Tyrone Power Sr

Frederick Tyrone Edmond Power Sr.[1][2] (2 May 1869 – 23 December 1931) was an English-born American stage and screen actor, known professionally as Tyrone Power. He is now usually referred to as Tyrone Power Sr. to differentiate him from his son, actor Tyrone Power.[3][4]

Tyrone Power Sr.
Tyrone Power Sr in 1916
Frederick Tyrone Edmond Power

(1869-05-02)2 May 1869
London, UK
Died23 December 1931(1931-12-23) (aged 62)
Other namesFrederick Power
EducationHampton School
Alma materDover College
Spouse(s)Maud White (unknown marriage date)
Edith Crane
(m. 1908; died 1912)

Helen Emma Reaume
(m. 1912; div. 1920)

Bertha Knight
(m. 1921; died 1927)
Children2; including Tyrone Power III
Parent(s)Harold Littledale Power
Ethel Lavenu
RelativesWilliam Grattan Tyrone Power (grandfather)

Early life

Power was born in London in 1869, the son of Harold Littledale Power and Ethel Lavenu. Harold had worked as a singer and actor before his marriage, most notably in Edmund Yates' production Invitations at the Egyptian Hall, London, 1862–63. Turning to business, he became a wine merchant, later collaborating in the mining business with his brother Frederick Power. Harold was the youngest son of the Irish actor Tyrone Power, from whom his son, grandson and great grandson would later take their stage names. Harold's wife Ethel was an actress and the third daughter of conductor and composer Lewis Henry Lavenu.

Frederick Power, as he was then known, was educated at Hampton School then Dover College with his brother George, who would later accompany him on tour in America as Littledale Power. In 1883 at the age of 14 he was sent from Britain to Florida by his parents to learn citrus planting.



After a couple of years Power ran away from his farm work and joined a theatre stock company at St. Augustine, Florida, debuting as Gibson in Charles Hawtrey's The Private Secretary on 29 November 1886 aged 17. Power steadily moved up the ranks in a variety of roles mainly Shakespearean parts. In 1899 he was in the cast of Mrs Fiske's Becky Sharp which costarred Maurice Barrymore. 1902 saw Power join Mrs. Fiske again in Mary of Magdala. The following year Power starred opposite Edgar Selwyn in Ulysses. (Selwyn would later join part of his name with Samuel Goldfish's name to create Goldwyn Studios.) Power also had roles in Julia Marlowe's When Knighthood Was in Flower in a 1904 revival.

In August 1905, Power appeared at the Elitch Theatre in Denver with his wife, Edith Crane, in Tess of the D'Urbervilles. According to Mary Elitch Long in her autobiography Lady of the Gardens, "I shall never forget the beauty of his voice nor his first utterance as he entered the Gardens: 'I am about to realize a great ambition, and that is to play in the Elitch Gardens Theatre.'"

In 1908 Power had what was probably his greatest personal theatrical success, The Servant in the House. The production ran for 80 performances in the first half of 1908 and then a return engagement for 48 performances near the close of the year. Following this success, Power appeared in a few more original stage productions like Chu Chin Chow (American version) and The Wandering Jew, which apparently was a huge musical. The rest of his theatrical career before World War I and after consisted of revivals of popular and Shakesperean plays such as The Merchant of Venice, Julius Caesar, the all-star play Diplomacy, and The Rivals. In 1922, he played Claudius in John Barrymore's groundbreaking production of Hamlet.


After an extremely prosperous 30 years of acting on the stage and touring around the world, Power moved into silent films in 1914. Initially playing the leading man in films, he soon switched to playing villains and proved highly successful. In 1916, Power played the male lead in Where Are My Children?, a serious film about birth control and social issues directed by pioneer director Lois Weber and her husband Phillips Smalley. A pristine copy of this film is preserved in the Library of Congress. That same year Power appeared in a Selig film called John Needham's Double. When not acting on Broadway, Power appeared in films. Producer William Fox found him a great character part at Fox Studios in Footfalls (1921).

Also in 1921 Power appeared in D.W. Griffith's Dream Street in which experimental synchronised sound was used, using the Photokinema sound-on-disc system. In 1924, Power was in the cast of the sumptuous Janice Meredith, a Hearst-produced vehicle for Marion Davies. In 1925, Power appeared in a film called The Red Kimono, a film as daring as Where Are My Children? had been a decade earlier. The Red Kimono was produced and partly written by Dorothy Davenport, the widow of Wallace Reid. It is the only silent Power film available on home video or DVD.

Power finished out the decade and silent era in several A-list silent films. In 1930, Power had a great role as the villainous "bull whacker" Red Flack in Raoul Walsh's widescreen epic The Big Trail, which was Power's first (and only) talkie and provided an unknown John Wayne with his first starring role. Power then prepared to film a sound remake of The Miracle Man, which had been a great silent success in 1919 for Lon Chaney.


