James Mason

James Mason (May 15, 1909- July 27, 1984) was an actor born in Yorkshire, England who attained stardom in both British and American films. He studied at Cambridge before working at the Old Vic theatre in London and with the Gate Company in Dublin. From 1935 to 1949 he starred in many British quota quickies. In 1949 he made his first Hollywood film, Caught, and then went on to star in many more feature films and TV shows. Nominated three times for an Oscar, he never won one.

Mason's distinctive voice enabled him to play a menacing villain as much as his good looks assisted him as a leading man. His roles include the failing actor in the 1954 version of A Star Is Born, a mortally wounded terrorist in Odd Man Out (1946), Captain Nemo in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954), a suave masterspy in North by Northwest (1959), and Humbert Humbert in Lolita (1963).

Mason died as a result of a heart attack on July 27, 1984 in Lausanne, Switzerland. He was cremated, his ashes eventually buried in, Corsier-Sur-Vevey, Vaud, Switzerland. His old friend Charlie Chaplin is in a tomb a few steps away.


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