Colin Clive

Colin Clive


1/20/1900, St. Malo, France



Birth Name

Colin Clive-Greig


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British actor who gained cinematic immortality with his performance in the title role of the classic 1931 horror film Frankenstein and its subsequent sequel The Bride of Frankenstein. Clive also was successful in several non-horror roles including Christopher Strong in which he co-starred with a young Katherine Hepburn.…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • A portrait of Clive appeared in the 1939 film Son of Frankenstein.

    • Though Clive appeared in a biopic of his famous ancestor Clive of India, Ronald Colman played the title role.

    • Clive's girlfriend, actress Iris Lancaster, made funeral arrangements for him in the absence of any family.

    • At the time of his death, Clive had begun shooting a film entitled Lancer Spy. His footage was scrapped and Lionel Atwill took Clive's role in the film.

    • Clive was residing in the Los Feliz section of Los Angeles at the time of his death.

    • In late 1935, Clive returned to the stage and starred in the hit Broadway play Libel!

    • According to his prep school obituary, Clive was an excellent soccer player and long distance runner during his years at Stonyhurst College. He also played in the school orchestra.

    • Clive attended prep school at Stonyhurst College where one of his classmates was future Captain Bligh, Charles Laughton.

    • When Universal decided to film Frankenstein, Bela Lugosi wanted to play the part of the scientist but director James Whale insisted upon Clive being cast instead. Lugosi was then offered the role of the monster and declined it.

    • Clive made his film debut in the 1930 movie version of his great stage hit Journey's End.

    • Clive appeared with a young Bette Davis in the 1935 film The Girl From Tenth Avenue.

    • Clive was cremated after his death but his ashes were unclaimed and their actual location today is unknown. Some reports say they were scattered at sea.

    • Clive was a direct descendant of famed British military leader Robert Clive who had in the 18th century gotten a foothold for the British Empire in India.

    • Clive attended the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst intending to embark upon a military career but an injury suffered in training forced him to withdraw.

    • Journey's End, an anti-war play directed by future Frankenstein director James Whale was the production which made Clive a star on the London stage. Ironically, Clive got the part only because Laurence Olivier bowed out of the production.

    • Clive's father was a British army officer.

    • Clive's Mad Love co-star, Peter Lorre, served as one of the pallbearers at his funeral.

    • Though he disliked the horror genre, Clive returned to it in 1936 when he appeared in Mad Love.

    • Clive had a non-singing role in the 1928 London production of the classic musical Show Boat.

    • Clive was actually taller in real life than Frankenstein co-star Boris Karloff although lifts and padding made Karloff appear much bigger in the film.

    • Clive stood 6 feet tall in his prime.

    • Clive was married to actress Jeanne De Casalis from 1929 until his death in 1937 but the couple had been living separately for several years.

    • Clive was portrayed by Matt McKenzie in Gods and Monsters, the 1998 biopic about Frankenstein director James Whale.

    • Clive's Frankenstein co-star, Mae Clarke, once stated that he had "the face of Christ."

  • Quotes

    • Clive: You may tell me that millions enjoy horror films, and that of those millions thousands enjoy my work in them, and I will tell you that I still hate playing in them.