Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Rmembering Jack Hawkins
John Edward 'Jack' Hawkins was born on September 14, 1910 in Wood Green, London, England. The youngest of four children of master builder Thomas Hawkins and his wife Phoebe he was educated at Trinity County School and sang in the choir. He then attended Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts and made his stage debut in “Where the Rainbow Ends” in 1923. He debuted on Broadway in 1929 in “Journey's End” and continued with stage performances until World War II began. After the fall of France he volunteered for military service and was sent to India in charge of troop entertainment. He rose to the rank of colonel in the ENSA (Entertainments National Service Association). Appearing in several films in the 1930s it was after the war he really began his career in the cinema. He often played stern but sympathetic authority figures in such films as “The Cruel Sea” (1953), “Land of the Pharaohs” (1955) “The Bridge on the River Kwai” (1957), “Lawrence of Arabia” (1962) and “Lord Jim” (1965). A heavy smoker Hawkins began to develop larynx problems as early as 1959 and in 1965 he developed throat cancer. In 1966 his larynx was removed and his voice was dubbed in all future films. During this time he made his only Euro-western “Shalako” (1968) as Sir Charles Daggett. His voice was dubbed by Charles Gray [1928-2000]. After an unsuccessful operation to fit him with an artificial voice box he died on July 18, 1973 in London's St. Stephen's Hospital. His autobiography 'Anything for a Quiet Life' was published after his death. Hawkins was at one time married to actress Jessica Tandy [1909-1994] from 1932-1940. He then married Doreen Mary Atkinson [1920- ] from 1947 until his death. He had four children Susan, Caroline, Nick and Andrew. Today we remember Jack Hawkins on what would have been his 100th birthday.