Cecil Lauriston Kellaway (22 August 1890 – 28 February 1973) was a British/South African character actor. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for both The Luck of the Irish (1948) and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967).
from the trailer for
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)
22 August 1890
|Died||28 February 1973 82) (aged|
Doreen Elizabeth Joubert
Cecil Kellaway was born on 22 August 1890 in Cape Town, South Africa. He was the son of English parents, Rebecca Annie (née Brebner) and Edwin John Kellaway, an architect and engineer. Edwin had immigrated to Cape Town to help build the Houses of Parliament there, and he was a good friend of Cecil Rhodes, who was young Cecil's eponym and godfather.
Cecil was interested in acting from an early age. He was educated at the Normal College, Cape Town, and in England at Bradford Grammar School. He studied engineering and on his return to South Africa was employed in an engineering firm. However the lure of acting was too strong and he became a full-time actor, making his debut in Potash and Perlmutter.
He toured for three years through China, Japan, Siam, Borneo, Malaya, North and South Africa, and Europe, in plays such as Monsieur Beaucaire.
Kellaway arrived in Australia in 1921 under contract to J. C. Williamson Ltd. He had a notable success as the comic father of four daughters in A Night Out which he played through most of 1922; he would often return to this role in later years and it kicked off a sixteen year association with Williamsons on the Australian stage, mostly in musical comedies.
For Williamsons he was in Mary (1922–23) then returned to A Night Out before going on to The Cabaret Girl (1923–24), Kissing Time (1924), Whirled Into Happiness (1924), Katja (1925), The Belle of New York (1925), Primrose (1925), A Night Out revival (1926), Frasquita (1927), Princess Charming (1928), Hold Everything (1929), Florodora (1931), A Warm Corner ( 1931), A Night Out again, Sons o' Guns (1931), Blue Roses (1932), Hold my Hand (1932), and The Gipsy Princess (1933).
By the early 1930s Kellaway was one of the biggest stars in Australian theatre. He made his film debut in the lead of The Hayseeds (1933), a popular local comedy, directed by Beaumont Smith. However his main focus was still the stage: The Dubarry (1934), Music in the Air (1934), Roberta (1935), High Jinks (1935), Ball at the Savoy (1935), A Southern Maid (1936) and White Horse Inn (1936).
He returned to films with the Australian Cinesound film It Isn't Done (1937), for which he also provided the original story. Directed by Ken G. Hall it was a popular success. It led to Kellaway being screen-tested by RKO Pictures and put under contract.
He appeared in A Southern Maid on stage in 1937.
RKO in Hollywood
RKO initially put Kellaway into small roles: Everybody's Doing It (1938), Double Danger (1938), Night Spot (1938), Maid's Night Out (1938), This Marriage Business (1938), and Law of the Underworld (1938).
Return to Australia
Return to Hollywood
He was in Mexican Spitfire (1940) at RKO, The Invisible Man Returns (1940) and The House of the Seven Gables (1940) at Universal, Adventure in Diamonds (1940), Phantom Raiders (1940), Brother Orchid (1940), Pop Always Pays (1940), The Mummy's Hand (1940), Diamond Frontier (1940), and Mexican Spitfire Out West (1940) at RKO. He turned down Balalaika to do The Letter (1940) for Wyler.
Kellaway made West Point Widow (1941) at Paramount and signed a contract with them. He did A Very Young Lady (1941) at Fox, Burma Convoy (1941), New York Town (1941), Birth of the Blues (1941), and Appointment for Love (1941) at Universal.
At Paramount he was in The Night of January 16th (1941), Bahama Passage (1941), The Lady Has Plans (1941), and Take a Letter, Darling (1941). Fox borrowed him for Small Town Deb (1941), then he went back to Paramount for Are Husbands Necessary? (1942), and Night in New Orleans (1942).
Leading man and supporting roles
Kellaway had a strong part in I Married a Witch (1942) as Veronica Lake's father. He followed it with My Heart Belongs to Daddy (1942). Response to this was positive and Paramount announced they would build Kellaway into a star, putting him in a remake of Ruggles of Red Gap and starring in The Incomparable Alfred.
Paramount gave him the starring role in The Good Fellows (1943). He went back to support parts for Frenchman's Creek (1944). He was going to do Out of This World on Broadway when he was offered the role of Edward VII in Mrs. Parkington (1944) at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
In Kitty (1945), he was as painter Thomas Gainsborough. MGM borrowed him to play the ill-fated husband of Lana Turner's character in The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946), a support role in Easy to Wed (1946) and the villain in The Cockeyed Miracle (1946).
Kellaway went to RKO for Joan of Arc (1948).
In 1950, it was announced James Hilton was writing a script as a vehicle for Kellaway, Roof of the World, based on the actor's time in India. It was not made.
