E. E. Clive

Edward Erskholme Clive (28 August 1879 – 6 June 1940) was a Welsh stage actor and director who had a prolific acting career in Britain and America. He also played numerous supporting roles in Hollywood movies between 1933 and his death.[1]

E. E. Clive
Clive in the 1939 film The Little Princess.
Edward Erskholme Clive

(1879-08-28)28 August 1879
Died6 June 1940(1940-06-06) (aged 60)
Years active19321940
Spouse(s)Eleanor Ellis (19151940) (his death) (1 child)


E. E. Clive was born on 28 August 1879 in Blaenavon in Monmouthshire. Clive studied for a medical career, and had completed four years of medical studies at St Bartholomew's Hospital before switching his focus to acting at age 22. Touring the provinces for a decade, Clive became an expert at virtually every sort of regional dialect in the British Isles. He moved to the U.S. in 1912, where after working in the Orpheum vaudeville circuit he set up his own stock company in Boston. By the 1920s, his company was operating in Hollywood; among his repertory players were such up-and-comers as Rosalind Russell. He also worked at the Broadway in several plays. Clive's obituary in The New York Times stated that he acted in "1,159 Legitimate Plays Before Going Into Moving Pictures".[1]

E.E. Clive made his film debut as a village police constable in 1933's The Invisible Man with Claude Rains, then spent the next seven years showing up in wry supporting and bit parts, where he often portrayed comical versions of English stereotypes. He often played butlers, reporters, aristocrats, shopkeepers and cabbies during his short film career. Though his roles were often small, Clive was a well-known and prolific character actor of his time. Among his best-known roles was the incompetent Burgomaster in James Whale's horror classic Bride of Frankenstein (1935). He was a semi-regular as 'Tenny the Butler' in Paramount Pictures' Bulldog Drummond "B" series starring John Howard; he also played butlers in other movies like Bachelor Mother with David Niven and Ginger Rogers. In 1939, Clive appeared in The Little Princess as the lawyer Mr. Barrows, and the first two entries of the classic Sherlock Holmes series starring Basil Rathbone. One of Clive's last roles was Sir William Lucas in the 1940 literature adaption Pride and Prejudice (1940) with Laurence Olivier and Greer Garson.

E.E. Clive died on 6 June 1940, of a heart ailment, in his Hollywood home.[1] Clive was a member of the Euclid lodge of Freemasons in Boston.

Complete filmography


  1. "E.E. Clive, Actor, Dead in the West. Veteran of Stage and Screen Former Manager of Copley Theatre in Boston. Appeared in 1,159 Legitimate Plays Before Going Into Moving Pictures". The New York Times. 7 June 1940. Retrieved 17 July 2009. Edward E. Clive, 56-year-old English character actor of the stage and screen, producer and director of the legitimate theatre, died suddenly of a heart ailment today at his North Hollywood home
  2. Great Movie Musicals on DVD - A Classic Movie Fan's Guide by John Howard Reid - Google search with book preview
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