James Mason - Actors, Facts and Family

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James Mason's Personal Details

James Mason was an English actor who was very successful in both British and American films

InformationDetail
BirthdayMay 15, 1909
Died onJuly 27, 1984
NationalityBritish
FamousFilm & Theater Personalities, Actors
SpousesClarissa Kaye, Pamela Mason
Known asJames Neville Mason, Enoch Gates
Childrens Morgan Mason, Portland Mason
Universities
  • Peterhouse
  • Cambridge
  • Marlborough College
Birth PlaceHuddersfield, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
GenderMale
FatherJohn Mason
MotherMabel Mason
Sun SignTaurus
Born inHuddersfield, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
Famous asActor
Died at Age75

// Famous Actors

James Mason's photo

Who is James Mason?

James Mason is amongst a few actors to have reached the top spot in both the United Kingdom and the United States. A dynamic actor and performer, Mason had a very successful career in the film industry. What gave him the edge was the ease with which he played characters of both good and evil intent. While his velvety voice made him pose as a perfect villain, his cultured demeanour and good looks helped him play the role of a hero with élan. Interestingly, Mason’s acting career was not an intended and a well-planned one. What actually started as a casual tryst eventually turned into a full-time profession. He started off in Britain, as a theatre actor and later took up film roles. After gaining the star status in his homeland, Mason ventured into Hollywood. Unlike the British films, Hollywood flicks were more glamorous and pompous. However, Mason did not let the novelty hamper his performance and accustomed himself to playing different types of characters. His big breakthrough came in 1954 with the film ‘A Star is Born’. It won him Golden Globe award and Academy award nomination for Best Actor.

// Famous Film & Theater Personalities

Childhood & Early Life

James Mason was born to Mabel Hattersley Gaunt and John Mason in Huddersfield in the West Riding of Yorkshire on May 15, 1909.

He completed his academic studies from Marlborough College and then pursued a course in architecture from Peterhouse, Cambridge. At the same time, he involved himself in stock theatre companies.

Career

After completing his studies Mason gave acting a shot. It was primarily for fun and he did not intend to take it up professionally. He made his stage debut in Aldershot for ‘The Rascal’ in 1931.

Following his fun tryst, Mason took a step ahead in acting and got himself enrolled at the Old Vic theatre in London, under the guidance of Tyrone Guthrie. In 1933, he secured a small role in Alexandra Korda’s film ‘The Private Life of Don Juan’ but was sacked after three days.

Mason continued with theatre and firmed his position as a theatre actor. He became popular as a stage actor, and starred in a number of theatre shows. Starting from minor roles, he soon found himself large roles in British quota quickies or B-pictures. These were mostly minor films that accommodated law mandating a certain percentage of films shows in Britain to be British made.

During the Second World War, he registered himself as a conscientious objector. However, his tribunal exempted him only on the requirement to do non-combatant military service.

Throughout the 1940s, Mason developed his reputation as an actor. Though he played the role of protagonist in minor films, he had refined his acting talent and developed his position as one of Britain’s major film stars of the 1940s.

During the first half of the 1940s, Mason featured in a couple of melodramatic flicks as an anti-hero, including, ‘The Man in Grey’ and ‘The Wicked Lady’. Apart from that, he starred alongside Deborah Kerr and Robert Newton in ‘Hatter’s Castle’.

In 1945, Mason took up a lead role in the film, ‘The Seventh Veil’. The film became hugely popular and garnered him worldwide recognition and fame. He followed it up with the 1947 film, ‘Odd Man Out’ wherein he played the character of a mortally wounded IRA bank robber.

The year 1949 was a big one for Mason as he made his Hollywood debut with the movie, ‘Caught’. For the next four decades, he successfully acted in Hollywood films as well as TV.

The decade of 1950 saw Mason come up with his finest performances. He played Brutus in ‘Julius Caesar’ in 1953, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel in ‘The Desert Fox: The Story of Rommel’ and a valet turned spy in ‘5 Fingers’.

