1001 W 75TH ST. WOODRIDGE, IL 630-427-1880

Hollywood Memorial

Charles Laughton

Classically trained actor appeared on stage and in motion pictures from the 1920s to the 1960s. Educated at Stonyhurst, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (received a gold medal) and first appearance on stage in 1926. A consummate artist, Laughton achieved great success with both stage and film. He greatly disliked children. Because of his disdain for them and the fact that he had to work with them in ‘The Night of the Hunter,’ most of the scenes with the children were directed by star Robert Mitchum, who had three children of his own; although, Mitchum was to say Laughton was the best director he ever worked with. Laughton discovered actress Maureen O’Hara at the age of 18 while he played in the first talking version of ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame.’ Married for many years to ‘Bride of Frankenstein’ actress Elsa Lanchester, in a memoir written after his death, she stated they never had children because he was homosexual. (Rumor had it that she came home one night from her work on ‘Frankenstein’ to find him naked on a couch with a teenager). According to Maureen O’Hara, however, Laughton once told her that not having children was his biggest regret, and that it was because Elsa could not bear children as a result of an botched abortion she had early in her career while performing burlesque. It is possible both stories are true. Whether Lanchester ever had an abortion (which would have been illegal at the time) is not known, but it is known that Charles Laughton was gay. He won a Best Actor Oscar for his lead role in the 1933 drama ‘The Private Life of Henry VIII’ and it sounds like he might have had a private life of his own. Interred in a crypt at Forest Lawn in Hollywood Hills.