born October 25, 1886 in Weedon Bec , Northamptonshire , England , † October 16, 1972 in Hollywood ) was an English actor. The character actor played high-profile supporting roles in many Hollywood films, including six Hitchcock productions.


Leo Gratten Carroll was born to William and Catharine Carroll into a wealthy Catholic family in England. It was named after Pope Leo XIII, who was in office from 1878 to 1903 . After Caroll had initially worked as a wine merchant, he finally became a professional theater actor in 1912. Until the mid-1930s, Carroll commuted back and forth between the stages in London and Broadway . His greatest successes included The Green Bay Tree between 1933 and 1934 and the US premiere of Patrick Hamilton's crime play Gaslicht with Vincent Price in the early 1940s . Even at the beginning of his film career, he remained very connected to the theater, until the mid-1950s the character actor appeared on Broadway.

After making his film debut in Sadie McKee , Carroll quickly became a sought-after supporting actor in Hollywood. Star director Alfred Hitchcock in particular relied on his services; Carroll was seen in six films by the British director between 1940 and 1959: In Rebecca (1940), as a doctor, he provides the last detail to solve a mysterious death, suspected (1941) he is the Supervisor of Cary Grant ; In I fight for you (1945) he played a retired sanatorium director, in The Paradin Case (1947) he played the accuser Sir Joseph, in The Stranger on a Train (1951) he played an American senator and in The Invisible Third (1959) Carroll is the mysterious secret service chief The Professor . Carroll was primarily cast as a doctor, scientist, or butler, but also played Marley's ghost in A Christmas Carol (1938) and the creepy servant Joseph in Sturmhöhe (1939).

Carroll had an interesting role in 1951 as German General Gerd von Rundstedt in Rommel, the desert fox , where his figure - surprisingly so shortly after the end of the Second World War - is shown as a sympathetic and tragic figure. One of his most famous film roles is also the shop owner Felix Ducotel in the black comedy We Are Not Angels (1955) by Michael Curtiz , who unexpectedly receives help against greedy relatives from three bandits. In 1961 he took on the role of Reverend Mosby in the comedy The Marriage of Her Parents Announce . In relation to his role in the horror film Tarantula (1955), he is celebrated in the opening song Science Fiction / Double Feature of The Rocky Horror Show .

From the 1950s, Carroll was also regularly seen on American television. Between 1953 and 1955, he took on the role of an orderly banker in the TV series Topper , who is persecuted by two ghosts. Between 1962 and 1963 he played the conservative Father Fitzgibbon in the television series Going My Way , which was based on the film The Way to Happiness . Carroll was one of the first actors to play the same role in two different television series at the same time, namely that of the secret service chief Alexander Waverly in both solo for ONCEL and in The Girl from UNCLE .

From 1926 until his death Caroll was married to Edith Nancy de Silva, they had one child. After 1968 he retired from the film business and died in 1972 at the age of 85 as a result of cancer of pneumonia .

Filmography (selection)

Web links

Commons : Leo G. Carroll  - Collection of Images, Videos and Audio Files

Individual evidence

  1. Biographical data of Leo G. Carroll In: Gerald Bordman, Thomas S. Hischak: The Oxford Companion to American Theater. Oxford University Press, 2004, p. 114.