In 1954, Mason starred as a declining actor in the first remake of ‘A Star is Born’. The film won him his first Golden Globe award and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. The same year, he portrayed the role of Captain Nemo for ‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea’.

Towards the end of the 1950s, film like ‘Bigger Than Life’, ‘North by Northest’ and ‘Journey to the Center of the Earth’ saw him play a varied variety of roles. Interestingly, artistically skilled as he was, Mason played them all with perfection.

In 1963, he moved to Switzerland. Following his residential change, Mason gave his vocation a twist as he embarked on a transatlantic career. He essayed the role of Humbert in Stanley Kubrick’s ‘Lolita’. Following this, he played a river pirate in ‘Lord Jim’, Bradley Morahan in ‘Age of Consent’, Doctor Polidori in ‘Frankenstein: The True Story’, Richard Staker in ‘Salem’s Lot’ and Captain Hughes in ‘Yellowbeard’

In 1975, Mason starred in ‘Mandingo’ that bombed badly at the box office. However, he soon made up for it with a powerful performance in ‘Heaven Can Wait’ and ‘Murder by Decree’.

In the 1980s, Mason brought to life the role of a corrupt lawyer, Ed Concannon in ‘The Verdict’. His brilliant portrayal of the character won him his third Oscar nomination.

The 1985 film ‘The Shooting Party’ was Mason’s last film as an actor. Interestingly, the film wasn’t offered to him in the first place. It was a mishap caused on the sets that replaced original choice Paul Scofieldwith Mason. The film turned out to be his final outing at the big screen.

Other than films, Mason narrated two British documentary series‘Hollywood’ and ‘Unknown Chaplin’. He even mentored upcoming actor Sam Neill

Major Works

Mason struck gold with the 1954 remake of the original 1934 film ‘A Star is Born’. Quite literally living up the name of the film, Mason’s career deservedly received a big boost with the film. He essayed the lead role of Normann Maine. The film earned him rave reviews and he also received the Golden Globe award and New York Film Critics award for Best Actor and an academy award nomination.

Awards & Achievements

Mason was thrice nominated for Academy Awards (two as supporting actor and one as Lead Actor) and thrice for Golden Globe awards (twice as Lead Actor and once as supporting actor). He won the Golden Globe for Best Actor for his 1954 film ‘A Star is Born’.

Other awards won by him include National Board of Review Award for Best Actor for ‘Face to Face’, New York Film Critics Award for Best Actor for ‘A Star is Born’, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor for ‘The Verdict’, London Film Critics Circle Award for Actor of the Year for ‘The Shooting Party’.

He even received two BAFTA nominations in Best Actor category for ‘Lolita’ and ‘The Deadly Affair’.

Personal Life & Legacy

Mason married twice in his life. His first marriage was to British actress Pamela Mason. The couple was blessed with a daughter, Portland Mason Schuyler and a son, Morgan. The couple separated after 23 years of marriage.

In 1971, he married Australian actress Clarissa Kaye. She remained with him until his death.

Mason suffered from ill health towards the beginning of the 1960s. He survived a severe heart attack in 1959. However, in 1984, he succumbed to it on July 27, 1984. He was cremated and his ashes were buried in Corsier-sur-Vevey.

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James Mason awards

YearNameAward

Golden Globe Awards

1955Best Actor - Comedy or MusicalA Star Is Born (1954)

