Taylor Holmes (May 16, 1878 – September 30, 1959) was an American actor who appeared in over 100 Broadway theatre, Broadway plays in his five-decade career. However, he is probably best remembered for his screen performances, which he began in silent films in 1917. Among his earliest starring roles is in George K. Spoor's 1918 production ''A Pair of Sixes''.

Early life

Holmes was born on May 16, 1878, in Newark, New Jersey.



He made his Broadway debut in February 1900 in the controversial play Sapho (play), Sapho, which was briefly closed for indecency. Holmes played Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Rosencrantz with E. H. Sothern in a production of Hamlet and toured with Robert Edeson. He appeared in stage hits such as ''The Commuters'', ''The Music Master,'' and ''His Majesty Bunker Bean.''


Early film appearances included ''Efficiency Edgar's Courtship'' and ''Fools for Luck''. By the 1940s, he was working more on film than on stage. Holmes played a number of memorable roles, particularly in film noir, including the gullible millionaire conned in ''Nightmare Alley (1947 film), Nightmare Alley'' (1947), a shifty lawyer in ''Kiss of Death (1947 film), Kiss of Death'' (1947), and as Gavery, a reptilian disbarred lawyer in Act of Violence (1949). He is also recognized for playing the Bishop of Avranches, who fiercely denounces Pierre Cauchon in the Ingrid Bergman ''Joan of Arc (1948 film), Joan of Arc'' (1948), Marilyn Monroe's potential father-in-law in the 1953 ''Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953 film), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes'' ("I don't want to marry your son for ''his'' money, I want to marry him for ''your'' money!"), and the voice of List of Disney's Sleeping Beauty characters#King Stefan, King Stefan in The Walt Disney Company, Disney's animated feature ''Sleeping Beauty (1959 film), Sleeping Beauty'' (1959), Holmes' last credited screen role in which he replaced Hans Conried, who was the model reference for Stefan and recorded only a few additional dialogues. He also played Ebenezer Scrooge in what is largely considered a notoriously bad (and cheaply made) half-hour television version of Charles Dickens's ''A Christmas Carol (1949 film), A Christmas Carol'', first telecast in 1949.The Christmas Carol (1949) - Review @ EOFFTV
/ref> His final film was ''Sleeping Beauty (1959 film), Sleeping Beauty'' (1959), as King Stefan.

Personal life

Holmes was married to actress Edna Phillips and was the father of actors Phillips Holmes, Madeleine Taylor Holmes, and Ralph Holmes. Only months after the release of ''Sleeping Beauty (1959 film), Sleeping Beauty'' Holmes died on September 30, 1959, at the age of 81.


Holmes has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His interment was is in Culver City, California, Culver City's Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City, Holy Cross Cemetery.

