July 28, 1916 - December 9, 1944
Born Samuel Laird Cregar in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
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A Few Favorite Memories of Laird Cregar
- As "Police Inspector Ed Cornell", determined to pin the murder of a shapely model on an innocent man in I Wake Up Screaming (1941), an entertaining
early film noir mystery directed by H. Bruce Humberstone.
The fine cast includes Betty Grable, Victor Mature, Carole Landis, Alan Mowbray, Elisha Cook Jr., Morris Ankrum
and Charles Lane.
- As "Willard Gates," who tries to double-cross a hit man by paying him with hot money in This Gun for Hire (1942),
directed by Frank Tuttle and based on a novel by Graham Greene.
A classic thriller that made a big star of Alan Ladd ("Raven" the sympathetic hit man), and advanced the careers of Veronica Lake
(as the dame that gets involved with him), Cregar and Robert Preston (as the detective on everybody's trail)
- As notorious ex-pirate "Captain Sir Henry Morgan," now fighting buccaneers as Governor of Jamaica, in the Tyrone Power swashbuckler The Black Swan (1942),
directed by Henry King, and featuring Maureen O'Hara, George Sanders, Thomas Mitchell, Anthony Quinn and George Zucco.
- As "His Excellency," reigning over a sophisticated, elegant version of Hell, and charmingly dropping a tiresome old lady through a trapdoor to her fate,
in Ernst Lubitsch's Heaven Can Wait (1943).
During the film we hear the life story of Don Ameche's character, presented as his qualifications for entry.
Fine support from Gene Tierney, Charles Coburn, Marjorie Main, Spring Byington, and many others.
- As "Slade," a very mysterious new boarder in the Burton household during the Victorian heyday of Jack the Ripper, in The Lodger (1944),
directed by John Brahm and based on the novel by Marie Belloc Lowndes (previously filmed in England as a silent picture by Alfred Hitchcock).
Cregar brought a psychological intensity to his performance never seen in films before.
The excellent cast includes George Sanders (a detective), Merle Oberon (an actress), Cedric Hardwicke (fascinated by the murders), Cyril Delevanti, Billy Bevan
and Skelton Knaggs in a bit part.
- As the brilliant but unbalanced composer "George Harvey Bone," who suffers from sinister blackouts in the period murder mystery Hangover Square (1945).
Though very similar to The Lodger, with John Brahm directing, and with both Cregar and George Sanders back as the male leads,
the film succeeds on its own merits, including Cregar's creepy, subtle performance, Bernard Herrmann's extraodinary score, and a good cast
including Linda Darnell, Glenn Langan, and Alan Napier.
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Last revised August 21, 2005 by George "E-gor" Chastain.
Maintained by George "E-gor" Chastain