Stanley Ridges (July 17, 1890 – April 22, 1951) was a British-born actor who made his mark in films by playing a wide assortment of character parts. Born July 17, 1890 or 1891 in Southampton,Hampshire, England, Stanley Ridges would become a protégé of Beatrice Lillie, a star of musical stage comedies, and spent a great many years learning and honing his craft on the stage. He was seldom was cast in roles where he could really make an impression.
Eventually making his way to America, Ridges started out as a song-and-dance man on Broadway, but later turned to dramatic roles onstage, appearing in such plays as Maxwell Anderson'sMary of Scotland (as Lord Morton) and Valley Forge (as Lieutenant Colonel Lucifer Tench), becoming a romantic leading man.
Ridges' silent film debut was in 1923's Success. With his excellent diction and rich speaking voice, he easily made the transition into sound films, with his career taking off at age 43, in Crime Without Passion (1934), opposite Claude Rains. Ridges found himself cast in character roles, as his graying hair put his romantic leading man days at an end. His most famous roles probably were two different professors, one of them the kindly Professor Kingsley in the thriller Black Friday (1940). The Jekyll and Hyde transformations gave Ridges a chance to display his acting ability.
Ridges was often cast in supporting roles in many classic films, and played the lead only once, in the B-picture False Faces (1943).
Ridges's other notable film roles were as the Scotland Yard inspector who is shadowing Charles Laughton in the film The Suspect (1944), as Major Buxton (Gary Cooper's commanding officer) in the film Sergeant York (1942), and as Cary Travers Grayson, the official White House physician in the film Wilson (1944).
By 1950, he had just begun a appearing in television anthologies such as Studio One and Philco Television Playhouse. His last feature film, the Ginger Rogers comedy The Groom Wore Spurs, in which he played a mobster, was released a month before his death. Stanley Ridges died April 22, 1951, in Westbrook, Connecticut, aged 60.