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Hedy Lamarr and John Loder in 1946

John Loder (3 January 1898 – 26 December 1988) was an English actor best known for his tall, debonair and suave looks and his marriage to Hedy Lamarr.

Loder was born William John Muir Lowe in London, England. His father was General W. H. M. Lowe, the British officer to whom Patrick Pearse, the leader of the Irish 1916 Rising in Dublin, surrendered.[1] Both General Lowe and his son were present at the surrender of Pearse.[2] He was educated at Eton and the Royal Military College and followed his father into the army, commissioned into 15th Hussars as a second lieutenant on 17 March 1915,[3] and then serving in the Gallipoli Campaign and at one point being imprisoned by the Germans. Upon being released, he stayed in Germany to run a pickle factory and also began to develop an interest in acting, appearing in bit-parts in a few German films. He left Germany to briefly return to England and then headed to Hollywood to try his luck in the new medium, Talkies. He appeared in The Doctor's Secret, which was Paramount's first talking picture—though his very English persona didn't win America over at this time and he returned to England where he co-starred in plush musicals and intrigue such as Love Life and Laughter and Sabotage. He was the male romantic interest in the original, 1937 film version of King Solomon's Mines.

When World War II started he returned to America where he seamlessly coasted into a career in 'B' movie roles usually playing upper crust characters with occasional appearances on Broadway. He occasionally did play roles, though supporting ones, in major 'A' films such as How Green Was My Valley, in which he was at the same time one of Roddy McDowall's brothers and Donald Crisp's sons. In 1947 he became an American citizen, his last screen appearance was in 1971. In 1959 he became a naturalised citizen of the United Kingdom as he has been of "uncertain nationality".[4]

Personal life

Loder was married five times; two of his wives were actresses: French star Micheline Cheirel and Hedy Lamarr. With Lamarr, he had two children, Denise (born 1945) and Antony (born 1947), and adopted Lamarr's son James Markey from her previous marriage to screenwriter Gene Markey. Other wives of Loder's were Sophie Kabel, Evelyn Auff Mordt, and his final wife, Argentine heiress Alba Julia Lagomarsino, with whom he remained until his death at the age of 90 in 1988, semi-retiring to her ranch and writing his 1977 autobiography, Hollywood Hussar.

John Loder's son, Robin Lowe, was a theatrical agent, who was married to British actress Hilary Tindall (1938-1992), who played Ann Hammond in the 1970s BBC TV series The Brothers.


  1. ^ "Hedy Lamarr and the Easter Rising". Irish Theatre Institute. 17 August 2006. Retrieved 2009-03-30. 
  2. ^ BBC, 1916 Easter Rising Gallery
  3. ^ London Gazette: no. 29102, p. 2632, 16 March 1915. Retrieved on 6 April 2009.
  4. ^ London Gazette: no. 41637, p. 1172, 17 February 1959. Retrieved on 6 April 2009.

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