Jack Hawkins Edit Profile
Educated at Trinity County School, Middlesex, England.
As a juvenile, he appeared on the English stage and by 1930 he w;as into films: Birds of Prey (30, Basil Dean); The Lodger (32, Maurice Elvey); The Good Companions (33, Victor Saville); The Lost Chord (33, Elvey); The Jewel (33, Reginald Denham); A Shot in the Dark (33, George Pearson); Autumn Crocus (34. Dean); Death at Broadcasting House (34, Denham); Peg of Old Drury (35, Herbert Wilcox); The Frog (37, Jack Raymond); Beauty and the Barge (38, Henry Edwards); A Royal Divorce (38, Raymond); Murder Will Out (39, Roy William Neill); and Next of Kin (42, Thorold Dickinson).
During the w'ar, he served in India and was then made colonel in command of ENSA. He returned to the screen in peace and graduallv hauled himself to the top: The Fallen Idol (48, Carol Reed); Bonnie Prince Charlie (48, Anthony Kimmins); The Small Back Room (48, Michael Powell); the Prince of Wales in The Elusive Pimpernel (50, Powell); The Adventurers (50, David MacDonald); Home at Seven (50, Ralph Richardson); No Highway (50, Henry Koster); The Black Rose (50, Henry Hathaway); Mandy (52, Alexander Maekendrick); and The Planter’s Wife (52, Ken Annaldn). His employment in American films was not the least curious aspect of his success, and from 1955 onward he worked on both sides of the Atlantic: The Intruder (53, Guy Hamilton); The Seekers (54, Annakin); helplessly lost in Lund of the Pharaohs (55, Howard Hawks); The Long Arm (56, Freud); The Man in the Sky (56, Charles Crichton); Fortune Is a Woman (57, Gilliat); The Bridge on the River Kwai (57, David Lean); Gideon's Day (58, John Ford); The Two-Headed Spy (58, André de Toth); Ben-Hur (59, William Wyler); The League of Gentlemen (60, Basil Dearden); Two Loves (61, Charles Walters); Five Finger Exercise (62, Daniel Mann); as Alienin’ in Lawrence of Arabia (62, Lean); Guns at Batasi (64, John Cuillermin); Zulu (64, Cv Endfield); Masquerade (64, Dearden); Lord Jim (65, Richard Brooks); and Judith (65, Mann).
In 1966, he was operated on for cancer of the throat with the result that his vocal cords were affected. After that he was dubbed or spoke with the somber, rasping voice of Alpha 60, thereby- adding to the effect of misanthropy: Great Catherine (67, Gordon Flemyng); Shalako (68, Edward Dmvtryk); Monte Carlo or Bust (69, Annakin); Oh! What a Lovely War (69, Richard Attenborough); Waterloo (70, Sergei Bondarchuk); The Adventures of Gerard (70, Jerzy Skolimowski); Jane Eyre (71, Delbert Mann); Nicholas and Alexandra (71, Franklin ). Schaffner); Kidnapped (71, Delbert Mann); and Young Winston (72, Attenborough).
Hawkins’s trembling stiff upper lip—a grotesque struggle between emotionalism and rigor mortis—is redolent of those British war films of the 1950s. Pictures like Angels One Five (51, George More O'Ferrall), The Cruel Sea (53, Charles Frend), and The Malta Story (53, Brian Desmond Hurst) established him as central to the British myth of ossified pluck in the face of war. Hawkins was always a rather oppressive actor, more interesting wdien resentful or truculent. Indeed, he might have made a nasty heavy had anyone encouraged him. There are, however, a few films in which his hostility is quite impressive and frightening: State Secret (50, Sidney Gilliat); The Prisoner (55, Peter Glenville); and Rampage (63, Phil Karlson).
Married Jessica Tandy, 1932 (divorced 1940).; married second, Doreen Lawrence, 1947.