Seymour Hicks

Picture Seymour Hicks

1871 - 1949

The actor Seymour Hicks became infected with the acting bacillus when he impersonated the character of Buttercup in the play "Gilbert & Sullivan's H.M.S." at school.

He began his professional atage career in 1887 and went on US tour two years later with the theater group of Mr. and Mrs. Kendal. There he learnt a lot about the trade of an actor but also organziational finesses which is required for managing a theater group.
One of his first big successes was the performance of a funny Sherlock Holems in the play "Under the Clock"

When he got married with the actress Ellaline Terriss (1871-1971) in 1893 they often worked together in the following years.

He opened his own theater for which he wrote most of the plays himself and he often appeared as a director too.

When World War I broke out he was the first foreign actor whe appeared on stage in France in this difficult time. For this engagement he was awarded with the French Croix de Guerre. This was an event which repeatet itself in World War II.

Besides his acting career he also wrote together with a partner commercial successful plays, among them "The Runaway Girl" (1898), "With Flying Colours" (1899), "Bluebell in Fairyland" (1901) and "The Beauty of Bath" (1906).

Seymour Hicks realised early that the urge of the audience has changed after the war. Instead of musicals he wrote comedies which took the audience mind off this difficult time.

He also caused a sensation as an actor. One of his classic roles became "Scrooge" by Charles Dickens. When he impersonated this character for the first time in 1901 the critics were mixed so far, but Hicks worked hart and was finally able to perform "Scrooge" over 2'000 times. It was also "Scrooge" (13) which marked his film debut in 1913.

In the next years came only few more movies into being like "David Garrick" (13) and "A Prehistoric Love Story" (15) and even in the 20's he only used this new medium seldom although he founded his own film production. Yet this had an important effect to the film history. Hicks wasn't able to finish his first own film production with the title "Always Tell Your Wife" (23) because he had an argument with the director Hugh Croise. Croise left the set and Seymour Hicks became aware of a young actor who told that he preferred to become a director instead of an actor. Hicks went to this young man and offered him to finisch the movie together. This young man was no less a person than Alfred Hitchcock.

Most of Seymour Hicks' movie where shot in the 30's, among them popular productions like "Sleeping Partners" (30), "Glamour" (31), "The Secret of the Loch" (34), the second wonderful filming of "Scrooge" (35) and "Change for a Sovereign" (37).
He also strenghtened his importance at the theater by overtaking more theaters. It followed many awards, among them membership of the Honour Legion in 1931 for adaptions of French plays for the British stages and in 1935 he was knighted to Sir Seymour Hicks.

His last cinematical works were "Pastor Hall" (40) and "Silent Dust" (48).

Other movies with Seymour Hicks:
Blighty (27) Heard This One (30) The Love Habit (31) Money for Nothing (32) Royal Cavalcade (35) Vintage Wine (35) Mr. What's-His-Name? (35) It's You I Want (36) Eliza Comes to Stay (36) Young Man's Fancy (40) Busman's Honeymoon (40) The Lambeth Walk (40) Fame Is the Spur (46)

Scrooge (13) A Prehistoric Love Story (15) Sporting Life (18) Always Tell Your Wife (23) Sporting Life (25) The Sporting Lover (26) One of the Best (27) Sleeping Partners (30) Tell Tales (30) The Love Habit (31) Money for Nothing (32) L'amour et la veine (32) Vintage Wine (35) Mr. What's-His-Name? (35) Change for a Sovereign (37) 

Sleeping Partners (30) Glamour (31)