Guy Standing

Sir Guy Standing KBE (1 September 1873 – 24 February 1937) was an English actor.[1]

Sir Guy Standing
Screen credit in Lloyd's of London, 1936
Born(1873-09-01)1 September 1873
London, England
Died24 February 1937(1937-02-24) (aged 63)
Years active1914–1937
Spouse(s)Isabelle Urquhart (1893–1899) (divorced)
Blanche Burton
Dorothy Hammond (1927–1937) (his death) (3 children)
Children3

Biography

Standing served in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve throughout the First World War, reaching the rank of commander. He was seconded to the SIS, but transferred to the Ministry of Information in December 1917.[2] In 1918, he was part of the British War Mission to the United States. For this service, he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1918 and raised to Knight Commander (KBE) in the 1919 New Year Honours.[3]

After becoming a noted actor in British and American theatre, he moved to Hollywood in the early 1930s appearing in Paramount films. His best-known role is probably that of Colonel Stone, autocratic father of Lieutenant Stone (played by Richard Cromwell), in Henry Hathaway's Lives of a Bengal Lancer (1935).

He was the son of Herbert Standing (1846–1923), a noted actor from the stage and in silent films. His brothers Jack Standing, Herbert Standing Jr., Percy Standing and Wyndham Standing were also actors, as was his third wife Dorothy Hammond, (née Plaskitt; died 1950), his son Guy Standing Jr. and his daughter, Kay Hammond (née Dorothy Katherine Standing) and grandson John Standing.

His son by Dorothy Hammond, and brother of Kay Hammond, Michael Standing (died 1 December 1984), was the first live BBC cricket commentator and live radio commentator, known particularly for his "Standing on the Corner" slot in In Town Tonight. After a distinguished war record as Head of Outside Broadcasting, he went on to become Director of Variety. In this role he was responsible for commissioning such classics as The Goon Show, The Navy Lark, Hancock's Half Hour and Round the Horne. His later roles in radio management included the negotiation with the Musicians' Union to provide sufficient airtime for both recorded artists and live orchestras. The agreement he made enabled the start of Radio 1. Michael also wrote The Green Book, a book of rules and principles put into practice by the BBC of Lord Reith.

Standing's first wife was American stage actress Isabelle Urquhart, several years his senior. They divorced and she died in 1907 aged 42. Standing died from a heart attack on 24 February 1937.[4] He was picking up his car from a garage when the attendant asked him how he felt. "Excellent," he replied, "In fact, I never felt better in my life." Standing then fell to the floor, writhing in pain and clutching his chest. He died at Hollywood Emergency Hospital a few minutes later, never having spoken another word.[5] He was interred at Grand View Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.[4] Rumours surrounding Standing's death suggested that he had died from the complications of either a black widow spider or rattlesnake bite, but this has been deemed false.[6]

Filmography

Year Title Role Notes
1914Alone in New York
1933The Eagle and the HawkMajor Dunham
1933The Story of Temple DrakeGrandfather Judge Drake
1933Midnight ClubCommissioner Hope
1933Cradle SongDon Jose - the Doctor
1933Hell and High WaterRear Admiral
1934Death Takes a HolidayDuke Lambert
1934The Witching HourJudge Martin Prentice
1934Double DoorMortimer Neff
1934Now and ForeverFelix Evans
1935The Lives of a Bengal LancerColonel Tom Stone
1935Car 99Professor Anthony
1935Annapolis FarewellCmdr. Fitzhugh
1935The Big Broadcast of 1936Doctor
1936Palm SpringsCaptain Smyth
1936The Return of Sophie LangMax Bernard
1936I'd Give My LifeGovernor John Bancroft
1936Lloyd's of LondonJohn Julius Angerstein
1937Bulldog Drummond EscapesCol. Reginald Nielson(final film role)

References

  1. "Guy Standing | Biography, Movie Highlights and Photos". AllMovie.
  2. Bennett, Gill (2007). Churchill's Man of Mystery: Desmond Morton and the World of Intelligence. Routledge. p. 34.
  3. "No. 31114". The London Gazette (Supplement). 8 January 1919. p. 448.
  4. Ellenberger, Allan R. (2001). Celebrities in Los Angeles Cemeteries: A Directory. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company. p. 103. ISBN 9780786409839.
  5. "Noted Film Actor Dies". The Los Angeles Times. 25 February 1937. p. A1.
  6. Ellenberger, Allan R. "Sir Guy Standing – death by rattlesnake?". allanellenberger.com. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
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