January 2, 2017


Trevor Howard (1916-1988) b. Cliftonville, Kent, England.

Trevor Howard

Born in Kent, the son of a Lloyd’s representative, Trevor Howard was educated at Clifton College and graduated to Rada he turned. He rejected a Paramount screen contract, and instead worked in the theatre for ten years before making his brief film debut in Carol Reed‘s The Way Ahead (1944). This was followed by a role in Anthony Asquith‘s The Way to the Stars (1945), and with the part for which he is perhaps best remembered, that of the doctor in David Lean‘s Brief Encounter (1945). British cinema after the war generated a club of typical English men, of which Howard was one, his particular strength being to make English dullness interesting.

He next appeared in two back-to-back excellent Launder and Gilliat thrillers, the Hitchcockian I See a Dark Stranger (1946) and Green for Danger (1946). His characters were typically restrained, but the restraint covered complex emotions and the typicality was finely nuanced. His success in films like Alberto Cavalcanti‘s noir They Made Me a Fugitive (1947), David Lean‘s The Passionate Friends (1949) and Reed’s The Third Man (1949) made him one of the key actors of the post-war period, and he continued to deliver well-judged character parts. After the early Sixties he became an international character-star, taking support roles in films including Mutiny on the Bounty (1962) and Von Ryan’s Express (1965).

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