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Herbert Mundin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Herbert Mundin
Herbert Mundin in Tarzan Escapes trailer.jpg
Mundin in Tarzan Escapes, 1936
Herbert Thomas Mundin

(1898-08-21)21 August 1898
St Helens, England
Died5 March 1939(1939-03-05) (aged 40)
Resting placeInglewood Park Cemetery
Years active1930-1939
Spouse(s)Hilda Frances Hoyes (1921–?)
Kathleen Ann Reed (1925–1934)[1]

Herbert Thomas Mundin (21 August 1898 – 5 March 1939) was an English character actor. He was frequently typecast in 1930s Hollywood films like The Adventures of Robin Hood as an older cheeky eccentric, a type helped by his jowled features and cheerful disposition.

Early life

Mundin was born in St Helens, then in Lancashire (now part of Merseyside). His father was a nomadic, Primitive Methodist home missionary. His family moved within a short time of his birth to St Albans in Hertfordshire (the 1901 census data reveal that the family lived at St Helens Villa, Paxton Road, St Albans; his parents William and Jane apparently naming their house after the town where they first met and where Herbert was born). Mundin was educated at St Albans School. During World War I he served with the Royal Navy.[2]


He began his acting career on the London stage during the 1920s. Mundin first travelled to America on 18 December 1923 for a series of theatrical engagements in New York. He sailed from Southampton on the RMS Aquitania and described himself in ship’s passenger manifest as 5'7" tall with a fair complexion, brown hair, blue eyes and a scar over his left eye. His big break as an actor was arguably with Gertrude Lawrence and Beatrice Lillie in Charlot's Revue when it appeared on Broadway in 1925.[2]

In 1931, after working in Australia and London, he permanently moved to the United States, where he received a contract with the Fox Film Corporation, where he had a successful career as a character actor in over fifty films. Perhaps his most celebrated role was as Much, the miller's son in The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) alongside Errol Flynn. Other film appearances included Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) with Charles Laughton and Clark Gable, and MGM's David Copperfield (1935) as Barkis.


Mundin died at Van Nuys, Los Angeles, California in a car crash. He was killed instantly when the car which he was in collided with another car at a street intersection. The force of the impact threw open the door and threw him out of the vehicle onto the street, Mundin sustaining a fractured skull and crushed chest. He was 40 years old. The other occupants of the car were not injured. His body was buried at Inglewood Park Cemetery, Los Angeles, his gravestone has the initials 'R.N.' upon it, referencing his war service with the British Royal Navy.[citation needed]


Herbert Mundin in Charlie Chan's Secret
Herbert Mundin in Charlie Chan's Secret


Year Title Role Notes
1931 East Lynne on the Western Front Bob Cox / Lady Isobel
1932 The Silent Witness Henry Hammer
Devil's Lottery Trowbridge
The Trial of Vivienne Ware William Boggs
Bachelor's Affairs Jepson
Almost Married Jenkins, the butler Uncredited
Chandu the Magician Albert Miggles
Love Me Tonight Groom Uncredited
The Painted Woman Georgie, mess boy Uncredited
Life Begins Mr. MacGilvairy Uncredited
One Way Passage S.S. Maloa steward Uncredited
Sherlock Holmes George
1933 Cavalcade Alfred Bridges
Dangerously Yours Grove
Pleasure Cruise Henry
Adorable Pipac, the detective
It's Great to Be Alive Brooks
The Devil's in Love Bimby
Arizona to Broadway Kingfish Miller
Shanghai Madness Larsen
Hoop-La Hap Spissel
1934 Orient Express Herbert Thomas Peters
Ever Since Eve Horace Saunders
Bottoms Up Limey Brook / Lord Brocklehurst
All Men Are Enemies Noggins
Orient Express Horatio Hollingsworth Wilson
Call It Luck Herbert Biggelwade
Springtime for Henry Trivers
Love Time Caesar
Hell in the Heavens Granny Biggs
1935 David Copperfield Barkis
Black Sheep Oscar
Spring Tonic Thompson, the butler
Ladies Love Danger Giffins
Mutiny on the Bounty Smith
The Imperfect Lady Frederick Hitch
The Widow from Monte Carlo John Torrent
1936 King of Burlesque English Impresario
Charlie Chan's Secret Baxter, the butler
A Message to Garcia Henry Piper
Under Two Flags Rake
Champagne Charlie Mr. Fipps
Tarzan Escapes Herbert Henry Rawlins
1937 Another Dawn Wilkins
You Can't Beat Love Jasper 'Meadows' Hives
Angel Mr Greenwood
That's My Story Hiram
1938 Invisible Enemy Sergeant Alfred M. Higgs
The Adventures of Robin Hood Much
Lord Jeff Bosun 'Crusty' Jelks
Exposed Skippy
1939 Society Lawyer Layton (final film role)


Herbert Mundin, Freddie Bartholomew and Jessie Ralph in MGM's David Copperfield (1935)
Herbert Mundin, Freddie Bartholomew and Jessie Ralph in MGM's David Copperfield (1935)
Year Title Theatre Notes
1921-1922 A to Z Prince of Wales's Theatre His London debut
1921-1922 Pot Luck Vaudeville Theatre, London
1922-1923 Snap Vaudeville Theatre, London
1923 Rats Vaudeville Theatre, London
Yes! Vaudeville Theatre, London
1925 Charlot's Revue Prince of Wales Theatre


  1. ^[dead link]
  2. ^ a b Wearing, The London Stage 1920-1929, p. 355


  • Wearing, J. P. (2014). The London Stage 1920-1929: A Calendar of Productions, Performers and Personnel. Rowman and Littlefield
  • Hischak, Thomas S. (2009). Broadway Plays and Musicals: Descriptions and Essential Facts of More Than 14,000 Shows through 2007. McFarland

External links

This page was last edited on 5 April 2022, at 03:55
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