He went back to Paramount for Thunder in the East (1952) and was in Just Across the Street (1952), My Wife's Best Friend (1952), Young Bess (1953), The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953), Cruisin' Down the River (1953), and Paris Model (1953).
At MGM he was in The Prodigal (1955) and Interrupted Melody (1955), playing an Australian in the latter (the father of Marjorie Lawrence). He did two with Jeff Chandler, Female on the Beach (1955) and The Toy Tiger (1956) and was billed second (to Ethel Barrymore) in Johnny Trouble (1957).
He worked regularly on television in shows like Lux Video Theatre, The Ford Television Theatre, Schlitz Playhouse, Cavalcade of America, Schlitz Playhouse, Playhouse 90, Studio One in Hollywood, Matinee Theatre, Crossroads.
He appeared on Broadway in Greenwillow (1960) which had a short run.
On American television, he made a guest appearance in 1959 on Perry Mason as chemist and murderer Darrell Metcalf in "The Case of the Glittering Goldfish", and he received a billing credit in that episode equal to Raymond Burr's.
He was also in Whirlybird, The Millionaire, The Ann Sothern Show, Destination Space, Harrigan and Son, Hennessey, Johnny Ringo, The Twilight Zone, The New Breed, Adventures in Paradise, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (TV series), Follow the Sun and Ben Casey.
In 1963 he guest starred as a Museum curator Wilbur Canfield in Episode 19 on the first season of the television show "My Favorite Martian". In 1964 he played Santa Claus in the "Visions of Sugarplums" episode of "Bewitched". In 1967, Kellaway played the part of a lonely, megawealthy much older suitor of Ann Marie (played by Marlo Thomas) in an episode of That Girl. Other TV appearances included Valentine's Day, Burke's Law, The FBI, and The Greatest Show on Earth.
Kellaway married Doreen Elizabeth Joubert in Johannesburg on 15 November 1919.
- Bond and Word (1918)
- The Hayseeds (1933) as Dad Hayseed
- It Isn't Done (1937) as Hubert Blaydon; also based on Kellaway's original story
- Wise Girl (1937) as Fletcher's Butler (unconfirmed)
- Everybody's Doing It (1938) as Mr. Beyers
- Double Danger (1938) as Fetrisss / Gilhooley
- Night Spot (1938) as Willard Lorryweather
- Maid's Night Out (1938) as Geoffrey
- This Marriage Business (1938) as Police Chief Hardy
- Law of the Underworld (1938) as Phillips – Gene's Butler (uncredited)
- Blond Cheat (1938) as Rufus Trent
- Smashing the Rackets (1938) as Barrett (uncredited)
- Tarnished Angel (1938) as Reginald 'Reggie' Roland
- Annabel Takes a Tour (1938) as Strothers, River-Clyde's Publisher (uncredited)
- Gunga Din (1939) as Mr. Stebbins (uncredited)
- Wuthering Heights (1939) as Earnshaw
- Mr. Chedworth Steps Out (1939) as George Chedworth
- The Sun Never Sets (1939) as Colonial Official
- Man About Town (1939) as Headwaiter (uncredited)
- The Under-Pup (1939) as Mr. Wendelhares (uncredited)
- Intermezzo (1939) as Charles Moler
- We Are Not Alone (1939) as Judge
- Mexican Spitfire (1940) as Mr. Chumley
- The Invisible Man Returns (1940) as Inspector Sampson
- The House of the Seven Gables (1940) as Philip Barton
- Adventure in Diamonds (1940) as Emerson
- Phantom Raiders (1940) as Franklin Morris
- Brother Orchid (1940) as Brother Goodwin
- Pop Always Pays (1940) (scenes cut)
- The Mummy's Hand (1940) as The Great Solvani
- Diamond Frontier (1940) as Noah
- Mexican Spitfire Out West (1940) as Mr. Chumley
- The Letter (1940) as Prescott
- South of Suez (1940) as Henry Putnam
- Lady with Red Hair (1940) as Mr. Chapman
- West Point Widow (1941) as Dr. Spencer
- A Very Young Lady (1941) as Professor Starkweather
- Burma Convoy (1941) as Angus McBragel
- New York Town (1941) as Shipboard Host
- Birth of the Blues (1941) as Granet
- Appointment for Love (1941) as O'Leary
- The Night of January 16th (1941) as Oscar
- Bahama Passage (1941) as Captain Jack Risingwell
- The Lady Has Plans (1942) as Peter Miles
- Take a Letter, Darling (1942) as Uncle George
- Small Town Deb (1941) as Henry Randall
- Are Husbands Necessary? (1942) as Dr. Buell
- Night in New Orleans (1942) as Dan Odell
- I Married a Witch (1942) as Daniel
- My Heart Belongs to Daddy (1942) as Alfred Fortescue
- Star Spangled Rhythm (1942) as Cecil Kellaway (uncredited)
- Freedom Comes High (1943, Short) as Ellen's Father
- Forever and a Day (1943) as Dinner Guest
