This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations . (August 2014) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
from the trailer for the film Goodbye Again (1933)
Warren William Krech
December 2, 1894
Aitkin, Minnesota, U.S.
|Died||September 24, 1948 53) (aged|
Hollywood, California, U.S.
|Other names||King of Pre-Code|
|Spouse(s)||Helen Barbara Nelson (1923–1948; his death)|
Warren William (born Warren William Krech; December 2, 1894 – September 24, 1948) was a Broadway and Hollywood actor, immensely popular during the early 1930s; he was later nicknamed the "King of Pre-Code".
Broadway theatre, also known simply as Broadway, refers to the theatrical performances presented in the 41 professional theatres, each with 500 or more seats located in the Theater District and Lincoln Center along Broadway, in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Along with London's West End theatre, Broadway theatre is widely considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English-speaking world.
Hollywood is a neighborhood in the central region of Los Angeles, California, notable as the home of the U.S. film industry, including several of its historic studios. Its name has come to be a shorthand reference for the industry and the people associated with it.
An actor is a person who portrays a character in a performance. The actor performs "in the flesh" in the traditional medium of the theatre or in modern media such as film, radio, and television. The analogous Greek term is ὑποκριτής (hupokritḗs), literally "one who answers". The actor's interpretation of their role—the art of acting—pertains to the role played, whether based on a real person or fictional character. Interpretation occurs even when the actor is "playing themselves", as in some forms of experimental performance art.
Warren William Krech's family originated in Bad Tennstedt, Thuringia, Germany. His grandfather, Ernst Wilhelm Krech (born 1819), fled Germany in 1848 during the Revolution, going first to France and later emigrating to the United States. He wed Mathilde Grow in 1851, and had six children. Freeman E. Krech, Warren's father, was born in 1856.
Bad Tennstedt is a town in the Unstrut-Hainich-Kreis district, in Thuringia, Germany. It is situated 27 km east of Mühlhausen, and 24 km northwest of Erfurt.
The German revolutions of 1848–49, the opening phase of which was also called the March Revolution, were initially part of the Revolutions of 1848 that broke out in many European countries. They were a series of loosely coordinated protests and rebellions in the states of the German Confederation, including the Austrian Empire. The revolutions, which stressed pan-Germanism, demonstrated popular discontent with the traditional, largely autocratic political structure of the thirty-nine independent states of the Confederation that inherited the German territory of the former Holy Roman Empire.
Around the age of 25, Freeman moved to Aitkin, a small town in Minnesota, where he bought a newspaper, The Aitkin Age, in 1885. He married Frances Potter, daughter of a merchant, September 18, 1890. Their son Warren was born December 2, 1894.
Aitkin is a city in Aitkin County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 2,165 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Aitkin County.
Warren William's interest in acting began in 1903, when an opera house was built in Aitkin. He was also an avid and lifelong amateur inventor, a pursuit that may have contributed to his death.After high school, William auditioned for, and was enrolled in, the American Academy of Dramatic Arts (AADA) in New York City in October 1915.
The American Academy of Dramatic Arts (AADA) is a two-year performing arts conservatory, with two locations: 120 Madison Avenue, Manhattan, and at 1336 North La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles. The Academy offers an associate degree in occupational studies, and teaches drama and related arts in the areas of theater, film, and television. Students also have the opportunity to audition for the third-year theater company. Students can usually transfer completed credits to a 4-year college or university to finish a bachelor's degree if they choose. Many well-known stars, from the past and the present, made their start at the academy.
As his senior year at AADA was coming to an end, the United States had entered the First World War, and William enlisted in the United States Army. He was assigned from base to base, in charge of training new men at various locations, and in 1918, was assigned to Fort Dix near New York City, in New Jersey. While in New York, he met his future wife, Helen Barbara Nelson, who was 17 years his senior. In October 1918 he left for France, to enter the war. William left the army in early 1919, after which he began working on his acting career. In 1923, he and Helen were married.
The United States declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917, more than two and a half years after World War I started. A ceasefire and Armistice was declared on November 11, 1918. Before entering the war, the U.S. had remained neutral, though it had been an important supplier to Great Britain and the other Allied powers.