Partial filmography

Silent *''Efficiency Edgar's Courtship'' (1917) (short) as Edgar Bumpus *''Fools for Luck'' (1917) as Philander Jepson *''Two-Bit Seats'' (1917) as Jimmy Mason * ''The Small Town Guy'' (1917) as Ernest Gledhill *''Uneasy Money (1918 film), Uneasy Money'' (1918) as Lord Dawlish *''Ruggles of Red Gap'' (1918) as Marmaduke Ruggles *''A Pair of Sixes'' (1918) as T. Boggs Johns *''It's a Bear'' (1919) as Orlando Wintrhop * ''A Regular Fellow (1919 film), A Regular Fellow'' (1919) (*George Eastman preserved) as Dalion Pemberton *''Taxi'' (1919) as Robert Hervey Randolph *''Upside Down (1919 film), Upside Down'' (1919) as Archibald Pim *''Three Black Eyes'' (1919) as Larry Van Cortlandt *''Nothing but the Truth'' (1920) as Robert Bennett *''The Very Idea'' (1920) as Gilbert Goodhue *''Nothing but Lies'' (1920) as George Cross *''Twenty Dollars a Week'' (1924) as William Hart *''Her Market Value'' (1925) as Courtney Brooks * ''The Crimson Runner'' (1925) as Bobo (valet) * ''The Verdict (1925 film), The Verdict'' (1925) as Valet *''Borrowed Finery'' (1925) as Billy * ''One Hour of Love'' (1927) as Joe Monahan *''Should a Mason Tell?'' (1927) (short) as Henry *''Their Second Honeymoon'' (1927) (short) as Henry *''King Harold'' (1927) (short) as Henry Sound *''Lovers' Delight'' (1929, Short) *''He Did His Best'' (1929, Short) *''Let Me Explain'' (1930, Short) *''Dad Knows Best'' (1930, Short) * ''Terry of the 'Times (1930) (unconfirmed, uncredited) * ''It Happened in Paris'' (1932) * ''Before Morning'' (1933) as Leo Bergman * ''The First Baby'' (1936) as Mr. Wells * ''The Crime of Dr. Forbes'' (1936) as Dr. Robert Empey * ''Make Way for a Lady'' (1936) as George Terry * ''Boomerang (1947 film), Boomerang'' (1947) as T.M. Wade * ''Kiss of Death (1947 film), Kiss of Death'' (1947) as Earl Howser--Attorney * ''Nightmare Alley (1947 film), Nightmare Alley'' (1947) as Ezra Grindle * ''Let's Live Again'' (1948) as Uncle Jim * ''Smart Woman (1948 film), Smart Woman'' (1948) as Dr. Jasper * ''Hazard (1948 film), Hazard'' (1948) as Mr. Meeler * ''The Plunderers (1948 film), The Plunderers'' (1948) as Eben Martin * ''Joan of Arc (1948 film), Joan of Arc'' (1948) as The Bishop of Avranches * ''That Wonderful Urge'' (1948) as Attorney Rice * ''Act of Violence'' (1948) as Gavery * ''Joe Palooka in the Big Fight'' (1949) as Dr. Benson * ''Mr. Belvedere Goes to College'' (1949) as Dr. Gibbs * ''Once More, My Darling'' (1949) as Jed Connell * ''A Christmas Carol (1949 film), A Christmas Carol'' (1949) as Ebeneezer Scrooge * ''Woman in Hiding'' (1950) as Jed Connell * ''Mr. Belvedere Goes to College'' (1950) as Lucius Maury * ''Quicksand (1950 film), Quicksand'' (1950) as Harvey * ''Caged'' (1950) as Senator Ted Donnolly (uncredited) * ''Father of the Bride (1950 film), Father of the Bride'' (1950) as Warner * ''Bright Leaf'' (1950) as Lawyer Calhoun * ''Copper Canyon (film), Copper Canyon'' (1950) as Theodosius Roberts * ''Double Deal (1950 film), Double Deal'' (1950) as C.D. 'Corpus' Mills * ''The First Legion'' (1951) as Father Keene * ''Rhubarb (1951 film), Rhubarb'' (1951) as P. Duncan Munk * ''Drums in the Deep South'' (1951) as Albert Monroe * ''Two Tickets to Broadway'' (1951) as Willard Glendon * ''Hold That Line'' (1952) as Dean Forrester * ''Hoodlum Empire'' (1952) as Benjamin Lawton * ''Sudden Fear'' (1952) as Scott Martindale (uncredited) * ''Beware, My Lovely'' (1952) as Mr. Walter Armstrong * ''Woman of the North Country'' (1952) as Andrew Dawson * ''Ride the Man Down'' (1952) as Lowell Priest * ''She's Back on Broadway'' (1953) as Talbot (uncredited) * ''Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953 film), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes'' (1953) as Mr. Esmond Sr. * ''Wonder Valley'' (1953) as Sweetheart's Father * ''Untamed Heiress'' (1954) as Walter Martin * ''The Outcast (1954 film), The Outcast'' (1954) as Andrew Devlin * ''Tobor the Great'' (1954) as Prof. Arnold Nordstrom * ''Hell's Outpost'' (1954) as Timothy Byers * ''Lady and the Tramp'' (1955) as Jim's Friend #2/Doctor (uncredited) * ''The Fighting Chance (1955 film), The Fighting Chance'' (1955) as Railbird - the Tout * ''The Maverick Queen'' (1956) as Pete Callaher * ''The Peacemaker (1956 film), The Peacemaker'' (1956) as Mr. Wren * ''The Book of Acts Series'' (1957) as High Priest * ''The Helen Morgan Story'' (1957) as Elderly Actor on Train (uncredited) * ''Wink of an Eye (film), Wink of an Eye'' (1958) as Mr. Vanryzin * ''Sleeping Beauty (1959 film), Sleeping Beauty'' (1959) as King Stefan (voice) (final film role)


External links

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Taylor Holmes portrait section NY Public Library Billy Rose Collection
{{DEFAULTSORT:Holmes, Taylor American male film actors American male stage actors 1878 births 1959 deaths Vaudeville performers Male actors from Newark, New Jersey 20th-century American male actors American male silent film actors Burials at Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City