Born in 1893, Cedric Hardwicke began acting in his teens - his first movie role was as early as 1911! - and began to achieve first fame in the 1920s at the famous Birmingham Repertory Theatre run by Barry (later Sir Barry) Jackson. It was as a leading man in the plays of his close friend George Bernard Shaw that he became a star (Shaw described him as "my fifth favourite actor - after the Marx Brothers"), although he also had many Shakespearian parts at the Old Vic. He was knighted in 1934, only 41 years old, and thereafter quickly gained the attention of Hollywood. Unlike other actor-knights, he tended to use his title in billing. He disliked film work, but found the money very useful. Apart from a brief period back in England in the late 1940s, he was based in the United States from the war years onward. Both his marriages were to actesses (Helena Pickard and Mary Scott), and both ended in costly divorces. In his last decade, he was constantly ill and short of money, and in this time did a great deal of television work for quick cash - he even co-starred with Gertrude Berg in a short-lived sitcom. The medical bills for treatment of his final illness used up most of what little money he had left. It was a sad end for a superb actor. His son is Edward Hardwicke, the beloved "Dr. Watson" in the long-running "Sherlock Holmes" TV series.