Eric Blore

Eric Blore (23 December 1887 – 2 March 1959) was an English comic actor, who worked in the United States beginning in the 1920s and had a very busy career in Hollywood films in the 1930 and 1940s. Blore was born in Finchley, Middlesex, England.

Eric Blore
from the trailer for
The Casino Murder Case (1935).
Born23 December 1887
Died2 March 1959 (aged 71)
Hollywood, California, United States
Years active19201955
Violet Winter
(m. 1917; died 1919)

Clara Blore (m. 1926)


Aged 18, Blore worked as an insurance agent for two years. He gained theatre experience while touring Australia. Originally enlisting into the Artists Rifles, he was commissioned in the South Wales Borderers in the First World War. Eventually, he appeared in several shows and revues in England. In 1923, he went to the United States and began playing character roles on Broadway. After the death of his first wife, Violet Winter, he married Clara Mackin in 1926. His stage work in the musical Gay Divorce with Fred Astaire earned him a role in films.

He moved on to film and appeared in over eighty Hollywood films. Blore, in his role as an English butler, appeared more frequently than any other supporting player in the series of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers musicals at RKO Radio Pictures, five of ten. Some of his most memorable on-screen moments took place in Top Hat (1935) and Shall We Dance (1937). He reprised this role with Astaire for a final time in The Sky's the Limit (1943), delivering the line: "If I were not such a gentleman's gentleman, I could be such a cad's cad," as he had in It's Love I'm After six years earlier. Other memorable roles included Sir Alfred McGlennan Keith in the Preston Sturges film The Lady Eve (1941) with Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda, a small part as Charles Kimble in the second of the seven Bing Crosby-Bob Hope "Road" films, Road to Zanzibar (1941), and, from 1940 to 1947, in eleven Lone Wolf films as Jamison the butler.

Blore died of a heart attack at age 71 on 2 March 1959 in Hollywood, California. He was entombed in Glendale's Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery.

His death caused an unexpected stir. The British critic Kenneth Tynan, writing for The New Yorker, had recently made a mistaken reference to "the late Eric Blore", and this error passed by the normally vigilant checking department. When Blore’s lawyer demanded a retraction, the editor had no choice other than to refer this demand to Tynan, pointing out in a fury that this was the first retraction ever to appear in that uniquely authoritative magazine. In disgrace, Tynan prepared a major apology, to appear prominently in the next issue. On the eve of publication, when the edition was printed and ready for delivery, Blore died. So next morning, the daily papers announced Blore’s death, while The New Yorker apologised for any insult to Mr. Blore’s feelings through their erroneous report of his demise.

Complete filmography

* - films featuring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers


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