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Warren William

from the trailer for the film Goodbye Again (1933).
Born Warren William Krech
December 2, 1894(1894-12-02)
Aitkin, Minnesota, U.S.
Died September 24, 1948 (aged 53)
Hollywood, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1922–1947

Warren William (December 2, 1894 – September 24, 1948) was a Broadway and Hollywood actor, born the son of Freeman E. and Frances Krech, as Warren William Krech in Aitkin, Minnesota. He had a certain physical resemblance to John Barrymore. He attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. After moving from Broadway to Hollywood in the silent period, he reached his peak as a leading man in early 1930s pre-Production Code films. He was a contract player at the Warner Bros. studio and was known for portraying amoral businessmen, lawyers, and other heartless types, including the Sam Spade character (renamed "Ted Shane") in the second filming of The Maltese Falcon, called Satan Met a Lady (1936) with Bette Davis.

He also played sympathetic roles, however, as in Imitation of Life, in which he portrayed Claudette Colbert's love interest. He appeared as her love interest again that year, when he played Julius Caesar to her Cleopatra in Cecil B. DeMille's version of Cleopatra. And he was the swashbucking d'Artagnan in the 1939 version of The Man in the Iron Mask, directed by James Whale.

William was the first to portray Erle Stanley Gardner's fictional defense attorney Perry Mason on the big screen and starred in four fast paced, comical, and highly entertaining Perry Mason mysteries. He also played Raffles-like reformed jewel thief The Lone Wolf for Columbia Pictures beginning with The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt (1939) with Ida Lupino and Rita Hayworth, and he starred as detective Philo Vance in two films in that series, 1934's The Dragon Murder Case and 1939's The Gracie Allen Murder Case (billed below Gracie Allen).

In 1923, he married Helen Barbara Nelson; Mrs. Helen B. Krech - who also survived him - was three years his senior. Warren William died on 24 September 1948 in Hollywood, California of multiple myeloma.

For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Warren William has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1551 Vine Street.

Filmography

Year Title Role
1922 The Town that Forgot God Eben
1923 Plunder Mr. Jones
1927 Twelve Miles Out Bit part
1931 Honor of the Family Captain Boris Barony
Expensive Women Neil Hartley
1932 Under Eighteen Raymond Harding
The Woman from Monte Carlo Lieutenant d'Ortelles
Beauty and the Boss Baron Josef von Ullrich
The Mouthpiece Vincent "Vince" Day
The Dark Horse Hal Samson Blake
Skyscraper Souls David "Dave" Dwight
Three on a Match Robert Kirkwood
The Match King Paul Kroll
1933 Just Around the Corner Mr. Sears
Employees' Entrance Kurt Anderson
The Mind Reader "Chandra" Chandler
Gold Diggers of 1933 J. Lawrence Bradford
Goodbye Again Kenneth L. "Ken" Bixby
Lady for a Day Dave the Dude
1934 Bedside Bob Brown
Upperworld Allexander "Alex" Stream
Smarty Tony Wallace
Dr. Monica John Braden
The Dragon Murder Case Philo Vance
The Case of the Howling Dog Perry Mason
Cleopatra Julius Caesar
Imitation of Life Stephen "Steve" Archer
The Secret Bride Robert "Bob" Sheldon
1935 Living on Velvet Walter "Gibraltar" Pritcham
The Case of the Curious Bride Perry Mason
Don't Bet on Blondes Oscar "Odds" Owen
The Case of the Lucky Legs Perry Mason
The Widow from Monte Carlo Major Allan Chepstow
Year Title Role
1936 Times Square Playboy Victor "Vic" Arnold
Satan Met a Lady Ted Shane
The Case of the Velvet Claws Perry Mason
Stage Struck Fred Harris
Go West Young Man Morgan
1937 Outcast Dr. Wendell Phillips / Phil Jones
Midnight Madonna Blackie Denbo
The Firefly Colonel de Rouchemont
Madame X Bernard Fleuriot
1938 Arsène Lupin Returns Steve Emerson
The First Hundred Years Harry Borden
Wives Under Suspicion District Attorney Jim Stowell
1939 The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt Michael Lanyard
The Gracie Allen Murder Case Philo Vance
The Man in the Iron Mask d'Artagnan
Day-Time Wife Bernard "Barney" Dexter
1940 The Lone Wolf Meets a Lady Michael Lanyard
Lillian Russell Jesse Lewisohn
The Lone Wolf Strikes Michael Lanyard
Arizona Jefferson Carteret
The Lone Wolf Keeps a Date Michael Lanyard
1941 Trail of the Vigilantes Mark Dawson / George Trent
The Lone Wolf Takes a Chance Michael Lanyard
Wild Geese Calling Blackie Bedford
Secrets of the Lone Wolf Michael Lanyard
The Wolf Man Dr. Lloyd
1942 Wild Bill Hickok Rides Harry Farrel
Counter-Espionage Michael Lanyard
1943 One Dangerous Night Michael Lanyard
Passport to Suez Michael Lanyard
1945 Strange Illusion Brett Curtis
1946 Fear Police Capt. Burke
1947 The Private Affairs of Bel Ami Laroche-Mathieu

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