C. Henry Gordon

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C. Henry Gordon
C. Henry Gordon in Long Shot.jpg
Gordon in Long Shot (1939)
Henry Racke

(1883-06-17)June 17, 1883
DiedDecember 3, 1940(1940-12-03) (aged 57)
Years active1922 [lower-alpha 1] –1940

C. Henry Gordon (born Henry Racke; [1] June 17, 1883 December 3, 1940) was an American stage and film actor.


Gordon was born in New York City, New York. He was educated both in New York and abroad in Switzerland [2] and Germany. [3] For some years he owned and ran a silver mine in New Mexico. After failing to succeed in this venture, he became an actor.[ citation needed ]

Gordon's entry into acting came accidentally when he accompanied his sister to a tryout for a play. The director had him read a part and he soon was a member of the troupe. [4] He had a long stage career, on and off Broadway, before entering films. His Broadway credits included The Shanghai Gesture (1928), The Shanghai Gesture (1926), Mismates (1925), Puppets (1925), The Saint (1924), Mr. Pitt (1924), The Crooked Square (1923), Thin Ice (1922), Lights Out (1922), and The Drums of Jeopardy (1922). [5]

He first worked in films in 1911 with George Beban in New York. [1] He appeared in more than 70 films between 1930 and 1940, frequently as a villain. He often portrayed people of color, such as Surat Khan in The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936, opposite Errol Flynn), the Chinese smuggler Sam Kee in Lazy River (1934), and the Sultan of Padaya in Sophie Lang Goes West (1937).

On December 3, 1940, Gordon died at Hollywood Hospital in Los Angeles, California, after having his leg amputated the previous day because of a blood clot. [6]



  1. His first Broadway role was in 1922; however, it is likely he had numerous earlier off Broadway, stock, and touring roles.

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  1. 1 2 "C. Henry Gordon, Veteran Actor, Is Dead". Journal Gazette. Illinois, Mattoon. International News Service. December 4, 1940. p. 1. Retrieved February 15, 2019 via Newspapers.com.
  2. "Amputation Fatal for Actor". The Bakersfield Californian. California, Bakersfield. December 3, 1940. p. 14. Retrieved February 15, 2019 via Newspapers.com.
  3. "C. Henry Gordon, Movie Villain, Dies in Hollywood". Wisconsin State Journal. Wisconsin, Madison. United Press. December 4, 1940. p. 2. Retrieved February 16, 2019 via Newspapers.com.
  4. Rankin, Ruth (July 1933). "Ladies Love Villains". Photoplay. XLIV (2): 72, 100–101. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  5. "C. Henry Gordon". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Retrieved February 15, 2019.
  6. "C. Henry Gordon". Daily News. New York, New York City. Associated Press. December 4, 1940. p. C 7. Retrieved February 15, 2019 via Newspapers.com.