Patric Knowles

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Patric Knowles (born November 11, 1911 in Horsforth , Yorkshire as Reginald Lawrence Knowles , † December 23, 1995 in Woodland Hills , California ) was a British actor who was known, among other things, as a supporting actor of Errol Flynn in several films.


The son of a publisher initially worked in his father's company before he got smaller roles on stage and in film due to his good looks. His title role as a student from Heidelberg in Great Britain brought him the attention of Warner Studios in Hollywood, which immediately signed him and gave him a first leading role as the son of a British lord in Give Me Your Heart . However, Knowles got his breakthrough as the brother of Errol Flynn in the adventure film The Treason of Surat Khan . In the next few years several films were made at Flynn's side, such as Robin Hood, King of the Vagabonds , where Knowles played Robin Hood's friend Will Scarlet . Although he succeeded several times - including in and love for four  - at the end of his rival Flynn's bride, he remained in his shadow as a film actor.

In 1939 he ended his collaboration with Warner Brothers and worked from then on as a freelance actor without a studio contract , which was unusual in Hollywood at the time and ensured that Knowles hardly got any good roles. Because he played only irregularly in films, he also often worked in the theater. He fought as an instructor in World War II . The tall Knowles, often referred to as "the poor man's Errol Flynn" in film reviews, was cast in stereotypical roles due to his aristocratic facial features, distinguished mustache and British origins. The crux of his acting career describes a limerick from the forties:

"How pleasant to know Patric Knowles
Who is the kindest of souls
But being handsome and a British swell
Nobody expects him to act very well
Which is why he never gets good roles."

"How nice it is to know Patric Knowles,
who has the kindest of all souls.
He is very attractive and a great Briton
but therefore nobody expects him to be a good actor. That
is the reason why he never gets good roles."

In addition to roles as a gentleman, he also played a detective in the cheap horror film production The Strange Case of Dr. RX and a miner in John Ford's drama The Striking Weather . Occasionally he also played negative characters: Knowles played a mad scientist in the horror film Frankenstein meets the Wolfman and a fleeting thief in the thriller The Big Steal, pursued by Robert Mitchum . He had one of his best roles as the husband of Claudette Colbert in the war drama Three Returned Home (1950). From the 1950s, Knowles also took on guest roles on television. In the 1960s he was for example directed by Andrew V. McLaglen in the westerns The Road to the West and Chisum in front of the camera. One of his last roles was that of Lord Louis Mountbatten in the war drama The Devil's Brigade - again directed by McLaglen. At the beginning of the 1970s, he finally let his career come to an end after around 125 film and television appearances.

In 1960, Knowles received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame . After the end of his acting career, Knowles devoted himself to other pursuits such as painting . He was also the author of a novel called Even Steven (1960) and wrote a pamphlet called Rebuttal for a Friend in 1990 , in which he stated that Errol Flynn was never a Nazi spy after such rumors had surfaced in the decades before. Knowles died of a cerebral haemorrhage on December 23, 1995 at the age of 84 in Woodland Hills near Los Angeles , a few months after the diamond wedding with his wife Enid. They had two children.

Filmography (selection)

Web links

Commons : Patric Knowles  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Ronald Bergan quoted the Limerick in his obituary for Knowles in the Guardian of January 2, 1996 and gave as the date of origin "about 1940".
  2. ^ Obituary at the Independent