While filming The Miracle Man, Power died of a heart attack on 23 December 1931 in the arms of his 17-year-old son at his apartment at the Hollywood Athletic Club.[5] He was 62. As Power had filmed only a few scenes before his death. his role was filled by fellow veteran actor Hobart Bosworth.[6]

Stage appearances

Production Production Company, Dates
The Private Secretary
Charles Hawtrey
Gibsonhis debut on 29 November 1886 with St. Augustine, Florida stock company
Bronson Howard
The Hon. William Carterat Mechanics' Institute, St. John, NB, Huebner-Holmes Co., 22 June 1888
The Texan
Tyrone Power Sr
William Plainleighat Opera House, St. John, NB and at the Masonic Hall at Chatham and Newcastle, New Brunswick, own company, June, 1893, and at Princess's Theatre, London, June 1894
The Two Roses
James Albery
Digby Grantat Opera House, St. John, NB, own company, June 1893
BetsyAdolphusat Opera House, St. John, NB, own company, June 1893
The Sins of the Fathers
W. Lestocq
Sir Roger Walvernby & Norman Vernleyat Opera House, St. John, NB, own company, June 1893
Guy Mannering
Sir Walter Scott
Dominie Sampsonopened at Montreal, Fanny Janauschek company c. 1888–1891
The School for Scandal
Richard Brinsley Sheridan
Sir Oliver SurfaceAugustin Daly players, 1891
The Magistrate
Arthur Wing Pinero
PosketAugustin Daly players, c. 1891–1898
The Cabinet Minister
Arthur Wing Pinero
Brooke TwombleyAugustin Daly players, c. 1891–1898
The Foresters
Alfred Tennyson
Much the MillerAugustin Daly players, c. 1891–1898
As You Like It
William Shakespeare
FrederickAugustin Daly players, c. 1891–1898
Love's Labour's Lost
William Shakespeare
HolofernesAugustin Daly players, c. 1891–1898
Much Ado about Nothing
William Shakespeare
AntonioAugustin Daly players, c. 1891–1898
The Taming of the Shrew
William Shakespeare
Christopher SlyAugustin Daly players, c. 1891–1898, and with own company Australia and New Zealand tour 1900–1902
The Tempest
William Shakespeare
CalibanAugustin Daly players, c.1891–1898
The Merry Wives of Windsor
William Shakespeare
Host of the Garter InnAugustin Daly players, c. 1891–1898
Hermann Sudermann
-Minnie Maddern Fiske's company c.1890s
Henri Meilhac, Ludovic Halévy
-Minnie Maddern Fiske's company c.1890s
Becky Sharp
Langdon Mitchell ad. Thackeray's Vanity Fair
Lord SteyneMinnie Maddern Fiske's company, Fifth Avenue Theatre, 12 September – December 1899, 116 performances
Tess of the D'Urbervilles
Thomas Hardy dram.
-Australia and New Zealand tour 1900–1902
George du Maurier dram.
-Australia and New Zealand tour 1900–1902
Our Boys
Henry James Byron
-Australia and New Zealand tour 1900–1902
The Only Way
Freeman C. Wills, Frederick Langbridge ad. A Tale of Two Cities
-Australia and New Zealand tour 1900–1902
The Merchant of Venice
William Shakespeare
Bassanioat the Lyceum Theatre, London with Henry Irving and Ellen Terry, June – July 1902
Mary of Magdala
William Winter
Judas IscariotMinnie Maddern Fiske's company, Manhattan Theatre, November 1902, 105 performances
Stephen Phillips
Ulyssesat the Garden Theatre, 14 September – November 1903, 65 performances
Maria Lovell
Ingomarat the Empire Theatre, Broadway, 16 May 1904
Pierre Berton ad. Cosmo Gordon Lennox
-at the Knickerbocker Theatre, Broadway, 13 May 1904
When Knighthood Was in Flower
Charles Major ad. Paul Kester
The Princessat the Empire Theatre, Broadway, May 1904, 16 performances
David Belasco
-at the Belasco Theatre, 1 January – 26 April 1905, 123 performances
Tess of the D'Urbervilles
-at the Elitch Theatre, August 1905
The Redskin
Donald MacLaren
Lonawandaat the Liberty Theatre, 3 January – March 1906, 26 performances
The Strength of the Weak
Alice M. Smith, Charlotte Thompson
-at the Liberty Theatre, 17 April – May 1906
The Christian Pilgrim
James MacArthur
Apollyon, Beelzebub, Giant Despair, Lord Hategoodat the Liberty Theatre, November 1907, 14 performances
The Servant in the House
Charles Rann Kennedy
Robert Smithat the Savoy Theatre, 23 March – 1 June 1908, 80 performances, 19 October – November 1908, 48 performances
Anatole France, ad. Paul Wilstach
-at the Criterion Theatre, 14 March – April 1911, 31 performances

