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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Romney Brent in the TV series Suspense, episode "A Cask on Amontillado" (1949)
Romney Brent in the TV series Suspense, episode "A Cask on Amontillado" (1949)
Romney Brent sings "Mad Dogs and Englishmen" in Words and Music
Romney Brent sings "Mad Dogs and Englishmen" in Words and Music

Romney Brent (26 January 1902 – 24 September 1976) was a Mexican actor, director and dramatist. Most of his career was on stage in North America, but in the 1930s he was frequently seen on the London stage, on television and in films.

Biography

Born Romulo Larralde in Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico, his father was a diplomat, and Brent was educated in several cities throughout the world, especially in New York City.[1]

He studied for the stage under Theodore Komisarjevsky and began work as an actor with the Theatre Guild in He Who Gets Slapped when he was 20 and later that year was on Broadway in their production of The Lucky One by A. A. Milne. He established a reputation in "gentle, ingratiating" roles, such as the Lion in George Bernard Shaw's Androcles and the Lion, the worried groom in Shaw's Getting Married and Launcelot Gobbo in The Merchant of Venice.[1] In 1925–26, he appeared in two seasons of the long-running musical revue Garrick Gaieties on Broadway. Another Broadway success was in The Little Show in 1925–30.

In 1932, in London, he appeared in Noël Coward's revue Words and Music as compère, as Stanhope in a parody of Journey's End, and as a missionary in a sketch in which he sang Coward's famous song "Mad Dogs and Englishmen".[1] While in London, he directed a Herbert Farjeon revue and wrote the book for Cole Porter's Nymph Errant.[1] In 1933 Brent was cast as Paul, Duc de Chaucigny-Varennes in Coward's Conversation Piece but struggled with the role and was replaced by Coward himself, to whom Brent gladly handed it over, adding "providing you let me still come to rehearsals and watch you find out what a bloody awful part it is."[2]

In New York in the 1930s, Brent created the role of the Rev Phosphor Hammingtrap in Shaw's The Simpleton of the Unexpected Isles, which he also directed.[1] In London he played Tobias in James Bridie's Tobias and the Angel and Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream. After that, his main work in the theatre was in America, both in the classics and in modern works, as actor and director. For example, in 1946–47 he starred on Broadway in Joan of Lorraine. In Mexico he directed plays in Spanish.[1]

Brent appeared in numerous television shows from 1930 into the 1960s. Among other films, he appeared in East Meets West (1936), Under the Red Robe (1937), Dinner at the Ritz (1937), The Middle Watch (1940) and Adventures of Don Juan (1949).

He appeared as Autolycus in The Winter's Tale by William Shakespeare in 1945-46. That show, produced by the Theatre Guild, opened in Pittsburgh September 24, 1945 and toured fourteen American Cities before opening at the Cort Theater in New York City January 16, 1946. B. Iden Payne was listed as the director of the show when it opened; by the time the show arrived in New York City, Payne and Brent were both listed as directors.[3] In 1946, Brent directed and appeared (as Caius) in another touring Shakespeare play produced by the Theatre Guild, The Merry Wives of Windsor.[4] In September 1965, Brent went to Manila, the Philippines, to direct a stage production of the Broadway musical CARNIVAL (for then St. Paul College, now St. Paul University, Manila) with the Manila Symphony Orchestra.[5]

During the last seven years of his life, he taught drama in Mexico City.[6] Brent was married to the American actress and singer Gina Malo. He died at the age of 74 in Mexico City, Mexico.

Filmography

Year Title Role Notes
1936 East Meets West Dr. Shagu
1937 Head Over Heels Matty
1937 The Dominant Sex Joe Clayton
1937 Dreaming Lips Peter Lawrence
1937 Under the Red Robe Marius
1937 Who's Your Lady Friend? Fred
1937 School for Husbands Morgan Cheswick
1937 Dinner at the Ritz Jimmy Raine
1938 His Lordship Goes to Press Pinkie Butler
1939 On the Night of the Fire Jimsey Jones
1940 The Middle Watch Ah Fong
1940 Let George Do It! Slim Selwyn
1948 The Adventures of Don Juan King Phillip III
1950 Dream Ballerina [fr] Director
1955 The Virgin Queen French Ambassador
1957 Don't Go Near the Water Mr. Alba - Melora's Father
1958 Screaming Mimi Charlie Weston

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d e f The Times obituary, 13 October 1976, p. 18
  2. ^ Lesley, p. 164
  3. ^ Pittsburgh Press September 15, 1945; New York Evening Post pg. 34, January 16, 1946; Brooklyn Eagle 1/16/1946 p. 19
  4. ^ See, e.g., Rochester NY Democrat and Chronicle, August 11, 1946, pg. 10D
  5. ^ Personal experience
  6. ^ "Romney Brent Biography", Broadway Photographs

References

  • Lesley, Cole (1976) The Life of Noel Coward, Jonathan Cape, London, ISBN 0-224-01288-6

External links

This page was last edited on 10 April 2021, at 20:18
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