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

Hollywood Memorial

James Whale

Subject of the acclaimed biographical film, ‘Gods and Monsters,’ this movie Director is best known for his work in the horror classics, ‘Frankenstein,’ ‘Old Dark House,’ ‘Invisible Man,’ and ‘Bride of Frankenstein.’ In 1928, he was offered a chance to direct the play ‘Journey’s End’ starring then newcomer, Laurence Olivier. The play was a huge success and Whale was soon offered the chance to direct the Broadway and film versions of ‘Journey’s End’ in the United States. He quickly began directing motion pictures of various genres, but found his niche in horror films, largely due to his unique and innovative use of camera angles. In his later years, the openly gay director began suffering from memory loss due to a stroke. Whale struggled with depression and found it difficult to put the memories of his World War I service and imprisonment in a German P.O.W. camp behind him. On May 29, 1957, at the age of 67, he committed suicide by drowning himself in his swimming pool. Although he did leave a suicide note detailing why he killed himself, circumstances of his death were not known until years later. His suicide note read, ‘The future is just old age and illness and pain…I must have peace and this is the only way.’ Cremated and placed in a crypt in Forest Lawn in Glendale.