Reginald OwenShow Count: 1
Series Count: 0
Role: Old Time Radio Star
Born: August 5, 1887
, Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire, England, UK
Died: November 5, 1972, Boise, Idaho, USA
John Reginald Owen (5 August 1887 – 5 November 1972) was a British character actor. He was known for his many roles in British and American films and later in television programmes.
Owen studied at Sir Herbert Tree's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and made his professional debut in 1905. He went to the United States in 1920 and worked originally on Broadway in New York, but later moved to Hollywood, where he began a lengthy film career. He was always a familiar face in many Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer productions.
in Petticoat Fever
Owen is perhaps best known today for his performance as Ebenezer Scrooge in the 1938 film version of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, a role he inherited from Lionel Barrymore, who had played the part of Scrooge on the radio every Christmas for years, after Barrymore had broken his hip in an accident.
Owen was one of only four actors to play both Sherlock Holmes and his companion Dr Watson (Jeremy Brett played Watson on stage in the United States prior to adopting the mantle of Holmes on British television, Carleton Hobbs played both roles in British radio adaptations while Patrick Macnee played both roles in US television films).
Owen first played Watson in the 1932 film Sherlock Holmes, and then Holmes himself in 1933's A Study in Scarlet. Having played Ebenezer Scrooge, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Owen has the odd distinction of playing three classic characters of Victorian fiction only to live to see those characters be taken over and personified by other actors, namely Alastair Sim as Scrooge, Basil Rathboneas Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Watson.
as Sherlock Holmes in A Study in Scarlet
Later in his career, Owen appeared opposite James Garner in the television series Maverick in the episodes "The Belcastle Brand" (1957) and "Gun-Shy" (1958) and in episodes of the series One Step Beyond and Bewitched. He was also featured in the Walt Disney filmsMary Poppins (1964) and Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971). He had a small role in the 1962 Irwin Allen production of the Jules Verne novelFive Weeks in a Balloon.
He died from a heart attack at age 85 in Boise, Idaho.