John Loder (3 January 1898 – 26 December 1988) was a British-American actor. He was born William John Muir Lowe in London.
Loder's father was General W. H. M. Lowe, the British officer to whom Patrick Pearse, the leader of the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin, Ireland, surrendered. Both General Lowe and his son were present at the surrender of Pearse.
He was born at No.11 Herbert Crescent, Knightsbridge, London educated at Eton and the Royal Military College, and followed his father into the army, being commissioned into 15th Hussars as a second lieutenant on 17 March 1915, and then served in theGallipoli Campaign, leaving there on December 19 that year. On April 21, 1916 until early May he was in Ireland, then proceeding to Rouen, France to rejoin his regiment. He was engaged in the Battle of the Somme and was taken prisoner by the Germans on March 21, 1918 at the village of Roisel and taken to Le Cateau gaol and then by train to the first of several prisoner-of-war camps, at Tastatt, in Baden, Germany. Upon being released, he stayed in Germany engaged in resumed military duties on behalf of the Inter-Allied Commission in Breslau and Upper Silesia.
Leaving the cavalry he went into business with a German friend, Walter Becker, establishing a pickle factory in Potsdam. Later Loder began to develop an interest in acting, appearing in bit-parts in a few German films at the Tempelhof Film Studios, employed byAlexander Korda. He left Germany to briefly return to England before leaving on the Isle de France bound for Hollywood to try his luck in the new medium, Talkies. He appeared in The Doctor's Secret, which was Paramount's first talking picture—though his very English persona didn't win America over at this time and he returned to England where he co-starred in plush musicals and intrigue such as Love Life and Laughter and Sabotage. He was the male romantic interest in the 1937 original film version of King Solomon's Mines
When World War II started he returned to America where he seamlessly coasted into a career in 'B' movie roles usually playing upper crust characters with occasional appearances on Broadway. He occasionally did play roles, though supporting ones, in major 'A' films such as How Green Was My Valley, in which he was at the same time one ofRoddy McDowall's brothers and Donald Crisp's sons, and Now, Voyager, in which he played a wealthy widower engaged to Bette Davis.
In 1947 he became an American citizen; his last screen appearance was in 1971. In 1959 he became a naturalised citizen of the United Kingdom as he has been of "uncertain nationality".
Loder was married five times; two of his wives were actresses: French star Micheline Cheirel (married 1936–41 – she later married Paul Meurisse), and the Austrian-American Hedy Lamarr (married 1943–47). With Lamarr, he had two children, Denise (born 1945) and Anthony (born 1947), and adopted Lamarr's son James Markey from her previous marriage to screenwriter Gene Markey.
Other wives of Loder's were Sophie Kabel, Evelyn Auff Mordt, and his final wife, in 1958, Argentine heiress Alba Julia Lagomarsino, where he lived on her 25,000 acre cattle ranch, and spent much time at the Jockey Club in Buenos Aires. After they divorced in 1972 Loder returned to London and resided for some years in a house opposite Harrods. His general health deteriorated in his eighties and he was admitted in 1982 to the Distressed Gentlefolks Aid Association's Nursing Home in Vicarage Gate, Kensington, where he was well looked after, venturing out by taxi once a week to his London Club, Bucks, in Mayfair, for luncheons. He eventually died in London, aged 90 in 1988. His autobiography,Hollywood Hussar was published in 1977.
John Loder's eldest son, Robin William Lowe (1925 – died suddenly, March 29, 2002), followed his father to Eton and served in the Grenadier Guards. He later became a theatrical and literary agent, who was married thrice, lastly to British actress Hilary Tindall (1938–1992), who played Ann Hammond in the 1970s BBC TV series The Brothers.