Eric Blore (1887 - 1959)

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About Eric Blore

<Archive obituary>

<The Times, March 3, 1959>

<ERIC BLORE: THE ENGLISH BUTLER ON THE SCREEN>

Mr. Eric Blore, the English stage and film actor, died in Hollywod on Sunday at the age of 71.

He was born in London on December 23, 1887, and at first took up insurance as a career, but he later became associated with G.P. Huntley, the actor, and himself turned to the theatre, making his first appearance on the stage at the Spa Theatre, Bridlington, in 1908, in _The Girl from Kay's_. His London debut was made at the Empire, in April, 1913, in a revue called _All the Winners_, and by this time he was writing as well as acting. He served in the infantry and later the flying corps during the First World War, and ran the 38th divisional concert party in France between 1917 and 1919. He made his return to the theatre as Biff Hale in _His Little Widows_ at Wyndham's Theatre in June, 1919, and thereafter his service were in constant demand for more than a decade.

It was not long after the advent of talking pictues in Hollywood that he decided to join the select company of English actors who were persuaded to journey to California in order to assist in what was virtually a reorganization of the acting profession in American films. This company included such actors as Aubrey Smith and Ronald Colman, and many others whose talents lay in interpretation of any unique aspect of English social life. Aubrey Smith, of course, typified the fine old English aristocrat; Colman was a charming and polished country gentleman.

Eric Blore aimed less high. He made a speciality of that most English of all profesions - the gentleman's gentleman or man-servant, the very epitome of Jeeves. Indeed, he and another English actor, Mr. Arthur Treacher, may be said to have made a virtual corner in butler parts in Hollywood during the thirties, and no study of an upper class English or American household was complete without one or other of them. Treacher, tall and thin, was haughty and austere, a man with a permanent smell under his nose. Blore, who was shorter and slightly tubby, was a trifle more eccentric in manner, but equally capable of registering eloquent but unspoken disapproval of any untoward behaviour. But he could yet suggest a taste of lower life, and it was Blore who introducded into the American film _It's Love I'm After_ the eloquent line: "If I were not a gentleman's gentleman I could be such a cad's cad."

END

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Eric Blore's Timeline

1887
December 23, 1887
1959
March 2, 1959
Age 71