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Hume Cronyn – MovieActors.com

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Cronyn in THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE.

About Hume Cronyn (1911 – 2003)

Hume Cronyn Jr. was born on July 18, 1911, in London, Ontario, Canada. Hume was one of five children born to parents Francis Amelia; a beer heiress, and Hume Blake Cronyn Senior, a businessman and Member of Parlament in Ontario. Hume comes from a family of mover and shakers, on both his mother's and father's families.

In the true British fashion, young Hume went to boarding schools for his education, starting at six years old. For his elementary and junior high years, he went to Elmwood School; (Rockliffe Preparatory School), located in Ottawa, Canada. For his high school years, Hume boarded at Ridley College, located in St. Catherines. Hugh attended this prepatory boys high school with a major in Law. Hugh was introduced to the world of acting here; Uh oh!

When he graduated from Ridley College, he enrolled at a public co-ed McGill University in Montreal as a drama major, disgarding the lawyer goal. Its motto states. "By work, all things increase and grow." Many high achievers have graduated from this college.

While still at McGill University, In 1931, Hume made his professional debut at the National Theater in Washington D.C. with the production of UP POPS THE DEVIL. He was nearly 20 years old, a college sophmore. He joined George Abbott~ez_rsquo~s Company.

After graduating from McGill University, Hume continued working hard, studying to be an actor under acting teacher, Max Reinhardt and enrolling at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, really enjoying stage work.

Hume was cast in his first Broadway stage productions in 1934, HIPPER'S HOLIDAY, portraying a janitor, while he was the under-study for the the lead role, Jim Hipper, played by Burgess Meredith. This was followed by THREE MEN AND A HORSE, BOY MEETS GIRL, HIGH TOR, AND ROOM SERVICE.

From these performances, Hume was offered a lot of roles, playing a variety of characters in Broadway plays. He enjoyed an excellent Broadway career, throughout his thespian career.

In July of 1935, Hume married Emily Woodruff, but it was a mistake. They divorced eleven months later.

Hume won a Tony in 1964 for his stage portrayal of Polonius in Richard Burton's production of HAMLET. In 1994, Hume was given a special lifetime achievement Tony that was shared with Jessica, his wife.

In between these two Tony wins, Hume was nominated for a Tony for his performances in BIG FISH, little FISH;(1961), A DELICATE BALANCE;(1967), and THE GIN GAME;(1978). He was also honored with Tony nominations for his co-producing; (2 plays), and producing; (1 play). Hume co-produced THE 1965 play, SLOW DANCE ON THE KILLING GROUND, and The 1978 play, THE GIN GAME. He produced the 1986 stage play, THE PETITION.


Hume Cronyn's first film, in 1943, SHADOW OF A DOUBT was followed by many outstanding credits. He was also in Hitchcock's 1944 thriller, LIFEBOAT as well contributing to the Hitchcock screenplays for the 1948 film; ROPE, and UNDER CAPRICORN the following year; two scripts where he began to use his skills as a writer.

Hume had this to say about working with Alfred Hitchcock, in an interview, "It was all cut in his head. You shot from the angle he wanted shot, with the result that very little film ended up on the floor. You really felt that you were in the presence of someone who was a real master of the craft."

His first Academy Award nomination was for Best Support Actor for his portrayal in the 1944 movie, THE SEVENTH CROSS, with Spencer Tracy, about a group of prisoners escaping from the Nazi's. For his performance, Hume was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award Oscar.

Hume Cronyn was an ensemble player in the 1946 film noir movie THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE, with John Garfield and Lana Turner.

Cronyn was married for many years to the award-winning actress, Jessica Tandy, until her death, in 1994. They had two children, actress Tandy, and son Christopher. Cronyn and Jessica were in TV projects, radio and stage productions, as well as acting in thirteen films together, as a couple. Jessica also appeared in the COCOON movies, as his wife.

In 1985 Hume played the character, Joe Riley, in the sci-fi movie COCOON. He reprised his role in COCOON: THE RETURN in 1988. The movies detail the encounter of a group of seniors with aliens. This character made him popular with a younger generation.

Hume and Jessica were in their last film together, CAMILLA, in 1994, just before she died.

Cronyn continued playing in films throughout his lifetime. He also made guest appearances in television shows, such as THE BARBARA STANWYCK SHOW, ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS and HAWAII FIVE-O.

Hume became an American citizen in 1966, at the age of 55. Even though Hume became an American citizen, Canadians were very proud of Hume's achievements! On July 11th, 1988, Hume was awarded the O.C. (Officer of the Order of Canada) for his services to drama. The next year, in 1999, Hume was inducted to Canada's Walk of Fame in 1999.

Besides getting cheers and recognition for his plays and films, Hume Cronyn was also honored for his performances in TV movies; with and without his wife, Jessica.

In 1990, Hume won a Primetime Outstanding lead Actor Emmy for his performance in the 1989 TV Movie, AGE-OLD FRIENDS.

In 1992, Hume Cronyn won a Primetime Best Supporting Actor Emmy for his performance in the TV movie, BROADWAY BOUND, and was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe for this same performance.

In 1993, Hume and Jessica, performed in a TV Movie, TO DANCE WITH THE DOG, winning a Primetime Outstanding Lead Actor Emmy, for his portrayal of widower, Sam Peek.

Two years after Jessica died, Hume remarried Susan Cooper on July 20th, 1996, and enjoyed another marriage for the last seven years of his life.

Hume Cronyn lived a full life, making the most of his talent, his opportunities, and his relationships, in the tradition of his family honor; achieving much and having a lot to show for his career and family life as well. At the age of 91, just one month shy of his 92nd birthday, Hume died on June 15, 2003, in Fairfield, Connecticut, from prostrate cancer.

Hume Cronyn's notable film credits include:

PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (1943)
THE SEVENTH CROSS (1944)
LIFEBOAT (1944)
THE SAILOR TAKES A WIFE (1945)
THE GREEN YEARS (1946)
THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE (1946)
ZIEGFELD FOLLIES (1945)
BRUTE FORCE (1947)
SUNRISE AT CAMPABELLO (1960)
CLEOPATRA (1963)
HAMLET (1964)
GAILY, GAILY (1969)
THERE WAS A CROOKED MAN (1970)
THE PARALLAX VIEW (1974)
HONKY TONK FREEWAY (1981)
THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP (1982)
IMPULSE (1984)
BREWSTER'S MILLIONS (1985)
BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED (1987)
THE PELICAN BRIEF (1993)
CAMILLA (1994)
MARVIN'S ROOM (1996)
ANGEL PASSING
(1998)


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Cronyn in THE WORLD
ACCORDING TO GARP
(1982).


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Hume Cronyn in COCOON.