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He was the great-great-grandson of the opera singer Luigi Lablache and the grandson of the actor Luigi Lablache. Offscreen friends and colleagues continued to call him Jimmy for the rest of his life, but to the general public he became Stewart Granger.
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Career[ edit ] Extra and theatre work [ edit ] Granger made his film debut as an extra in , starting with The Song You Gave Me Years of theatre work followed, initially at Hull Repertory Theatre and then, after a pay dispute, at Birmingham Repertory Theatre.
Granger began to get work on stage in London. He also acted opposite them both in The Good Natured Man. War service and after [ edit ] At the outbreak of the Second World War Granger enlisted in the Gordon Highlanders , then transferred to the Black Watch with the rank of second lieutenant. He was in a stage production of Rebecca when he was asked to audition for the film that turned him into a star. Granger had been recommended by Donat, who most recently worked with Granger on stage in To Dream Again.
The New York Times reported that Granger "is a young man worth watching. Another hit was Love Story where he plays a blind pilot who falls in love with terminally ill Margaret Lockwood, with Patricia Roc co-starring.
Granger filmed this at the same time as Waterloo Road , playing his first villain, a "spiv" who has run off with the wife of John Mills. Madonna of the Seven Moons , with Calvert and Roc, was more Gainsborough melodrama, another hit.
At the end of British exhibitors voted Granger the second-most popular British film star, and the ninth-most popular overall. Only Bing Crosby can match him for popularity.
Rank Organisation [ edit ] Granger went over to Rank , for whom he made a series of historical dramas: Granger stated that this was one of his few films of which he was proud. However it was a disappointment at the box office, as was Blanche Fury.
Three years on, Simmons had transformed from a promising newcomer into a star — and a very attractive young woman. HIs first film under the new arrangement was an action comedy Soldiers Three Granger followed it with location work for Constable Pedley in Canada. It was a box office disappointment. Stewart Granger was a dreadful person, rude Just being in his presence was bad. I thought at one point the crew was going to kill him. It too was popular. He had the title role in Beau Brummell , opposite Elizabeth Taylor, and a box office disappointment.
More successful was the adventure story Green Fire , co starring Grace Kelly. Back at MGM he was in Moonfleet , cast as an adventurer, Jeremy Fox, in the Dorset of , a man who rules a gang of cut-throat smugglers with an iron fist until he is softened by a year-old boy who worships him and who believes only the best of him.
It was a flop. Granger and Taylor were reunited in The Last Hunt , a Western, with Taylor playing the villain, and a box office disappointment.
So too was Bhowani Junction , adapted from a John Masters novel about colonial India on the verge of obtaining independence.
Ava Gardner played an Anglo-Indian mixed race woman caught between the two worlds of the British and the Indians, and Granger the British officer with whom in a change from the novel she ultimately fell in love.
He followed it with a minor Western, Gun Glory It was his last film under his MGM contract. Granger had turned down the role of Messala in the film Ben-Hur , reportedly because he did not want to take second billing to Charlton Heston.
Leaving MGM[ edit ] Granger became a successful cattle rancher. He played a professional adventurer in a film for 20th Century Fox , Harry Black , partly shot in India. He stayed in Italy to make Commando , an action film and Swordsman of Siena , a swashbuckler. In he described his recent films as "movies not even I will talk about". He subsequently replaced actors Lee J.
Eliza: Secret Agent (1965) - IMDb
It was whilst living there that he became a friend and business partner of former barrister and television producer James Todesco Eldorado TV series. Together they were involved in real estate investment and development. He appeared in The Wild Geese as an unscrupulous banker, who hires a unit of mercenary soldiers Richard Burton , Roger Moore , Richard Harris and others to stage a military coup in an African nation.
His character then makes a deal with the existing government, and betrays the mercenaries. In he was diagnosed with lung cancer and told he had three months to live. Granger later said, "I was 67 and had smoked 60 cigarettes a day for 40 years, but the doctor said if I had an operation there might be a chance of two to four more years of life. So I said, "Who the hell needs that, but you better give me three months to put my house in order.
He returned to acting in with the publication of his autobiography Sparks Fly Upward, claiming he was bored. He moved to Pacific Palisades , California. One of his last roles was in the —90 Broadway production of The Circle by W. Elspeth March — ; two children, Jamie and Lindsay Jean Simmons — , with whom he had starred in Adam and Evelyne , Young Bess and Footsteps in the Fog ; one daughter, Tracy Caroline LeCerf — ; one daughter, Samantha Granger claimed in his autobiography that Deborah Kerr had approached him romantically in the back of his chauffeur-driven car at the time he was making Caesar and Cleopatra.