George Zucco Biography

Place of Birth: Manchester, England
Height: 5' 10" (1.78 m)
Wiki Biography: At 22, George Zucco decided to begin his stage career in earnest in the Canadian provinces in 1908. In the course of the following decade, he also performed in an American vaudeville tour with his young wife, Frances, in a routine called "The Suffragette." As World War I grew in scale, Zucco returned to England to join the army. He saw action and was wounded in his right arm by gunfire. Subsequent surgery partially handicapped the use of two fingers and a thumb. However, having honed his theatrical talents, he proceeded to enter the London stage scene and was rewarded with a developing career that made him a leading man as the 1920s progressed. By 1931 he began working in British sound films, his first being The Dreyfus Case (1931) with Cedric Hardwicke. What followed were 13 B-grade movies through 1935, until The Man Who Could Work Miracles (1936) with Roland Young and Ralph Richardson. Zucco was on his way to America and Broadway by late 1935. He had signed to play Disraeli opposite Helen Hayes in the original play "Victoria Regina," which ran from December 1935 to June 1936. After that came a Hollywood contract and his first American picture, Sinner Take All (1936). Zucco had a sharp hawk nose, magnetic dark eyes, and an arching brow that fit well with authoritative and intimidating characters. That same year, he was in the second installment of the "Thin Man" series, followed by a series of supporting roles in nine films in 1937, usually typed as an English doctor or lord character. They were good supporting roles in "A" films, but he was also taking on darker characters. This was evident in Charlie Chan in Honolulu (1938) and more so with Arrest Bulldog Drummond (1939). Here, he was Rolf Alferson, alias the criminal mastermind "The Stinger," who could administer a poisonous sting from a needle at the tip of his cane. It was a typical pop movie in the pulp mystery/horror genre with the usual sort of ending, but it started him on the road as a Hollywood arch villain. That same year, he was cast as Professor Moriarty, the brilliant archenemy of the world's most famous detective in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939). Also that year, he and Hardwicke reunited to play the dark clerical heavies in the classic The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939). Although into the early 1940s Zucco was still getting some variety in shady roles, he was increasingly accepting parts as mad doctors--ancient and otherwise--starting with The Mummy's Hand (1940), the sequel to the original The Mummy (1932). Although this was made by the relatively major Universal Pictures, Zucco began grinding out outlandish horror stuff for bottom-of-the-barrel Producers Releasing Corp. (PRC). It would be incorrect to say he sold out to the horror genre, though, even if horror buffs have made him their own. Into the later 1940s, he was still giving good accounts as nobles, judges and not-so-mad doctors in such "A" hits as Captain from Castile (1947), Joan of Arc (1948), and Madame Bovary (1949). Zucco was in real life an engaging personality and was also known as a very dependable actor. He suffered a stroke not long after his final film, David and Bathsheba (1951), once more in Egyptian garb but this time not even credited. He retired and lived on in fragile health. He evidently recovered his health enough to be offered the role of the mad scientist in Voodoo Woman (1957), but he declined. About that time, his health required a move to a nursing home, where he lived out his last years with dignity.

George ZuccoPhotos & Pictures


Movies Title Appeared As Year Genre
The Good Companions Fauntley 1935 Comedy, Musical, Romance
After the Thin Man 1936 Comedy, Crime, Mystery
The Man Who Could Work Miracles 1937 Comedy, Fantasy
Parnell Sir Charles Russell 1937 Drama, Romance
Souls at Sea 1937 Action, Adventure
The Bride Wore Red 1937 Comedy, Drama, Romance
The Mummy's Hand Prof. Andoheb 1940
Monster and the Girl 1941 Crime, Horror
The Monster and the Girl 1941 Crime, Horror
The Mad Monster Dr. Lorenzo Cameron 1942 Drama, Horror, Romance
The Black Swan 1942 Action, Adventure, Drama
My Favorite Blonde 1943 Comedy
Dead Men Walk Dr. Lloyd Clayton 1943 Horror
Sherlock Holmes in Washington 1943 Crime, Thriller, Mystery
Holy Matrimony 1943 Comedy, Drama
The Mad Ghoul 1943 Sci Fi, Horror
House of Frankenstein Professor Bruno Lampini 1944 Fantasy, Horror, Sci Fi
Week-End at the Waldorf 1945
Midnight Manhunt 1945 Comedy, Crime, Mystery
Confidential Agent 1945 Drama, Thriller
Captain from Castile 1947
Scared to Death 1947 Thriller
Lured 1947 Crime, Mystery
Who Killed Doc Robbin 1948 Comedy, Horror, Romance
Tarzan and the Mermaids 1948 Action, Adventure, Romance
The Barkleys of Broadway 1949 0, Biography