Alexander Knox

Alexander Knox (16 January 1907 – 25 April 1995) was a Canadian actor on stage, screen, and occasionally television. He was nominated for an Oscar and won a Golden Globe for his performance as Woodrow Wilson in the film Wilson (1944).

Alexander Knox
Knox in Paula (1952)
Born(1907-01-16)16 January 1907
Died25 April 1995(1995-04-25) (aged 88)
OccupationActor & Author
Years active1931–1986
Doris Nolan
(m. 1943; his death 1995)

Although his liberal views forced him to leave Hollywood because of McCarthyism, Knox had a long career. He was also an author, writing adventure novels set in the Great Lakes area during the 19th century, as well as plays and detective novels.

Life and career

Knox was born in Strathroy, Ontario, and graduated from the University of Western Ontario. He later moved to Boston, Massachusetts, to perform on stage with the Boston Repertory Theatre. After the company folded following the stock market crash of 1929, Knox returned to London, Ontario where, for the next two years, he worked as a reporter for The London Advertiser[1] before moving to London, England where, during the 1930s, he appeared in several films. He starred opposite Jessica Tandy in the 1940 Broadway production of Jupiter Laughs and, in 1944, he was chosen by Darryl F. Zanuck to star in Wilson (1944), the biographical film about American President Woodrow Wilson, for which he won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor. However, during the McCarthy Era, his liberal views and work with the Committee for the First Amendment hurt his career, though he was not actually blacklisted,[2] and he returned to Britain.

Knox had major roles in The Sea Wolf (1941), None Shall Escape (1944), Over 21 (1945), Sister Kenny (1946), Europa '51 (1952), and The Vikings (1958), as well as supporting roles late in his career, such as in The Damned (1963), Nicholas and Alexandra (1971), Joshua Then and Now (1985; his last film role) and the miniseries Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

He depicted Governor Hudson Inverest in "The Latin Touch", the second episode of the first season of The Saint, in 1962. The episode, in black and white, was delivered in Latin-American countries as "Los hermanos Unciello".

He wrote six adventure novels: Bride of Quietness (1933), Night of the White Bear (1971), The Enemy I Kill (1972), Raider's Moon, The Kidnapped Surgeon and Totem Dream. He also wrote plays and at least three detective novels under a pseudonym prior to 1945.[1]

Personal life

Knox was married to American actress Doris Nolan (1916–1998) from 1944 until his death in 1995. They starred together in the 1949 Broadway play The Closing Door, which Knox also wrote. They had a son Andrew Joseph Knox (born 1947; committed suicide in 1987) who became an actor and appeared in Doctor on the Go, and who was married to Imogen Hassall.[3]

Alexander Knox died in Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland from bone cancer.

Complete filmography



  1. Clara Thomas, Canadian Novelists 1920-1945, Toronto: Longmans, Green & Company, 1946, p. 75. Thomas notes, "he refuses to divulge" his pen name.
  2. Slide, Anthony (1999). Actors on red alert : career interviews with five actors and actresses affected by the blacklist. Lanham, Md. [u.a.]: Scarecrow Press. pp. 117–127. ISBN 978-0810836495.
  3. Fade to Black: A Book of Movie Obituaries, Paul Donnelley, Omnibus Press, 2000, pp. 315-6

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