Harvey Braban

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Harvey Braban (b. Brighton, Sussex, 19/05/1883 - d. Kensington, London, **/**/1943) was an actor.


Born George William Chapman, he was the son of George Chapman and Anne Braban. Active on stage, radio, television and in film for almost 40 years, he adopted his mother’s surname for his acting career. He played both in London's West End and on Broadway, appearing in major theatres such as Covent Garden, Drury Lane and the Savoy Theatre. He made his first stage appearance in 1905 with Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree and subsequently toured with Frank Benson. In 1910, at the first Stratford-upon-Avon Summer Shakespeare Festival, he played Florizel in The Winter’s Tale, in New York he played Horatio in Hamlet (1912) and in 1920 he was Antonio in Sir John Martin-Harvey’s production of The Merchant of Venice.

He had just completed a film role in The Romany (1922) with Victor McLaglen when, in November of that year, he came to South Africa at short notice to take the part of the villain Simon Macquart opposite Molly Adair in Joseph Albrecht’s film adaptation of The Reef of Stars (1923), based on the novel by H. De Vere Stacpoole. He only stayed for a short while and by the end of March of the following year he was back in England. Later that year he travelled to New York with Martin-Harvey and acted in Oedipus Rex, produced by Max Reinhardt.

The IMDb lists more than 40 movies for him, with his first role in Maurice Elvey's A Question of Trust (1920). He frequently played authority figures, including the Chief Inspector in Alfred Hitchcock’s Blackmail (1929), which is regarded as Britain’s first talking picture. His last film appearance was as Lord Salisbury in Herbert Wilcox’s Sixty Glorious Years (1938), but he also acted in a number of the BBC’s earliest television plays, including a version of Karel Capek’s R.U.R. (1938), Sheridan's The Rivals (1938) and Goldsmith's She Stoops to Conquer (1939). In addition he frequently appeared in musicals broadcast by BBC Radio, including Blue Eyes (1940) with Anne Ziegler. His first marriage was to the actress Lilian Christine (Lillian Christine Smith), with whom he had appeared in The Winter’s Tale. After their divorce in 1929, he married actress Marjorie Lancaster (Margery Eileen Liddard) in 1930. They had two children, a son called Roger (b. 1931), who also became an actor, and a daughter named Anna (b. 1933). (FO)





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