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George Zucco Biography

  • Profession: Actor
  • Born: Jan 11, 1886
  • Died: May 28, 1960

Born in England, George Zucco launched his theatrical career in Canada in 1908. During his first decade as a performer, Zucco toured in American vaudeville with his wife, Frances, in a sketch entitled "The Suffragette." He established himself as a leading actor in England in the 1920s, entering films with 1931's The Dreyfus Case. Zucco returned to the U.S. in 1935 to play Disraeli opposite Helen Hayes in [[Feature~V132529~Victoria Regina~victoriaregina]]. He came to Hollywood to re-create his stage role in the film version of [[Feature~V84147~Autumn Crocus~autumncrocus]] (1937), remaining to play mostly minor roles for the next two years. He finally found his villainous niche in the role of the erudite but deadly Professor Moriarity in 1939's [[Feature~V1005~The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes~theadventuresofsherlockholmes]]. Throughout the 1940s, Zucco apparently took every role that was offered him, playing mad scientists, master criminals, and occasional red herrings in films ranging from Universal's [[Feature~V100797~The Mad Ghoul~themadghoul]] (1943) to PRC's [[Feature~V18019~Fog Island~fogisland]] (1945). He played the fanatical Egyptian priest Anhodeb in 1940's [[Feature~V33768~The Mummy's Hand~themummyshand]], and, though supposedly killed in that film, showed up none the worse for wear in the 1942 sequel [[Feature~V33770~The Mummy's Tomb~themummystomb]]. His quirkiest horror role was as a gas station attendant who doubled as a kidnapper and voodoo drum-thumper in Monogram's incredible [[Feature~V115750~Voodoo Man~voodooman]] (1944). When not scaring the daylights out of his audience, Zucco could be found playing roles requiring quiet whimsy, notably the detective in [[Feature~V100716~Lured~lured]] (1947) and the judge in [[Feature~V29052~Let's Dance~letsdance]] (1950). After completing his final, unbilled film assignment in [[Feature~V12519~David and Bathsheba~davidandbathsheba]] (1951), George Zucco completely disappeared from view; seriously ill for many years, he died in a Hollywood sanitarium at the age of 74. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi