David Landau (actor)

David Landau (born David H. Magee, March 9, 1879[3] September 20, 1935) was an American stage and film actor who appeared in 33 films from 1931 to 1935. He appeared on Broadway in 12 plays from 1919 to 1929.[4]

David Landau
David Landau, James Cagney, and Loretta Young in Taxi! (1932)
David H. Magee

(1879-03-09)March 9, 1879
DiedSeptember 20, 1935(1935-09-20) (aged 56)
Resting placeForest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, California[1]
OccupationStage and film actor
Years active1919-1935
Spouse(s)Frances Landau (born Sarah Frances Newhall; m. 1903-1935; his death)[2]
Partner(s)Delight Howell[2]

Magee was born in Philadelphia, the son of Robert Magee, who emigrated from County Londonderry, Ireland and listed his occupation as gardener on the 1880 census. His mother, Maryann, was Pennsylvania-born of Irish and English descent. David Magee studied law at the University of Pennsylvania. To improve his diction, he took a class in dramatics. He eventually abandoned his law studies and appeared in his first film in 1931.

In 1934, Magee suffered a stroke from which he never recovered.[1] He is buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.[1]


His first wife was legally concluded by a court to have been actress Frances Landau (born Sarah Frances Newhall). In his will, David Landau questioned whether Frances had obtained a legal divorce from her previous husband, Edwin T. Emory, in 1900, before she had married him in 1903. Landau directed in his will that if Frances could prove her legal divorce from her previous husband, she should receive “the smallest legal amount” possible.[2] His will left his estate ($3,803) to Delight Howell, “the best friend I ever had … in payment for her loyalty in spite of adversity”. According to the 1930 U.S. census, he was living with her in New York at that time. Howell is listed as "Lodger". Frances Landau claimed that Howell had taken advantage of her husband to make him believe that he and Frances had never been legally married. His funeral announcement in the Los Angeles Times referred to him as "[the] beloved husband of Delight Landau"; his obituary in the New York Times cited "Mrs. Delight Landau, his widow, survives".[2]

Partial filmography


  1. "David Landau (1879-1935) profile". Findagrave.com. Retrieved August 26, 2017.
  2. "David Landau, the Pre-Code Era's Own Bitter Man". Immortalephemera.com. September 24, 2012. Retrieved August 26, 2017.
  3. Some sources cite 1878
  4. Profile, Internet Broadway Database; accessed August 26, 2017.
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