The United States Army (USA) is the land warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States, and is designated as the Army of the United States in the United States Constitution. As the oldest and most senior branch of the U.S. military in order of precedence, the modern U.S. Army has its roots in the Continental Army, which was formed to fight the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783)—before the United States of America was established as a country. After the Revolutionary War, the Congress of the Confederation created the United States Army on 3 June 1784 to replace the disbanded Continental Army. The United States Army considers itself descended from the Continental Army, and dates its institutional inception from the origin of that armed force in 1775.
Fort Dix, the common name for the Army Support Activity located at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, is a United States Army post. It is located approximately 16.1 miles (25.9 km) south-southeast of Trenton, New Jersey. Fort Dix is under the jurisdiction of the Air Force Air Mobility Command. As of the 2010 United States Census, Fort Dix census-designated place (CDP) had a total population of 7,716, of which 5,951 were in New Hanover Township, 1,765 were in Pemberton Township and none were in Springfield Township.
William appeared in his first Broadway play in 1920, and had soon made a name for himself in New York. William appeared in 22 plays on Broadway between 1920 and 1931. During this period he also appeared in two silent films, The Town That Forgot God (1922) and Plunder (1923).
William moved from New York City to Hollywood in 1931. He began as a contract player at Warner Bros. and quickly became a star during what is now known as the 'Pre-Code' period. He developed a reputation for portraying ruthless, amoral businessmen ( Under 18 , Skyscraper Souls , The Match King , Employees Entrance ), crafty lawyers ( The Mouthpiece , Perry Mason ), and outright charlatans (The Mind Reader). These roles were considered controversial yet they were highly satisfying, as this was the harshest period of the Great Depression, characterised by massive business failures and oppressive unemployment; hence audiences tended to jeer the businessmen, who were portrayed as predators.
The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2018 population of 8,398,748 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 19,979,477 people in its 2018 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 22,679,948 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., commonly referred to as Warner Bros. and abbreviated as WB, is an American entertainment company headquartered in Burbank, California and a subsidiary of AT&T's WarnerMedia. Founded in 1923, it has operations in film, television and video games and is one of the "Big Five" major American film studios, as well as a member of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).
Skyscraper Souls is a 1932 American pre-Code romantic drama film starring Warren William, Anita Page, Maureen O'Sullivan, Gregory Ratoff, and Verree Teasdale. Directed by Edgar Selwyn, the film is based on the 1931 novel Skyscraper by Faith Baldwin.
William did play some sympathetic roles, including Dave the Dude in Frank Capra's Lady for a Day , a loving father and husband cuckolded by Ann Dvorak's character in Three on a Match (1932), a young songwriter's comically pompous older brother in Golddiggers of 1933 , Julius Caesar in Cecil B. DeMille's Cleopatra (1934; starring Claudette Colbert in the title role), and with Colbert again the same year as her character's love interest in Imitation of Life (1934). He played the swashbuckling musketeer d'Artagnan in The Man in the Iron Mask (1939), directed by James Whale.
The studios capitalized on William's popularity by placing him in multiple "series" films, particularly as detectives and crime-solvers. William was the first to portray Erle Stanley Gardner's fictional defense attorney Perry Mason on the big screen and starred in four Perry Mason mysteries.He played Raffles-like reformed jewel thief The Lone Wolf in nine films, beginning with The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt (1939), and appeared as Detective Philo Vance in two of the series films, The Dragon Murder Case (1934) and the comedic The Gracie Allen Murder Case (1939). He also starred as Sam Spade (renamed Ted Shane) in Satan Met a Lady (1936), the second screen version of The Maltese Falcon .
Other roles include Mae West's manager in Go West, Young Man (1936), a jealous district attorney in another James Whale film, Wives Under Suspicion (1938), copper-magnate Jesse Lewisohn in 1940's Lillian Russell , the evil Jefferson Carteret in Arizona (also 1940), and sympathetic Dr. Lloyd in The Wolf Man (1941). In 1945, he played Brett Curtis in cult director Edgar G. Ulmer's 1945 modern-day version of Hamlet, called Strange Illusion . In what would be his last film, he played Laroche-Mathieu in The Private Affairs of Bel Ami in 1947.
On radio, William starred in the transcribed series Strange Wills, which featured "stories behind strange wills that run the gamut of human emotion."
Although on-screen William was an actor audiences loved to hate, off-screen William was a private man, and he and his wife, Helen, kept out of the limelight. Warren and Helen remained a couple throughout his entire adult life. He was often described as having been shy in real life. Co-star Joan Blondell once said, "[He] ... was an old man – even when he was a young man."
Warren William died on September 24, 1948, from multiple myeloma, at age 53. His wife would die a few months later.He was recognized for his contribution to motion pictures with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in February 1960.
|1922||The Town That Forgot God||Eben|
|1931||Honor of the Family||Captain Boris Barony|
|Expensive Women||Neil Hartley|
|Under Eighteen||Raymond Harding|
|1932||The Woman from Monte Carlo||Lieutenant d'Ortelles|
|Beauty and the Boss||Baron Josef von Ullrich|
|The Mouthpiece||Vincent "Vince" Day|
|The Dark Horse||Hal Samson Blake|
|Skyscraper Souls||David "Dave" Dwight|
|Three on a Match||Robert Kirkwood|
|The Match King||Paul Kroll|
|1933||Employees' Entrance||Kurt Anderson|
|The Mind Reader||"Chandra" Chandler|
|Gold Diggers of 1933||J. Lawrence Bradford|
|Goodbye Again||Kenneth L. "Ken" Bixby|
|Lady for a Day||Dave the Dude|
|Just Around the Corner||Mr. Sears||Short|
|Upper World||Alexander "Alex" Stream|
|Dr. Monica||John Braden|
|The Dragon Murder Case||Philo Vance|
|The Case of the Howling Dog||Perry Mason|
|Imitation of Life||Stephen "Steve" Archer|
|The Secret Bride||Robert "Bob" Sheldon|
|1935||Living on Velvet||Walter "Gibraltar" Pritcham|
|The Case of the Curious Bride||Perry Mason|
|Don't Bet on Blondes||Oscar "Odds" Owen|
|The Case of the Lucky Legs||Perry Mason|
|The Widow from Monte Carlo||Major Allan Chepstow|
|1936||Times Square Playboy||Victor "Vic" Arnold|
|Satan Met a Lady||Ted Shane|
|The Case of the Velvet Claws||Perry Mason|
|Stage Struck||Fred Harris|
|Go West, Young Man||Morgan|
|1937||Outcast||Dr. Wendell Phillips / Phil Jones|
|Midnight Madonna||Blackie Denbo|
|The Firefly||Colonel de Rouchemont|
|Madame X||Bernard Fleuriot|
|1938||Arsène Lupin Returns||Steve Emerson|
|The First Hundred Years||Harry Borden|
|Wives Under Suspicion||District Attorney Jim Stowell|
|1939||The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt||Michael Lanyard / "The Lone Wolf"|
|The Gracie Allen Murder Case||Philo Vance|
|The Man in the Iron Mask||d'Artagnan|
|Day-Time Wife||Bernard "Barney" Dexter|
|1940||The Lone Wolf Meets a Lady||Michael Lanyard|
|Lillian Russell||Jesse Lewisohn|
|The Lone Wolf Strikes||Michael Lanyard|
|The Lone Wolf Keeps a Date||Michael Lanyard|
|Trail of the Vigilantes||Mark Dawson / George Trent|
|1941||The Lone Wolf Takes a Chance||Michael Lanyard|
|Wild Geese Calling||Blackie Bedford|
|Secrets of the Lone Wolf||Michael Lanyard|
|The Wolf Man||Dr. Lloyd|
|1942||Wild Bill Hickok Rides||Harry Farrel|
|1943||One Dangerous Night|
|Passport to Suez|
|1945||Strange Illusion||Brett Curtis|
|1946||Fear||Police Capt. Burke|
|1947||The Private Affairs of Bel Ami||Laroche-Mathieu||(final film role)|
|1920||Mrs. Jimmie Thompson||Edgar Blodgett|
|1921||John Hawthorne||John Hawthorne|
|We Girls||Doctor Tom Brown|
|1924||The Wonderful Visit||Sir John Gotch, K.B.E.|
|Expressing Willie||George Cadwalder|
|The Blue Peter||David Hunter|
|1926||Twelve Miles Out||Gerald Fey|
|Easter One More Day||Elis|
|1928||Paradise||Dr. Achilles Swain|
|Veils||Mr. Robert Sloan|
|The Golden Age||The Stranger|
|1929||Sign of the Leopard||Captain Leslie|
|Let Us Be Gay||Bob Brown|
|1930||Out of a Blue Sky||Paul Rana|
|Stepdaughters of War||Geoffrey Hilder|
|1930-1931||The Vinegar Tree||Max Lawrence|
Claudette Colbert was an American stage and film actress.
