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Gene Lockhart

Gene Lockhart
Lockhart in a 1941 publicity image
Edwin Eugene Lockhart

(1891-07-18)July 18, 1891
DiedMarch 31, 1957(1957-03-31) (aged 65)
EducationLondon Oratory School
  • Actor
  • singer
  • playwright
Years active1912–1957
Known forA Christmas Carol
Miracle on 34th Street
(m. 1924)
ChildrenJune Lockhart

Edwin Eugene Lockhart (July 18, 1891 – March 31, 1957)[1] was a Canadian-American character actor, playwright, singer and lyricist. He appeared in over 300 films, and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Regis in Algiers (1938), the American remake of Pepe le Moko.

Early life

Lockhart was born in London, Ontario, Canada, and made his professional debut at the age of six when he appeared with the Kilties Band of Canada. He later appeared in sketches with Beatrice Lillie.[2]

Lockhart was raised Catholic and educated in Canadian schools and at the London Oratory School in London, England. He played football for the Toronto Argonauts.[3]


Lockhart had a long stage career; he also wrote professionally and taught acting and stage technique at the Juilliard School of Music in New York City. He had also written theatrical sketches, radio shows, special stage material, song lyrics and articles for stage and radio magazines.

He made his Broadway debut in 1916, in the musical The Riviera Girl.[4]

He was a member of the traveling play The Pierrot Players (for which he wrote the book and lyrics). This play introduced the song, The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise, for which Lockhart wrote the lyrics along with Canadian composer Ernest Seitz. (The song was subsequently made popular by Les Paul and Mary Ford in the 1950s.) He wrote and directed the Broadway musical revue Bunk of 1926. He sang in Die Fledermaus for the San Francisco Opera Association. On Broadway, Lockhart originated the roles of Uncle Sid in Eugene O'Neill's only comedy, Ah, Wilderness! (1933), and Fortesque in Arthur Schwartz's Virginia (1937).[5]

In 1949, he took over from Lee J. Cobb as Willy Loman, during the original run of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman.


Lockhart made his film debut in Smilin' Through (1922) as the Rector, but he made few additional appearances during the silent era. His sound debut was in the film By Your Leave (1934), where he played the playboy "Skeets". Lockhart subsequently appeared in more than 300 motion pictures. He often played villains, including a role as the treacherous informant Regis in Algiers (1938), the American remake of Pepe le Moko, which gained him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He played the suspicious Georges de la Trémouille, the Dauphin's chief counselor, in Joan of Arc (1948), starring Ingrid Bergman.

He also had a great succession of "good guy" supporting roles including Bob Cratchit in A Christmas Carol (1938) and Judge Harper in Miracle on 34th Street (1947).

Upon the arrival of Orson Welles in Hollywood in 1940, Lockhart wrote a short poem satirizing Welles entitled "Little Orson Annie". The poem was a parody of the 1885 poem "Little Orphant Annie" by James Whitcomb Riley.

Lockhart played a bumbling sheriff in His Girl Friday (1940), opposite Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell. He appeared in the movie The Sea Wolf (1941), adapted from the novel by Jack London, as a ship's doctor. He played the Starkeeper in Carousel (1956). His last film role was that of the Equity Board President in the film Jeanne Eagels (1957).

Personal life

Lockhart was married to actress Kathleen Lockhart from June 12, 1924, until his death. They had one child together, actress June Lockhart, through whom he is the grandfather of actress Anne Lockhart.[6]

Lockhart became an American citizen in 1939.[1]


Lockhart died April 1, 1957, from a coronary thrombosis at the age of 65 in St. John's Hospital, Santa Monica, California.[7]


Lockhart has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame—one for motion pictures, at 6307 Hollywood Boulevard, and one for television at 6681 Hollywood Boulevard. Both were dedicated February 8, 1960.[8]


See also


  1. ^ a b "Gene Lockhart", The Canadian Encyclopedia.
  2. ^ "Heart Seizure Is Fatal To Gene Lockhart". Ocala Star-Banner. April 1, 1957. p. 11. Retrieved November 30, 2015.
  3. ^ Thomas, Nick (December 15, 2014). "June Lockhart remembers "A Christmas Carol" as a family affair". The Londoner. Retrieved May 19, 2017.
  4. ^ "Eugene Lockhart". Playbill Vault. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
  5. ^ Brooks Atkinson (September 3, 1937). THE PLAY: 'Virginia' Opens the Season With a Large Musical Drama at the Center Theatre Theatre Units' Plays Tonight. p. 13. {{cite book}}: |work= ignored (help)
  6. ^ "Kathleen Lockhart". Hollywood Walk of Fame. October 25, 2019. Retrieved January 18, 2022.
  7. ^ "Gene Lockhart". The Montreal Gazette. April 1, 1957. p. 37. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
  8. ^ "Gene Lockhart". Hollywood Walk of Fame. Retrieved December 1, 2015.


  • "Gene Lockhart of Stage, Screen Actor of Supporting Roles Dies — Had First Broadway Part in 1916", New York Times, April 1, 1957.

Further reading

  • Thomas, Nick (2011). Raised by the Stars: Interviews with 29 Children of Hollywood Actors. McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-6403-6. (Includes an interview with Lockhart's daughter, June)

External links

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