James StephensonShow Count: 2
Series Count: 0
Role: Old Time Radio Star
Born: April 14, 1889, Selby, Yorkshire, England, UK
Died: July 29, 1941 , Pacific Palisades, California, USA
James Stephenson (14 April 1889 – 29 July 1941) was a British actor. The son of chemist and druggist John G. Stephenson and Emma Stephenson, James Albert Stephenson grew up in the West Riding of Yorkshire and Burnley, Lancashire, with his brothers, Alan and Norman. He became a bank clerk and later had a creer as a merchant. In the 1930s, he emigrated to the United States and took U.S. nationality in 1938.
British stage actor James Stephenson made his film debut in 1937 at the age of 48 initially with parts in four films. Warner Brotherssigned him the following year, and he began playing urbane villains and disgraced gentlemen.
Stephenson's big break came when director William Wyler cast him, in spite of studio resistance, in The Letter (1940) opposite Bette Davis. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for that role. Later that year he played the title role inCalling Philo Vance, and in 1941 he was first-billed in Shining Victory, in which he played the character of Dr. Paul Venner. Just as Stephenson's acting career was starting to rise he died due to a heart attack at the age of 52. His wife was Lorna Anderson Stephenson.