Raymond William Stacy Burr was a Canadian American actor, primarily known for his title roles in the television dramas Perry Mason and Ironside. He was prominently involved in multiple charitable endeavors, such as working on behalf of the United Service Organizations.
Stanislaus Pascal Franchot Tone was an American stage, film and television actor. He was Oscar-nominated for his role as Midshipman Roger Byam in Mutiny on the Bounty (1935), starring alongside Clark Gable and Charles Laughton. He was a leading man in many films and appeared as a guest star in episodes of several television series, including The Twilight Zone and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour.
William DeWolf Hopper Jr. was an American stage, film, and television actor. The only child of actor DeWolf Hopper and actress and Hollywood columnist Hedda Hopper, he appeared in predominantly minor roles in more than 80 feature films in the 1930s and '40s. After serving in the United States Navy during World War II, he left acting, but in the mid-1950s, he was persuaded by director William Wellman to resume his film career. He became best known for his work as private detective Paul Drake in the CBS television series Perry Mason.
Jerome Palmer Cowan was an American stage, film, and television actor.
Ricardo Cortez was an American actor. He was also known as Jack Crane early in his acting career.
Magnificent Obsession is a 1935 drama film based on the novel of the same name by Lloyd C. Douglas. The film was adapted by Sarah Y. Mason, Victor Heerman, and George O'Neil, directed by John M. Stahl, and stars Irene Dunne, Robert Taylor, Charles Butterworth, and Betty Furness.
Otto Kruger was an American actor, originally a Broadway matinee idol, who established a niche as a charming villain in films, such as Hitchcock's Saboteur. He also appeared in CBS's Perry Mason and other TV series. He was the grandnephew of South African president Paul Kruger.
Warren Albert Stevens was an American stage, screen, and television actor.
Helen Vinson was an American film actress, who appeared in 40 films between 1932 and 1945.
Ralph Morgan was a Hollywood stage and film character actor, and the older brother of Frank Morgan.
Helen Marie Twelvetrees was an American film and theatre actress, who became a top female star through a series of "women's pictures" in the early 1930s.
June Travis was an American film actress.
Genevieve Tobin was an American actress.
The Case of the Howling Dog is a 1934 American mystery film directed by Alan Crosland, based on the novel of the same name by Erle Stanley Gardner. The film stars Warren William and Mary Astor. This was the first in a series of four films in which William played Perry Mason. The next three films in the series was, The Case of the Lucky Legs (1935), The Case of the Curious Bride (1935) and The Case of the Velvet Claws (1936).
William Horatio Powell was an American actor. A major star at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, he was paired with Myrna Loy in 14 films, including the Thin Man series based on the Nick and Nora Charles characters created by Dashiell Hammett. Powell was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor three times: for The Thin Man (1934), My Man Godfrey (1936), and Life with Father (1947).
The Case of the Curious Bride is a 1935 mystery film, the second in a series of four starring Warren William as Perry Mason, following The Case of the Howling Dog. The script was based on the 1934 novel of the same name by Erle Stanley Gardner, published by William Morrow and Company, which proved to be one of the most popular of all the Perry Mason novels.
Footsteps in the Dark is a light-hearted 1941 mystery film starring Errol Flynn as an amateur detective investigating a murder.
Walter Walker was an American actor of the stage and screen during the first half of the twentieth century. Born in New York City on March 13, 1864, Walker would have a career in theater prior to entering the film industry. By 1915 he was appearing in Broadway productions, his first being Sinners, written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, Owen Davis. His film debut was in a leading role in 1917's American – That's All. He had a lengthy career, in both film and on stage, appearing in numerous plays and over 80 films. Walker died on December 4, 1947 in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Small Miracle is a 1934 play by Norman Krasna, presented on Broadway with Joseph Calleia in the featured role. Directed by George Abbott with a single setting designed by Boris Aronson, the three-act melodrama opened September 26, 1934, at the John Golden Theatre, New York. It continued at the 48th Street Theatre November 11, 1934 – January 5, 1935. On February 7, 1935, the play began a run at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, with Calleia, Joseph King and Robert Middlemass reprising their Broadway roles.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Warren William .|