- The Crystal Ball (1943) as Pop Tibbets
- It Ain't Hay (1943) as King O'Hara
- The Good Fellows (1943) as Jim Hilton
- Showboat Serenade (1944, Short) as Colonel Jordan
- Frenchman's Creek (1944) as William
- Mrs Parkington (1944) as Edward, Prince of Wales
- And Now Tomorrow (1944) as Dr. Weeks
- Practically Yours (1944) as Marvin P. Meglin
- Love Letters (1945) as Mac
- Kitty (1945) as Thomas Gainsborough
- The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946) as Nick Smith
- Easy to Wed (1946) as J.B. Allenbury
- Monsieur Beaucaire (1946) as Count D'Armand
- The Cockeyed Miracle (1946) as Tony Carter
- Variety Girl (1947) as Cecil Kellaway
- Unconquered (1947) as Jeremy Love
- Always Together (1947) as Jonathan Turner
- The Luck of the Irish (1948) as Horace
- Joan of Arc (1948) as Jean Le Maistre – Inquisitor of Rouen
- The Decision of Christopher Blake (1948) as Judge Alexander Adamson
- Portrait of Jennie (1948) as Matthews
- Down to the Sea in Ships (1949) as Slush Tubbs
- The Reformer and the Redhead (1950) as Doctor Kevin G. Maguire
- Harvey (1950) as Dr. Chumley
- Kim (1950) as Hurree Chunder
- Katie Did It (1951) as Nathaniel B. Wakeley VI
- Francis Goes to the Races (1951) as Colonel Travers
- Half Angel (1951) as Harry Gilpin
- The Highwayman (1951) as Lord Herbert
- Thunder in the East (1952) as Dr. Willoughby
- Just Across the Street (1952) as Pop Smith
- My Wife's Best Friend (1952) as Rev. Thomas Chamberlain
- Young Bess (1953) as Mr. Parry
- The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953) as Dr. Thurgood Elson
- Cruisin' Down the River (1953) as Thadeus Jackson
- Paris Model (1953) as Patrick J. "P. J." Sullivan
- The Prodigal (1955) as Governor
- Interrupted Melody (1955) as Bill Lawrence
- Female on the Beach (1955) as Osbert Sorenson
- The Toy Tiger (1956) as James Fusenot
- Johnny Trouble (1957) as Tom McKay
- The Proud Rebel (1958) as Doctor Enos Davis
- Destination Space (1959 TV movie) as Dr. A. A. Andrews
- The Shaggy Dog (1959) as Professor Plumcutt
- The Private Lives of Adam and Eve (1960) as Doc Bayles
- Francis of Assisi (1961) as Cardinal Hugolino
- Tammy Tell Me True (1961) as Captain Joe
- Zotz! (1962) as Dean Joshua Updike
- The Cardinal (1963) as Monsignor Monaghan
- Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964) as Harry Willis
- Quick, Let's Get Married (1964) as The Bishop
- Spinout (1966) as Bernard Ranley
- The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin (1967) as Mr. Pemberton
- Kismet (1967 TV movie)
- Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967) as Monsignor Mike Ryan
- Fitzwilly (1967) as Buckmaster
- Getting Straight (1970) as Doctor Kasper
- Call Holme (1972 TV movie) as Lord Basil Hyde-Smith
Select theatre credits
- Potash and Perlmutter – South Africa
- The Prince of Pilsen – South Africa
- The Little Whopper (1921)
- Monseuir Beaucaire (1917) – toured India and Africa
- A Night Out (Jan-Sept 1922) – Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide
- Mary (Oct 1922-April 1923) – Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney
- A Night Out (April 1923) – Sydney
- The Cabaret Girl (Aug 1923-March 1924)
- Kissing Time (May 1924) – Melbourne
- Whirled into Happiness (June–July 1924) – Melbourne
- Katja (December 1925) – Sydney
- The Belle of New York
- Primrose (August 1925) – Sydney
- Frasquita (April 1927) – Sydney
- Princess Charming (July 1928) – Brisbane
- Hold Everything (July 1929)
- Florodora (1931)
- A Warm Corner (Sept 1931)
- Sons o' Guns (1931)
- Blue Roses (April–August 1932) – Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Wellington, Auckland
- Hold my Hand (October 1932) – Her Majesty's Theatre, Sydney
- The Gipsy Princess
- The Dubarry (July 1934) – Theatre Royal, Adelaide
- Music in the Air (July 1934) – Theatre Royal, Adelaide
- Roberta (Marc 1935) – Theatre Royal, Sydney
- High Jinks (May 1935) – Theatre Royal, Sydney
- Ball at the Savoy (July 1935) – Adelaide
- A Southern Maid (1937)
- The Merry Widow – with Gladys Moncrieff
- Some sources, including the German Wikipedia page at de:Cecil Kellaway, claim he was born in 1893; the page acknowledges the confusion and claims a majority of sources refer to 1893 as his birth year. Kellaway's Petition for Naturalization as a United States Citizen (#175514), filed in 1951, cites 1890.
