55 Facts About Leslie Howard


Leslie Howard Steiner was an English actor, director and producer.


Leslie Howard wrote many stories and articles for The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Vanity Fair and was one of the biggest box-office draws and movie idols of the 1930s.


Active in both Britain and Hollywood, Howard played Ashley Wilkes in Gone with the Wind.


Leslie Howard had roles in many other films, often playing the quintessential Englishman, including Berkeley Square, Of Human Bondage, The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Petrified Forest, Pygmalion, Intermezzo, "Pimpernel" Smith, and The First of the Few.


Leslie Howard was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for Berkeley Square and Pygmalion.


Leslie Howard was rumoured to have been involved with British or Allied Intelligence, sparking conspiracy theories regarding his death in 1943 when the Luftwaffe shot down BOAC Flight 777 over the Atlantic, on which he was a passenger.


Leslie Howard received his formal education at Alleyn's School, London.


Leslie Howard was a 21-year-old bank clerk in Dulwich when the First World War began; in September 1914 he voluntarily enlisted as a Private with the British Army's Inns of Court Officer Training Corps in London.


In March 1920, Leslie Howard gave public notice in The London Gazette that he had changed his surname, and would thereafter be known by the name of Leslie Howard instead of Steiner.


Leslie Howard became an undisputed Broadway star in Her Cardboard Lover.


Leslie Howard frequently juggled acting, producing and directing duties in the Broadway productions in which he starred.


Leslie Howard was a dramatist, and starred in the Broadway production of his own play Murray Hill.


Leslie Howard played Matt Denant in John Galsworthy's 1927 Broadway production Escape in which he first made his mark as a dramatic actor.


Leslie Howard later repeated both roles in the film versions.


Leslie Howard loved to play Shakespeare, but according to producer John Houseman he could be lazy about learning lines.


Leslie Howard first sprang to fame playing in Romeo and Juliet in the role of the leading man.


Leslie Howard was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame in 1981.


In 1920 Leslie Howard suggested forming a film production company, British Comedy Films Ltd.


In British and Hollywood productions, Leslie Howard often played stiff upper lipped Englishmen.


Leslie Howard appeared in the film version of Outward Bound, though in a different role from the one he portrayed on Broadway.


Leslie Howard had second billing under Norma Shearer in A Free Soul, which featured Lionel Barrymore and future Gone With the Wind rival Clark Gable eight years prior to their Civil War masterpiece.


Leslie Howard starred in the film version of Berkeley Square, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor.


Leslie Howard played the title role in The Scarlet Pimpernel, which is often considered the definitive portrayal.


Leslie Howard played Professor Henry Higgins in the film version of George Bernard Shaw's play Pygmalion, with Wendy Hiller as Eliza, which earned Howard another Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.


In 1939, as war approached, he played opposite Ingrid Bergman in Intermezzo; that August, Leslie Howard was determined to return to the country of his birth.


Leslie Howard is perhaps best remembered for his role as Ashley Wilkes in Gone with the Wind, his last American film, but he was uncomfortable with Hollywood, and returned to Britain to help with the Second World War effort.


Leslie Howard starred in a number of Second World War films including 49th Parallel, "Pimpernel" Smith and The First of the Few, the latter two of which he directed and co-produced.


Leslie Howard had the kind of distraught air that would make people want to mother him.


Leslie Howard's son became an actor and played the title role in the television series Sherlock Holmes.


Leslie Howard's younger brother Arthur was an actor, primarily in British comedies.


Leslie Howard reportedly had affairs with Tallulah Bankhead when they appeared on stage in the UK in Her Cardboard Lover, with Merle Oberon while filming The Scarlet Pimpernel, and with Conchita Montenegro, with whom he had appeared in the film Never the Twain Shall Meet.


Leslie Howard reportedly fathered a daughter - Carol Grace, born 1924 - by Rosheen Marcus; Carol married writer William Saroyan and then actor Walter Matthau.


Leslie Howard fell in love with Violette Cunnington in 1938 while working on Pygmalion.


Leslie Howard was secretary to Gabriel Pascal who was producing the film; she became Howard's secretary and lover, and they travelled to the United States and lived together while he was filming Gone with the Wind and Intermezzo.


Leslie Howard left the United States for the last time with his wife and daughter in August, 1939, and Cunnington soon followed.


Leslie Howard appeared in "Pimpernel" Smith and The First of the Few in minor roles under the stage name of Suzanne Clair.


Leslie Howard died of pneumonia in her early thirties in 1942, just six months before Howard's death.


Leslie Howard left her his Beverly Hills house in his will.


In May 1943, Leslie Howard travelled to Portugal to promote the British cause.


Leslie Howard stayed in Monte Estoril, at the Hotel Atlantico, between 1 May and 4 May, then again between 8 May and 10 May and again between 25 May and 31 May 1943.


Leslie Howard was among the 17 fatalities, including four KLM flight crew.


Two books focusing on the final flight, Flight 777 and In Search of My Father: A Portrait of Leslie Howard, asserted that the target was Howard instead: that Germans deliberately shot down Howard's DC-3 to demoralise Britain.


Leslie Howard had been travelling through Spain and Portugal lecturing on film, but meeting with local propagandists and shoring up support for the Allies.


Ronald Leslie Howard's book explores the written German orders to the Ju 88 squadron in great detail, as well as British communiques that purportedly verify intelligence reports indicating a deliberate attack on Leslie Howard.


Via an old girlfriend, Conchita Montenegro, Leslie Howard had contacts with Ricardo Gimenez Arnau, a young diplomat in the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


Former CIA agent Joseph B Smith recalled that, in 1957, he was briefed by the National Security Agency on the need for secrecy and that Leslie Howard's death had been brought up.


The NSA stated that Leslie Howard knew his aircraft was to be attacked by German fighters and sacrificed himself to protect the British code-breakers.


The 2010 biography by Estel Eforgan, Leslie Howard: The Lost Actor, examines then recently available evidence and concludes that Howard was not a specific target, corroborating the statements by German sources that the shootdown was "an error in judgement".


Leslie Howard's aircraft was shot down over the sea north of this village.


Estel Eforgan's Leslie Howard: The Lost Actor is a full-length book biography published in 2010.


Leslie Howard was not only an accomplished actor on stage and screen, he appeared many times on radio as well.


Leslie Howard began his career on radio in the early 1930s when he performed dramatic readings for The Yardley Program.


Leslie Howard appeared in Columbia Presents Shakespeare as Benedick in the play Much Ado About Nothing with Rosalind Russell in the summer of 1937.


Leslie Howard's last known radio appearance in the United States before returning to Britain to help with the war effort was the Radio Tribute to the King and Queen in which dozens of British stars performed skits while King King George VI and Queen Elizabeth listened with President Roosevelt and Mrs Roosevelt from Hyde Park.


Leslie Howard appeared on a panel programme for the BBC called The Brains Trust.