James Mason biography timelines

  • // 15th May 1909
    James Mason was born to Mabel Hattersley Gaunt and John Mason in Huddersfield in the West Riding of Yorkshire on May 15, 1909.
  • // 1931
    After completing his studies Mason gave acting a shot. It was primarily for fun and he did not intend to take it up professionally. He made his stage debut in Aldershot for ‘The Rascal’ in 1931.
  • // 1933
    Following his fun tryst, Mason took a step ahead in acting and got himself enrolled at the Old Vic theatre in London, under the guidance of Tyrone Guthrie. In 1933, he secured a small role in Alexandra Korda’s film ‘The Private Life of Don Juan’ but was sacked after three days.
  • // 1934 To 1954
    Mason struck gold with the 1954 remake of the original 1934 film ‘A Star is Born’. Quite literally living up the name of the film, Mason’s career deservedly received a big boost with the film. He essayed the lead role of Normann Maine. The film earned him rave reviews and he also received the Golden Globe award and New York Film Critics award for Best Actor and an academy award nomination.
  • // 1945 To 1947
    In 1945, Mason took up a lead role in the film, ‘The Seventh Veil’. The film became hugely popular and garnered him worldwide recognition and fame. He followed it up with the 1947 film, ‘Odd Man Out’ wherein he played the character of a mortally wounded IRA bank robber.
  • // 1949
    The year 1949 was a big one for Mason as he made his Hollywood debut with the movie, ‘Caught’. For the next four decades, he successfully acted in Hollywood films as well as TV.
  • // 1950 To 1953
    The decade of 1950 saw Mason come up with his finest performances. He played Brutus in ‘Julius Caesar’ in 1953, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel in ‘The Desert Fox: The Story of Rommel’ and a valet turned spy in ‘5 Fingers’.
  • // 1954
    In 1954, Mason starred as a declining actor in the first remake of ‘A Star is Born’. The film won him his first Golden Globe award and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. The same year, he portrayed the role of Captain Nemo for ‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea’.
  • // 1954
    Mason was thrice nominated for Academy Awards (two as supporting actor and one as Lead Actor) and thrice for Golden Globe awards (twice as Lead Actor and once as supporting actor). He won the Golden Globe for Best Actor for his 1954 film ‘A Star is Born’.
  • // 1963
    In 1963, he moved to Switzerland. Following his residential change, Mason gave his vocation a twist as he embarked on a transatlantic career. He essayed the role of Humbert in Stanley Kubrick’s ‘Lolita’. Following this, he played a river pirate in ‘Lord Jim’, Bradley Morahan in ‘Age of Consent’, Doctor Polidori in ‘Frankenstein: The True Story’, Richard Staker in ‘Salem’s Lot’ and Captain Hughes in ‘Yellowbeard’
  • // 1971
    In 1971, he married Australian actress Clarissa Kaye. She remained with him until his death.
  • // 1975
    In 1975, Mason starred in ‘Mandingo’ that bombed badly at the box office. However, he soon made up for it with a powerful performance in ‘Heaven Can Wait’ and ‘Murder by Decree’.
  • // 1985
    The 1985 film ‘The Shooting Party’ was Mason’s last film as an actor. Interestingly, the film wasn’t offered to him in the first place. It was a mishap caused on the sets that replaced original choice Paul Scofieldwith Mason. The film turned out to be his final outing at the big screen.

// Famous British

James Mason's FAQ

  • What is James Mason birthday?

    James Mason was born at 1909-05-15

  • When was James Mason died?

    James Mason was died at 1984-07-27

  • Where was James Mason died?

    James Mason was died in Lausanne

  • Which age was James Mason died?

    James Mason was died at age 75

  • Where is James Mason's birth place?

    James Mason was born in Huddersfield, West Riding of Yorkshire, England

  • What is James Mason nationalities?

    James Mason's nationalities is British

  • Who is James Mason spouses?

    James Mason's spouses is Clarissa Kaye, Pamela Mason

  • Who is James Mason childrens?

    James Mason's childrens is Morgan Mason, Portland Mason

  • What was James Mason universities?

    James Mason studied at Peterhouse, Cambridge, Marlborough College

  • Who is James Mason's father?

    James Mason's father is John Mason

  • Who is James Mason's mother?

    James Mason's mother is Mabel Mason

  • What is James Mason's sun sign?

    James Mason is Taurus

  • How famous is James Mason?

    James Mason is famouse as Actor