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John Harding

John Harding

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Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Established Broadway lead who landed a contract in 1929 with Pathe (very soon thereafter part of RKO) and starred in a series of soap operas through the mid-1930s, most typically as suffering heroines who must make noble sacrifices for the men they love. With her ash-blonde hair usually swept back into a bun, the patrician Harding brought a gentle, serene strength to such worthy star vehicles as "When Ladies Meet" (1933) and "The Life of Vergie Winters" (1934) but fared less well in such awkward efforts as "Devotion" (1931) and "Enchanted April" (1935). Ideal for the philosophical sophistication of playwright Phillip Barry, Harding shone in fine adaptations of two of Barry's best comedy-drama talkfests: "Holiday" (1930), for which she received an Oscar nomination as Best Actress, and "The Animal Kingdom" (1932). Two of her best films came late in her reign as a star: the haunting, almost surreal love story "Peter Ibbetson" (1935, opposite Gary Cooper) and the taut suspense melodrama "Love from a Stranger" (1937, with Basil Rathbone). Harding's boxoffice power declined sharply after 1935 partly as a result of her typecasting in virtuous roles and she retired two years later after marrying symphony...

Established Broadway lead who landed a contract in 1929 with Pathe (very soon thereafter part of RKO) and starred in a series of soap operas through the mid-1930s, most typically as suffering heroines who must make noble sacrifices for the men they love. With her ash-blonde hair usually swept back into a bun, the patrician Harding brought a gentle, serene strength to such worthy star vehicles as "When Ladies Meet" (1933) and "The Life of Vergie Winters" (1934) but fared less well in such awkward efforts as "Devotion" (1931) and "Enchanted April" (1935). Ideal for the philosophical sophistication of playwright Phillip Barry, Harding shone in fine adaptations of two of Barry's best comedy-drama talkfests: "Holiday" (1930), for which she received an Oscar nomination as Best Actress, and "The Animal Kingdom" (1932). Two of her best films came late in her reign as a star: the haunting, almost surreal love story "Peter Ibbetson" (1935, opposite Gary Cooper) and the taut suspense melodrama "Love from a Stranger" (1937, with Basil Rathbone).

Harding's boxoffice power declined sharply after 1935 partly as a result of her typecasting in virtuous roles and she retired two years later after marrying symphony conductor Werner Janssen. In 1942, however, she returned to the screen in the enjoyable mystery "Eyes in the Night," and subsequently kept intermittently busy in a series of maternal character roles through the mid 50s. Her best part during this time was as the wife of Oliver Wendell Holmes (played by Louis Calhern) in "The Magnificent Yankee" (1950), but the gracefully maturing Harding also played notable roles in "Those Endearing Young Charms" (1945) and "The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit" (1955).

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
 Fool, The (1991) Mr Priddle
3.
 Little Dorrit (1988)
5.
6.
 The Impossible Years (1968) Dean Harvey Rockwell
7.
 This Property Is Condemned (1966) Johnson
8.
 Hawaii (1966) Collins
9.
 A Very Special Favor (1965) Dr. Lambert
10.
 Fear No More (1961) Milo Seymour
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