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Skelton Knaggs

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Skelton Knaggs
Skelton Knaggs.gif
Skelton Barnaby Knaggs

(1911-06-27)27 June 1911
Died30 April 1955(1955-04-30) (aged 43)
Los Angeles, California, US
Years active1936–1955
Spouse(s)Thelma Crawshaw (1949–?)

Skelton Barnaby Knaggs (27 June 1911 – 30 April 1955) was an English stage actor who also appeared in films, especially in horror films.[1][2][3]


Knaggs was born in the Hillsborough district of Sheffield, England. Knaggs moved to London where he trained as an actor at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and subsequently became a Shakespearean actor. In addition to appearing on stage in Shakespeare's Cymbeline, Knaggs appeared in a few British films, including an uncredited role as a German orderly in Michael Powell's The Spy in Black.

At some point he moved to Los Angeles, California and found work as a character actor in Hollywood. Diminutive and distinctive-looking, with a strongly featured pock-marked face and charismatically voiced with an English Midlands provincial accent, he was cast in sinister roles, often in horror films. These ranged from uncredited bit parts to prominent roles in the Sherlock Holmes thriller Terror by Night, the all-star monster rally House of Dracula and three Val Lewton productions including The Ghost Ship. In the latter, a voice-over narrative by Knaggs is heard, representing the thoughts of his character, a mute seaman.

Back in London, he married Thelma Crawshaw in 1949, then returned to Hollywood. The last film in which he appeared was Fritz Lang's period adventure based on J. Meade Falkner's novel Moonfleet.


An alcoholic, Knaggs died of cirrhosis of the liver in Los Angeles in 1955 at the age of 43. His body was buried in the 'Hollywood Forever Cemetery' in Los Angeles.[4]


As Finn the Mute in The Ghost Ship (1943)
As Finn the Mute in The Ghost Ship (1943)
Year Title Role Notes
1936 Everything Is Thunder Young Man with Lantern Film debut, Uncredited
Rembrandt Minor Role Uncredited
1937 The High Command Fazerack
1938 South Riding Reg. Aythorne
1939 The Spy in Black German Sailor Looking for Capt. Hardt Uncredited
Torture Ship Jesse Bixel
1940 Diamond Frontier Morgan
1943 Thumbs Up Shooting Gallery Concessionaire Uncredited
Headin' for God's Country Jeff
Thank Your Lucky Stars Villager in Pub Uncredited
The Ghost Ship Finn - the Mute Uncredited
1944 The Lodger Man with Cart Uncredited
The Scarlet Claw Villager in Pub Uncredited
The Invisible Man's Revenge Alf Perry - a Cabman Uncredited
None But the Lonely Heart Lou 'Slush' Atley Uncredited
1945 The Picture of Dorian Gray Blue Gate Fields Waiter Uncredited
Isle of the Dead Andrew Robbins Uncredited
House of Dracula Steinmuhl
1946 Terror by Night Sands
Just Before Dawn Louie Uncredited
Bedlam Varney Uncredited
Night and Day Newspaper Vendor Uncredited
A Scandal in Paris Cousin Pierre
Dick Tracy vs. Cueball Rudolph
1947 Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome X-Ray
Forever Amber Blueskin Uncredited
1948 The Paleface Pete
1949 Master Minds Hugo
1951 Captain Video: Master of the Stratosphere Retner
1952 Million Dollar Mermaid Cheering Man on Tower Bridge Uncredited
Blackbeard the Pirate Gilly
1953 Botany Bay Newgate Prisoner Drawing on Cell Wall Uncredited
Rogue's March Fish
1954 Casanova's Big Night Little Man Uncredited
General Electric Theater Man on Crutches 1 episode
1955 Son of Sinbad Sidewalk Spectator Uncredited
TV Reader's Digest Gibson 1 episode
Moonfleet Jacob Final film


  1. ^ Crowther, Bosley (25 December 1943). "THE SCREEN; A Chilly Christmas". The New York Times.
  2. ^ "THE SCREEN". The New York Times. 9 February 1946.
  3. ^ Crowther, Bosley (22 December 1945). "THE SCREEN; 'It Happened at Inn,' French Picture of Humor and Violence, Has Splendid Cast--Horror Film Opens". The New York Times.
  4. ^ Entry for Knaggs in Findagrave website (2018).

External links

This page was last edited on 18 May 2020, at 12:11
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