Birthday: July 3, 1906
Died At Age: 65
Sun Sign: Cancer
Also Known As: George Henry Sanders
Born Country: Russia
Born in: Saint Petersburg
Famous as: Actor
Height: 6'3" (190 cm), 6'3" Males
Spouse/Ex-: Benita Hume (m. 1959 - died. 1967), Magda Gabor (m. 1970 - ann. 1971), Susan Larson (m. 1940 - div. 1949), Zsa Zsa Gabor (m. 1949 - div. 1954)
father: Henry Sanders
mother: Margaret Sanders
siblings: Tom Conway
Partner: Lorraine Chanel (1968 – his death. 1972)
Died on: April 25, 1972
U.S. State: South Dakota
Cause of Death: Suicide
education: Bedales School, Brighton College, Manchester Technical College
Who was George Sanders?
George Sanders was a British actor, music composer, singer-songwriter, and author best remembered for playing sophisticated but villainous characters. His acting career spanned over forty years over the course of which he performed in numerous films, most notably ‘Rebecca,’ ‘Foreign Correspondent,’ and ‘All About Eve,’ the last of which earned him an Academy Award. Born in Russia, Sanders grew up alongside a younger sister and an elder brother, actor Tom Conway. He moved to England during the outbreak of the Russian Revolution. Following his graduation from Brighton College, he attended Manchester Technical College and worked in textile research before moving to South America. Sanders again relocated to England and worked in an advertising company before taking up an acting career on the advice of the agency’s secretary, Greer Garson. The talented actor suffered from dementia during his last stage of his life and died of a cardiac arrest in 1972 after consuming five bottles of Nembutal, leaving behind three suicide notes.
Childhood & Early Life
George Henry Sanders was born on 3 July 1906 in Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire, to Margarethe Jenny Bertha Sanders and Henry Peter Ernest Sanders, said to be the illegitimate son of a prince of the House of Oldenburg. He had an elder brother, actor Tom Conway, who died in 1967, and a younger sister named Margaret.
In 1917, Sanders, along with his family, flew to England following the outbreak of the Russian Revolution. He studied at Bedales School and later attended Brighton College. He then graduated from Manchester Technical College, following which he worked in textile research.
He went to South America to manage a tobacco plantation and eventually came back to England. Sanders worked for an advertising agency before kicking off a career in acting.
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George Sanders first appeared on stage in the play ‘Ballyhoo’. He worked in the British theatre for a period of time before making his film debut in the 1934 comedy ‘Love, Life and Laughter’.
He appeared in a Hollywood-shot film titled ‘Lloyd's of London’ which was released in 1936. This was followed by his roles in ‘Slave Ship’, ‘The Lady Escapes’ and ‘Four Men and a Prayer’.
In 1939, he played a villainous role in ‘Last Warning’. That year, the actor also starred as The Saint in John Farrow’s crime flick ‘The Saint Strikes Back’ and reprised the role in ‘The Saint in London’.
He had a supporting role as Jack Favell in the romantic psychological thriller ‘Rebecca’ (1940) which was a blockbuster and won two Academy Awards. After reprising his role as The Saint in ‘The Saint Takes Over’ and ‘The Saint in Palm Springs,’ Sanders featured as a villain in the 1941 thriller ‘Man Hunt’.
In 1941, he was cast in a new B film series about the suave crime fighter, The Falcon. The first film in the series was ‘The Gay Falcon’ which was followed by the second instalment ‘A Date with the Falcon’.
In the late 1940s, he had roles in the films ‘The Ghost and Mrs. Muir’, ‘Lured’ and ‘Forever Amber’.
Sanders played Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert in the British-American historical epic flick ‘Ivanhoe’ in 1952. In 1953, he contributed his vocals to and appeared in the musical ‘Call Me Madam’.
He played the titular character in ‘King Richard and the Crusaders’ in 1954. Following an appearance in the television drama ‘The George Sanders Mystery Theater’, the actor released an album titled ‘The George Sanders Touch: Songs for the Lovely Lady’.
During the 1960s, he got featured in a number of films including ‘The Last Voyage’, ‘Ten Honeymoons’, ‘Cone of Silence’, ‘Village of the Damned’, ‘In Search of the Castaways’, ‘Five Golden Hours’ and ‘The Rebel’, to name a few.
Sanders starred in the sci-fi flick ‘The Body Stealers’ in 1967. His last film role was in the 1973 horror cult ‘Psychomania,’ released posthumously.
George Henry Sanders played an acerbic, cold-blooded stage critic named Addison DeWitt in the drama film ‘All About Eve’ and earned an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. The film follows a highly regarded Broadway star whose career is threatened upon the arrival of a young fan in his life.
Family & Personal Life
George Henry Sanders was married four times. He wed Susan Larson in 1940. Following his divorce from his first wife in 1949, he married actress Zsa Zsa Gabor. They were together till 1954.
His third marriage was to the widow of Ronald Colman, actress Benita Hume. Following her death in 1967, Sanders married Magda Gabor, who was sister of his second wife. Their marriage lasted just 32 days.
From 1968 until his death in 1972, the actor had a relationship with Lorraine Chanel.
In his later years, he suffered from dementia and several other health issues. He consumed the contents of five bottles of Nembutal, a barbiturate, on 23 April 1972, and died two days later. He left behind three suicide notes.