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Harry Davenport – MovieActors.com

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Davenport in THE THIN MAN GOES HOME.

About Harry Davenport (1866 – 1949)

Harry George Bryant Davenport was born on January 19, 1866, in New York, New York into a family well-known in acting circles. His father was actor Edward Loomis Davenport;(1815-1877), and his mother was actress FAnny Elizabeth Vining;(1829-1891).

Out of the family's nine children, two died. All of the seven surviving children were active in the arts. Harry ws in his first stage play in the 1871 production of DAMON AND PYTHIAS in a Philadelphia theatre, at the age of five. By the time Harry became a teenager, he was playing parts in Shakespearean plays in theatre stock companies.

After becoming of age, HARRY moved back to New York, and started jhis thespian stage career with a vigor and energy. Between 1893 and 1910, Harry was in 13 stage productions, most of them musicals.

In 1893, he met a lovely actress, Alice Shepard, and married her. Their union only lasted three years, but they managed to produce a talented daughter, actress Dorthy Davenport, who was active mostly in silent films, from 1910-1928, though she was in two sound films, and directed
the 1934 clasic, ROAD TO RUIN, after her husband died from a drug overdose.

After his divorce went through, Harry married musical comedy actress, Phyllis Rankin, who was nine years his junior. Harry adopted Phyliss' son, ARthur. They had a daughter together, Kate. They starred in stage plays together, having a blast.

Because the working conditions were so poor for stage thespians on Broadway, Harry joined his friend actor Eddie Foy, in forming a union in 1912. Actor's Equity Association to fight for decent conditions and rights. They led a strike on Broadway that forced the producers to give them decent conditions, like plumbing in the dressing rooms and a shorter work week.

To keep working, Harry decided to dabble and get his toes wet in film, making his silent film debut in 1914 film, TOO MANY HUSBANDS. His last silent feature was in 1921 film, THOSE PRESENT.

He couldn't resist doing two musical comedy stage plays with his wife, Phyllis in 1918; "Lightnin'" and "Three Wise Fools." He returned to his first love, the stage, and was in a series of Broadway plays throughout the 1920s'.

When the love of his life, Phyliss, died in 1934, Harry left the stage at 69 years old, and went back to film in Hollywood, staying near his three grown children.

Harry had no trouble at all, as a character actor who excelled in either comedy or drama; playing mostly grandfathers, judges, doctors, and ministers, earning the respect of thespians like Bette Davis.

He has the distinction of acting in three films in a row that won Best Picture Awards: THE LIFE OF EMILE ZOLA;(1937), YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU;(1938) AND GONE WITH THE WIND;(1939).

Harry Davenport was Dr. Meade in the 1939 famed movie, GONE WITH THE WIND, working with Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh. Playing Dr. Barnes, Harry Davenport was in LITTLE WOMEN in 1949 with Peter Lawford, Margaret O'Brien, and Elizabeth Taylor.

Harry Davenport has been in several movies with uncredited roles including AMONG THOSE PRESENT, THE WISER SEX, THE GREAT GARRICK and MAN-PROOF.

The last movie that Harry Davenport made actually came out in 1950 after he passed away the movie was RIDING HIGH. He was working up to the day he died.

On August 9, 1949, Harry Davenport passed away in Los Angeles, California from a heart attack at the age of 83.

Harry Davenport's notable movie credits include...

RIDING HIGH (1950)
TELL IT TO THE JUDGE (1949)
THAT FORSYTE WOMAN (1949)
LITTLE WOMEN (1949)
THREE DARING DAUGHTERS (1948)
LADY LUCK (1946)
SHE WOULDN'T SAY YES (1945)
JACK LONDON (1943)
THE BRIDE CAME C.O.D. (1941)
THE COVERED TRAILER (1939)
YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU (1938)
AS GOOD AS MARRIED (1937)
FOGG'S MILLIONS (1914)


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Harry Davenport in THE THIN MAN GOES HOME (1945).

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Davenport in THE LIFE OF EMILE ZOLA (1937).

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Harry Davenport and co-stars in MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS (1944).