Posted in WB Cartoon Companion on March 22, 2004
British actor who helped give Humphrey Bogart his first big movie break by insisting to Warner Brothers that Bogart reprise his role as Duke Mantee in The Petrified Forest (1936) instead of the studio’s first choice, Edward G. Robinson. Two of his best known roles in American films are as Ashley Wilkes in Gone With the Wind (1939), and Philip Carey in Of Human Bondage (1934).
His role, as well as that of his co-star, Bette Davis, in The Petrified Forest is beautifully parodied with very good caricatures in She Was an Acrobat’s Daughter (Freleng, 1937). In Porky’s Road Race (Tashlin, 1937), Howard is one of the three British actors riding the Cheerio Special, the others being George Arliss and Freddie Bartholemew.
Howard was flying back to London from a secret mission to Lisbon, Portgual, when his plan was shot down by Nazi fighters.