Harold French

Harold French (23 April 1897 19 October 1997)[1] was an English film director, screenwriter and actor.[2]

Harold French
Born(1897-04-23)23 April 1897
London, England
Died19 October 1997(1997-10-19) (aged 100)
London, England
Film director
Years active1920–1936 (actor)
1937–1963 (director)
Spouse(s)Phyllis Arnold (? – 1941);
Mary Parker (predeceased him)
AwardsLocarno International Film Festival
Most Entertaining Film
1949 Adam and Evelyne


After training at the Italia Conti School, he made his acting debut age 12, in a production of The Winter's Tale.[3][4] As an actor, most of his roles occurred between 1912 and 1936, not gaining as much attention as later he would as a director.[5][3]

He worked as a screenwriter on three of the four films produced by Marcel Hellman's and Douglas Fairbanks Jr.'s production company Criterion Film Productions in the late 1930s, before switching to film direction in 1937, often with Marcel Hellman as producer.[6][7] From 1940 to 1955, he had several box-office successes as director. This successful period was clouded by the 1941 death of his wife Phyllis in a Luftwaffe bombing raid.[8]

Although he did some TV work after 1955, he appears to have retired from directing and acting after 1963.[9] He died in 1997 at the age of 100.[2]

He was a subject of the television programme This Is Your Life in May 1970 when he was surprised by Eamonn Andrews.[10]

Selected filmography





  1. League, The Broadway. "Harold French – Broadway Cast & Staff - IBDB". www.ibdb.com.
  2. "Harold French - Biography, Movie Highlights and Photos - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  3. McFarlane, Brian (16 May 2016). "The Encyclopedia of British Film: Fourth edition". Oxford University Press via Google Books.
  4. "Overview for Harold French". Turner Classic Movies.
  5. "Harold French - Theatricalia". theatricalia.com.
  6. "Harold French".
  7. "Jeannie (1941)".
  8. BritMovie: Harold French Archived 11 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine Linked 2012-10-14
  9. TV.com. "Harold French". TV.com.
  10. "Harold French". www.bigredbook.info.
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