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Francis L. Sullivan

Picture of Francis L. Sullivan.

Francis Loftus Sullivan (6 January 1903, Wandsworth, London – 19 November 1956, New York City) was an English film and stage actor. He attended Stonyhurst, the Jesuit public school in Lancashire, England whose alumni include Charles Laughton and Arthur Conan Doyle. A heavily built man with a striking double-chin and a deep voice, Sullivan made his acting debut at the Old Vic aged 18 in Shakespeare’s Richard III and appeared in his first film in 1932.

Some of his notable film roles include Mr. Bumble in Oliver Twist (1948) and Phil Nosseross in the film noir Night and the City (1950). Sullivan also played the part of Jaggers in two versions of Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations – in 1934 and 1946. He appeared in a fourth Dickens film, the 1935 Universal Pictures version of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, in which he played Crisparkle.

In 1938, he was featured in The Citadel, starring Robert Donat, and a decade later, he played the role of Pierre Cauchon in the technicolor version of Joan of Arc, starring Ingrid Bergman. Also in 1938 he starred in a revival of the Stokes’ brothers play Oscar Wilde at London’s Arts Theatre. Sullivan also acted in light comedies, notably My Favorite Spy (1951), starring Bob Hope and Hedy Lamarr, in which he played an enemy agent, and the comedy Fiddlers Three (1944), portraying Nero. He also played the role of Pothinus in the 1945 film version of George Bernard Shaw’s Caesar and Cleopatra.

The film was directed by Gabriel Pascal, and was the last film personally supervised by Shaw himself. Sullivan later reprised the role in a stage revival of the play. Sullivan, who eventually became a naturalized US citizen, won a Tony Award in 1955 for the Agatha Christie play Witness for the Prosecution. Earlier, he had played Hercule Poirot at the Embassy Theatre (London) in the Christie play, Black Coffee (1930). He died of a heart attack, aged 53 (some sources claim he died from an unspecified “lung ailment”).

Born: Born: Jan 6, 1903 In Wandsworth, London, England


1957: Destiny
1955: The Prodigal
1955: Hell’s Island
1954: Drums of Tahiti
1953: General Electric Theater
1953: Sangaree
1953: Plunder of the Sun
1952: Pontius Pilate
1952: Cavalcade of America
1952: Caribbean
1951: Behave Yourself!
1951: Schlitz Playhouse of Stars
1951: My Favorite Spy
1950: Night and the City
1950: Robert Montgomery Presents
1950: Sure As Fate
1950: Lux Video Theatre
1949: Suspense
1949: Lights Out
1949: The Red Danube
1949: Christopher Columbus
1948: Oliver Twist
1948: Broken Journey
1948: The Winslow Boy
1948: Studio One
1948: The Philco Television Playhouse
1948: Joan of Arc
1947: Take My Life
1946: Great Expectations
1945: Caesar and Cleopatra
1944: Fiddlers Three
1943: The Butler’s Dilemma
1942: The Day Will Dawn
1942: The Lady from Lisbon
1942: The Foreman Went to France
1941: ‘Pimpernel’ Smith
1940: 21 Days
1939: The Four Just Men
1938: Kate Plus Ten
1938: The Drum
1938: Climbing High
1938: The Ware Case
1938: The Citadel
1937: Action for Slander
1937: Non-Stop New York
1935: Her Last Affaire
1935: Mystery of Edwin Drood
1934: The Return of Bulldog Drummond
1934: The Fire Raisers
1934: The Warren Case
1934: Chu Chin Chow
1934: Cheating Cheaters
1934: Great Expectations
1934: What Happened Then?
1933: The Right to Live
1933: Red Wagon
1933: F.P.1
1932: The Missing Rembrandt
1932: The Chinese Puzzle
1932: When London Sleeps


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