James Vincent

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James Vincent (b. Durban, 25/08/1900 – d. Yonkers, New York, 07/06/1953) was an actor, stage manager and dialogue director.

Note: He should not be confused with his namesake James Vincent (1882-1957), an American silent era actor and director who in 1920 became President of the Motion Pictures Directors Association.


James Vincent was born in Durban, but according to an entry permit issued in 1930 when he entered the United States from Canada, his birth name seems to have been Genio Viskovich. In fact, when he signed his American naturalisation papers in 1935 he stated that he had British nationality, but was of Austrian-Italian extraction. His stage career started when he acted for Leonard Rayne in plays like Two Little Vagabonds (1920), The Story of the Rosary (1920), East Lynne (1921), The Right to Strike (1921) and Brown Sugar (1922). In 1923 he acted in Joseph Albrecht’s film version of The Reef of Stars, with Molly Adair and Harvey Braban.

After that he pursued his acting career in England, where he also worked as stage manager. In 1927 he left for the United States, where he appeared in The Letter at the Morosco Theatre in New York with the famed Katharine Cornell. It was a fortuitous meeting as he subsequently became her stage manager. When he returned to the United States in 1930, he declared that he would apply for permanent residence and according to the national census in 1940 he was living in San Francisco. In 1942 Paramount Pictures signed him up as studio dialogue director, working with filmmakers like Frank Capra and Cecil B. DeMille. He also became a member of noted film director George Cukor’s inner circle. However, in 1953 James Vincent was found dead floating in New York’s Hudson River under suspicious circumstances. According to the Cause of Death Code it involved “injury due to legal intervention by other specific means”. (FO)


The Film Daily, 20 May 1942

McGilligan, Patrick - George Cukor: a double life (1991)

Parsons, Neil Black and white bioscope: making movies in Africa 1899 to 1925 (2019)

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