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Victor Andrew DeBeer McLaglen

Birthplace: Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, United Kingdom
Death: November 07, 1959 (72)
Place of Burial: Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Andrew Charles McLaglen and Lillian Marian McLaglen
Husband of Enid Mary Mclaglen; Susan M Mclaglen and Margaret Mclaglen
Father of Andrew Victor Mclaglen and Private
Brother of -Frederick Carel Albertus; Leopold Mclaglen; In memory of Arthur McLaglen; In memory of Lewis McLaglen; Clifford McLaglen and 3 others

Occupation: Actor
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Victor McLaglen

<The Times, November 9, 1959>



Mr. Victor McLaglen, a British-born film actor, died in Hollywood on Saturday at the age of 72.

Born in Mile End Road London on December 11, 1886, the eldest of a clergyman's eight sons, and a sister, he joined the Life Guards in 1900 pretending to be 18 and in the hope of serving in the Boer War, but he was in fact not sent out of England. Instead he became a regimental boxing champion before his family found him and brought him home. His father Andrew later became the Titular Bishop of Claremont, Cape Town, in South Africa, but never went back over there as the poverty in London was where he felt he ought to be to help. After Victor came out of the army, he meanwhile had experience in music halls. Before WW1 his ambition was to become the World Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the world, and as a professional boxer he once lasted six rounds against Jack Johnson, the world champion, in 1908. Later in Canada he continued to work on farms and as a Prize Winning Boxer, and as gold prospector in Australia. He had quickly returned to England and rejoined the Army, serving in Mesopotamia with the Royal Irish Fusiliers and becoming Assistant Provost-Marshal in Baghdad with the rank of captain.

After the war he tried various jobs before agreeing to appear in a film just for fun. He was an immediate success in "The Call of theRoad" (1920), and this film was shown at The Abbeydale Picture House in Sheffield,;UK when the Picture house opened in 1920 and then again 95 years later, in 2015, which was the same venue that it received it's premier! He starred in several more British films before going to Hollywood in 1924. The title of his first American film, "Beloved Brute", formed an apt summary of his role in the film world. Never conventionally handsome he possessed a rugged virility and at the same time radiated charm and good nature, so that his popularity was as great with women filmgoers as with men. During the silent era he appeared with great success in a series of action films, though generally with a fair admixture of comedy. Among them were "Beau Geste", "The Loves of Carmen", "A Girl in Every Port", and "King of the Khyber Rifles", in several of which he starred with Edmund Lowe, with whom he had begun a fruitful partnership in his most famous silent film, "What Price Glory?". The audience were watching a silent film but it did not stop them from complaining about the bad language! Lowe and McLaglen's most successful sound film together was "The Cockeyed World" (1930), but from the beginning of the 1930s McLaglen began to strike out on his own as a dramatic actor in such films as Sternberg's "Dishonoured" with Marlene Dietrich, and Ford's "The Lost Patrol" and "The Informer". In the latter he won the Academy Award for the best acting performance of 1935 with a memorable portrayal of a simple, well-meaning Irish giant betrayed by greed into treachery. His other films of the period were extremely varied, including "Professional Soldier", with Freddie Bartholemew, "Klondike Annie" with Mae West, and "Wee Willie Winkie" with Shirley Temple (another Ford film). In the 1950's he made a series of historic films with John Ford, called, "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon"; "Rio Grande"; and "Fort Apache" known as the Ford Trilogy. He was acting together with John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara , Ward Bond, Harry Carey and Ben Johnson amongst many other friends and fellow actors including his brother Cyril McLaglen. He made another John Ford film with John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara and was nominated for Best Supporting Actor.

He continued to act through the 1940s and 1950s, his last film being "Sea Fury", made last year in this Spain and England, and announced that he had no intention of retiring and taking things easy so long as the public wanted him.

His son Andrew V McLaglen directed him in "Rawhide" with Clint Eastwood in one episode and "A Little House on the Prairie" in an episode. He was married three times, leaving a son and a daughter. He became an American citizen in 1933 and at that time appeared opposite Jack Johnson again in an Exhibition Fight in which he was knocked out in the 3rd round.
In 1953 he was in the first of a series - a pilot version of "Victor McLaglen This Is Your Life", with his surviving brothers ( of which there were originally eight), and sister Lilian.

His son Andrew V McLaglen has been a successful Film and TV Director and Producer with "Shanandoah"; and "The Wild Geese".


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Victor McLaglen's Timeline

December 10, 1886
Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, United Kingdom
July 28, 1920
Age 33
Age 69
Ealing, Greater London, United Kingdom
November 7, 1959
Age 72