- Cecil Lauriston Kellaway (born 1890) filed a Petition (#175514) for Naturalization as a United States citizen in 1951; certificate #7411287 (per ancestry.com)
- "Kellaway, Cecil Lauriston (1890–1973)". Kellaway, Cecil (1890–1973). Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University. Retrieved 1 June 2011.
- Obituary, Variety, 7 March 1973, page 78.
- "GREENROOM GOSSIP". Table Talk (3303). Victoria, Australia. 27 August 1931. p. 16. Retrieved 13 March 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
- "THE KELLAWAY FAMILY ON STAGE AND SCREEN". The Sydney Morning Herald. 4 August 1938. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
- "Character Actor Cecil Kellaway is Dead at 79". Daily Times. 1 March 1973. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
- "The THEATRE & its PEOPLE". Table Talk (2032). Victoria, Australia. 17 July 1924. p. 21. Retrieved 13 March 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
- "Round the Shows". The News. V (629) (HOME ed.). Adelaide. 30 July 1925. p. 2. Retrieved 13 March 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
- "CECIL KELLAWAY LOVES A SMOKE". The Sunday Times (2206). New South Wales, Australia. 13 May 1928. p. 21. Retrieved 9 April 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
- "Edmonton Regent Theatre". Cairns Post (10, 314). Queensland, Australia. 27 February 1935. p. 3. Retrieved 15 August 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
- "Cecil Kellaway profile". The Sydney Morning Herald. 5 June 1937. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
- Vagg, Stephen (18 August 2019). "Australian Movie Stars". Filmink.
- Scheuer, P. K. (1938, Mar 13). FILM INFORMATION NEWS OF STAGE AND SCREEN NEW OFFERINGS. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/164862191
- Obituary 2 -- no title. (1973, Mar 01). Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/157181193
- "CECIL KELLAWAY FOR LOCAL FILM". The Newcastle Sun (6409). New South Wales, Australia. 1 July 1938. p. 4. Retrieved 15 August 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
- "CECIL KELLAWAY". The Sydney Morning Herald (31, 565). New South Wales, Australia. 2 March 1939. p. 27. Retrieved 9 April 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
- "Lost His Big Chance". The Mail (Adelaide). 28 (1, 424). South Australia. 9 September 1939. p. 4 (THE MAIL Magazine). Retrieved 9 April 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
- Schallert, E. (1942, Apr 20). DRAMA. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/165306802
- Hedda Hopper (29 February 1944). "Looking At Hollywood". Los Angeles Times. ProQuest 165489849.
- Special to THE NEW,YORK TIMES. (1944, Mar 07). SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD. New York Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/106758044
- "PETER KINGSTON'S FILMS". The Daily News. LXIV (22, 103). Western Australia. 9 February 1946. p. 27 (FIRST EDITION). Retrieved 9 April 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
- Schallert, E. (1947, Jun 06). DRAMA AND FILM. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/165784433
- Schallert, E. (1948, Aug 11). Widmark, kellaway, dean stockwell in sea tale; 'casualty' new 'document'. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/165861711
- Cecil kellaway spotted for zookeeper role. (1949, Sep 04). Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/165981488
- Kellaway and hilton collaborate on film. (1950, Mar 19). Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/166065080
- Cecil kellaway and wife ask U.S. citizenship. (1954, Sep 28). Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/166649664
- Cecil kellaway, actor, 79, dies; was twice an oscar nominee. (1973, Mar 02). New York Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/119664317
- Veteran actor cecil kellaway. (1973, Mar 02). The Washington Post, Times Herald (1959-1973) Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/148465975
- "Character Actor Cecil Kellaway is Dead". Daily Times. 1 March 1973. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
- "Love Letters is Strong Psychological Fare". The Mercury. CLXIII (23, 534). Tasmania. 11 May 1946. p. 3 (The Mercury Magazine). Retrieved 13 March 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
- "THE LITTLE WHOPPER". The Sunday Times (1851). Sydney. 17 July 1921. p. 2. Retrieved 13 March 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
- "News From Hollywood". The Age (28, 363). Victoria, Australia. 20 March 1946. p. 8. Retrieved 13 March 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
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