Skelton Knaggs

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Skelton Knaggs
Skelton Knaggs in Terror by Night.jpg
Knaggs in Terror by Night (1946)
Skelton Barnaby Knaggs

(1911-06-27)27 June 1911
Died30 April 1955(1955-04-30) (aged 43)
Resting place Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active19361955
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 .

Skelton Knaggs in Blackbeard the Pirate (1952) Skelton Knaggs in Blackbeard the Pirate.jpg
Skelton Knaggs in Blackbeard the Pirate (1952)

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.


As Finn the Mute in The Ghost Ship (1943) The Ghost Ship 1943 Finn the Mute.jpg
As Finn the Mute in The Ghost Ship (1943)
1936 Everything Is Thunder Young Man with LanternFilm debut, Uncredited
Rembrandt Minor RoleUncredited
1937 The High Command Fazerack
1938 South Riding Reg. Aythorne
1939 The Spy in Black German Sailor Looking for Capt. HardtUncredited
Torture Ship Jesse Bixel
1940 Diamond Frontier Morgan
1943 Thumbs Up Shooting Gallery ConcessionaireUncredited
Headin' for God's Country Jeff
Thank Your Lucky Stars Villager in PubUncredited
The Ghost Ship Finn - the MuteUncredited
1944 The Lodger Man with CartUncredited
The Scarlet Claw Villager in PubUncredited
The Invisible Man's Revenge Alf Perry - a CabmanUncredited
None But the Lonely Heart Lou 'Slush' AtleyUncredited
1945 The Picture of Dorian Gray Blue Gate Fields WaiterUncredited
Isle of the Dead Andrew RobbinsUncredited
House of Dracula Steinmuhl
1946 Terror by Night Sands
Just Before Dawn LouieUncredited
Bedlam VarneyUncredited
Night and Day Newspaper VendorUncredited
A Scandal in Paris Cousin Pierre
Dick Tracy vs. Cueball Rudolph
1947 Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome X-Ray
Forever Amber BlueskinUncredited
1948 The Paleface Pete
1949 Master Minds Hugo
1951 Captain Video: Master of the Stratosphere RetnerSerial
1952 Million Dollar Mermaid Cheering Man on Tower BridgeUncredited
Blackbeard the Pirate Gilly
1953 Botany Bay Newgate Prisoner Drawing on Cell WallUncredited
Rogue's March Fish
1954 Casanova's Big Night Little ManUncredited
General Electric Theater Man on Crutches1 episode
1955 Son of Sinbad Sidewalk SpectatorUncredited
TV Reader's Digest Gibson1 episode
Moonfleet JacobFinal film

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  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.