"Julius Caesar" Marcus Brutus one performance for 40,000 at Beachwood Canyon, Hollywood, May 1916

Julius Caesar
William Shakespeare
Marcus Brutusat the Lyric Theatre, 4 November – December 1912, 32 performances, outdoor performance before 40,000 at Beachwood Canyon Hollywood, May 1916, one performance at the Cort Theatre, 15 March 1918
Chu Chin Chow
Oscar Asche
Abu HasanAmerican premiere at the Manhattan Opera House, 22 October 1917, second run at the Century Theatre, 14 January – April 1918, 208 performances
The Little Brother
Milton Goldsmith, Benedict James
-at the Belmont Theatre, 25 November 1918 – March 1919, 120 performances
The Wandering Jew
Ernest Temple Thurston
Mathathias, The Unknown Knight, Matteo Battadio, Matteos Battadiosat the Knickerbocker Theatre, opened 26 October 1921
The Rivals
Richard Brinsley Sheridan
Sir Anthony Absoluteat the Empire Theatre, opened 5 June 1922
William Shakespeare
Claudius King of Denmarkat the Sam H. Harris Theatre, 16 November 1922 – February 1923, 101 performances
Rachel Crothers
Herbert Beveridgeat the Theatre Masque, 26 December 1927 – January 1928, 8 performances
Victorien Sardou
Markhamat Erlanger's Theatre, 28 May – July 1928, 40 performances
The Unknown Warrior
Paul Raynal trans. Cecil Lewis
Elderly Manat Charles Hopkins Theatre, 29 October – November 1928, 8 performances
The Merchant of Venice
William Shakespeare
Duke of Veniceat the Royale Theatre, opened 16 November 1931, 8 performances


Poster for The Eye of God (1916)
Poster for The Planter (1917)
Year Title Role Notes
1914AristocracyJefferson Stockton[7]
1915A Texas SteerMaverick Brander[7]
1915Sweet AlyssumRoanoke Brooks[7]
1916Thou Shalt Not CovetI, or the Hero[7]
1916John Needham's DoubleLord John Needham/Joseph Norbury[7]
1916Where Are My Children?Richard Walton[7]
1916The Eye of GodOlaf[7]
1917The PlanterLudwig Hertzer[7]
1917Lorelei of the SeaPaul[7]
1917National Red Cross PageantServia[7]
1920The Great ShadowJim McDonald[7]
1921Dream StreetA Preacher of the Streets[7]
1921The Black Panther's CubCount Boris Orliff[7]
1921FootfallsHiram Scudder[7]
1923FuryCaptain Leyton[7]
1923The Truth About WivesHoward Hendricks[7]
1923Bright Lights of BroadwayJohn Kirk[7]
1923Wife in Name OnlyDornham[7]
1923The Daring YearsJames LaMotte[7]
1923The Day of FaithMichael Anstell[7]
1924Damaged HeartsSandy[7]
1924The Lone WolfBannon[7]
1924Trouping with EllenMr. Llewellyn[7]
1924The Story Without a NameDrakma[7]
1924For Another Woman[7]
1924Greater Than MarriageFather[7]
1924Janice MeredithLord Cornwallis[7]
1924The Law and the LadyJohn Langley Sr.[7]
1925The WandererJesse[7]
1925Where Was I?George Stone[7]
1925A Regular FellowKing[7]
1925The Red Kimona[7]
1925BraveheartStanding Rock[7]
1925Bride of the StormJacob Kroon[7]
1926The Test of Donald NortonJohn Corrigal[7]
1926Out of the StormMr. Lawrence[7]
1926Hands Across the BorderJohn Drake[7]
1930The Big TrailRed Flack[7]


  1. Smith, Geddeth (2008). Walter Hampden: Dean of the American Theatre. p. 75.
  2. Belafonte, Dennis; Marill, Alvin H. (1979). The Films of Tyrone Power. Citadel Press. p. 9. ISBN 978-0806504773 via Google Books.
  3. Kabatchnik, Amnon (20 June 2014). Blood on the Stage, 480 B.C. to 1600 A.D. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 271. ISBN 9781442235489. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  4. Ferguson, Michael (2003). Idol Worship: A Shameless Celebration of Male Beauty in the Movies. StarBooks Press. p. 55. ISBN 9781891855481. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  5. Fleming, E. J. (2015). Hollywood Death and Scandal Sites: Seventeen Driving Tours with Directions and the Full Story, (2 ed.). McFarland. p. 23. ISBN 0-786-49644-4.
  6. Arce, Hector (1979). The Secret Life of Tyrone Power. Morrow. p. 67. ISBN 0-688-03484-5.
  7. "[Frederick] Tyrone Power". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
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