Carl Harbord
Date of Birth
Jan 01, 1902
Birth Place:
Salcombe, Devonshire, England


Carl Harbord was a very busy English actor from the outset of his career, on stage and later in movies, and had the distinction of appearing in one of the earliest dramas ever broadcast by the BBC. Born in Salcombe, Devonshire, England, Harbord began working on stage in the early '20s, and his theatrical appearances included work in The Painted Veil, When Ladies Meet, and The Happy Husband. In 1932, as the BBC began experimental television broadcasts, Harbord starred opposite Isobel Elsom in The Christmas Present, which was one of the very first dramas ever shown on television. Harbord entered motion pictures in 1928 as Lt. Gunther in Bolibar, a historical drama directed by Walter Summers. He easily made the transition to sound and among the early talkies he appeared in was a now-forgotten 1929 British-made version of Liam O'Flaherty's The Informer, directed by Arthur Robinson (and featuring a young Ray Milland in a tiny role). Harbord was busy in British films right up through 1937, although his earlier films tended to be more notable, such as his portrayal of one of the doomed Australian soldiers in Anthony Asquith's 1931 drama Tell England (aka The Battle of Gallipoli). After 1937, Harbord ceased working in British films and his screen career resumed in Hollywood in 1942 with his performance as Blake in the Technicolor action vehicle Captains of the Clouds, starring James Cagney. In middle age in Hollywood, Harbord usually played small but important character roles in good movies, such as Zoltan Korda's Sahara and Roy William Neill's final Sherlock Holmes series entry with Basil Rathbone, Dressed to Kill, in 1946. In 1957, the year before his death, Harbord appeared on Broadway in Hide and Seek, an atomic-age drama that also starred Rathbone and Barry Morse. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi

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