January 2, 2017


David Farrar (1908-1995) b. Forest Gate, London, England.

David Farrar

David Farrar was born at Forest Gate. London. He left school at 14 and took up journalism for the Morning Advertiser before embarking on a career in acting, David Farrar took to the stage in 1932, then to the films in 1937. He moved effortlessly from the second-feature confines of George King’s Sexton Blake and the Hooded Terror (1938) to work at Ealing Studios on the war-related films Went the Day Well (1942), the semi-documentary For Those in Peril (1944) and Frieda (1947). Farrar then came to work on a quartet of films with the esteemed writing-directing team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, including the district agent in Black Narcissus (1947), a bomb disposal expert in The Small Back Room (1949), the swaggering squire of Gone to Earth (1950) and The Wild Heart (1950).

Farrar became something of a pin-up for teenagers on both sides of the Atlantic, and at the peak of his pooularitv received some 40.000 fan-letters each year. He seemed set to become as big a name as James Mason or Stewart Granger. Riding high on critical and commercial acclaim, he relocated to Hollywood in 1951 under contract to Universal but the move was to prove ill-judged. He was generally cast in two-dimensional villainous roles including The Golden Horde (1951), The Black Shield of Falworth (1954) and Pearl of the South Pacific (1955). Farrar eventually returned to England, professing himself home­sick. Though he undoubtedly merited better parts than he was offered, some in Hollywood thought that he regarded himself too highly and pointed to the roles the actor had turned down. He retired from acting due to the lacklustre roles on offer shortly after appearing in Beat Girl (1959). Farrar purned television work due to the lack of financial incentive, and he retreated quietly to Dulwich, then to the Irish Republic. He eventually settled in South Africa.

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