Frank Vosper

Frank Vosper (15 December 1899, in London – 6 March 1937) was an English actor and playwright.[3][4]

Frank Vosper
Publicity still, autographed: 1933
Frank Permain Vosper[1] [2]

(1899-12-15)15 December 1899
Died6 March 1937(1937-03-06) (aged 37)
at sea
Cause of deathaccidental drowning
Occupationactor & writer


Vosper made his stage debut in 1919 and was best known for playing urbane villains.[5][6]

His extensive stage experience included appearing in his own play Love from a Stranger (1936), adapted from the short story "Philomel Cottage" by Agatha Christie.[7][8]

His screenplays included co-writing the comedy No Funny Business (1933).[9]

He also wrote People Like Us, based on the case of Edith Thompson and Frederick Bywaters.[10] Banned by the Lord Chamberlain after a performance at the Strand Theatre featuring Atholl Fleming,[11] it remained unperformed until 1948, when it premiered at Wyndham's Theatre in London, with Miles Malleson, George Rose, Robert Flemyng and Kathleen Michael.[12]



Year Title Role
1926 Blinkeyes Seymour (film deubt)
The Woman Juror Morgan
1929 The Last Post Paul
1932 Rome Express M. Jolif
1933 Strange Evidence Andrew Relf
Dick Turpin Tom King
1934 Open All Night Anton
Waltzes from Vienna Prince Gustav
Red Ensign Lord Dean
Jew Suss Karl Alexander
Blind Justice Dick Cheriton
The Man Who Knew Too Much Ramon Levine
1935 Royal Cavalcade Capt. Robert Falcon Scott
Heart's Desire Van Straaten
Koenigsmark Maj. Baron de Boise
1936 Spy of Napoleon Napoleon III
Secret of Stamboul Kazdim (final film)


Year Title
1932 Murder on the Second Floor
1933 No Funny Business
1941 Shadows on the Stairs (posthumously)


Vosper drowned on 6 March 1937, when he fell from the ocean liner SS Paris.[13] The death was eventually ruled as accidental after considerable media speculation.[7] Several newspapers reported that earlier in the evening Vosper had been attending a farewell party for Miss Muriel Oxford, "Miss Great Britain" of 1936, in her cabin, and that he had threatened suicide if she refused to marry him. Miss Oxford reported that her last conversation with Vosper was "quite normal" and that he never threatened suicide.[14][15][16] At the time there was a considerable debate, because Vosper was a well-known homosexual and it was said by many that it was because he found his lover flirting with a beauty queen that he threw himself from the ocean liner.[17]

According to the Daily Express Fiction Library edition of Murder on the Second Floor, Vosper fell from the French ocean liner SS Normandie, while contemporary newspaper accounts and the evidence produced at the inquest stated it was the liner SS Paris.[2][18][14][15][16]


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