Wilfrid Hyde-White (1903 - 1991)

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Wilfrid Hyde-White
1903 - 1991
May 12, 1903
Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire County, UK United Kingdom
May 6, 1991
Woodland Hills in Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California United States
Other Names
Wilfrid Hyde-White
Wilfrid Hyde-White was born on May 12, 1903 in Bourton-on-the-Water, UK United Kingdom. He died on May 6, 1991 at Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California at 87 years of age.
Updated: December 27, 2020
Famous Actor. Films, Theatre and Television.
Wilfrid Hyde-White
Born May 12, 1903 in Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire, England, UK
Died May 6, 1991 in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA (congestive heart failure)
Birth Name Wilfrid Hyde White
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)
British character actor of wry charm, equally at home in amused or strait-laced characters. A native of Bourton-on-the-Water in Gloucestershire, he attended Marlborough College and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. His stage debut came in 1922, and by 1925 he was a busy London actor. He married actress Blanche Glynne (real name: Blanche Hope Aitken) and in 1932 toured South Africa in plays. Alleged to have been spotted by George Cukor during a performance in Aldritch, Hyde-White (with or without Cukor's help) made his film debut in 1934. He often appeared under the name Hyde White in these early films. He continued to act upon the stage, playing opposite Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh in "Caesar and Cleopatra" and "Antony and Cleopatra" in 1951. With scores of films to his credit, he will always be remembered for one, My Fair Lady (1964), in which he played Colonel Pickering. Active into his ninth decade, Hyde-White died six days before his 88th birthday. He was survived by his second wife, Ethel, and three children.

Spouse (2)
Ethel Korenman (Drew) (21 July 1957 - 6 May 1991) ( his death) ( 2 children)
Blanche Hope Aitken (Glynne) (17 December 1927 - ?) ( divorced) ( 1 child)
Trivia (8)
Father of actor Alex Hyde-White and Juliet Hyde-White. Father-in-law of Shelly Bovert Hyde-White.
Ex-father-in-law of Karen Dotrice.
Was twice nominated for Broadway's Tony Award as Best Actor (Dramatic): in 1957, for "The Reluctant Debutante," and in 1973, for "The Jockey Club Stakes."
Upon his death, his remains were interred at Water Cemetery in Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire, England.
His first wife was a decade his senior. His second wife, however, was thirty years his junior. In the conservative 1950s, the age difference raised eyebrows at the time of his wedding in England, but he later remarked that, as soon as his wife entered her thirties, everyone forgot about it.
He appeared six times on the medical drama Ben Casey (1961) in the 1960s, playing a variety of characters. He told an interviewer that the main reason he appeared on the show so often was that one of the perquisites for guest artistes was a full medical check-up at the Mayo Clinic, free of charge.
Living in the USA, Hyde-White accepted the role in Carry on Nurse (1959) without reading the script as it was a free ticket home just in time for him to attend the Grand National. However, his agent threatened to sue Carry on Nurse (1959) producer Peter Rogers, claiming that someone else's bottom had been used in the Daffodil gag sequence, but the actor and his agent withdrew the claim when it was pointed out that no one's bottom was used and that it was all done by suggestion.
Turned down the role of Col Pickering in My Fair Lady (1964) 5 times before accepting it.
Hyde-White and his elder sister, Ethel, were the children of William Edward White, canon of Gloucester Cathedral, and his wife, Ethel Adelaide (née Drought). Their uncle was actor J. Fisher White.
Personal Quotes (3)
I learned two things at drama school: first, that I couldn't act; second, that it didn't matter.
I've owned twelve horses, seven Rolls-Royces, and I've had mistresses in Paris, London and New York - and it never made me happy.
I've never regretted my decision to become an actor. Lots of things have gone wrong and lots have gone well. Now it's almost over and I'll settle for what I have.
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Wilfrid Hyde-White
Most commonly known as
Wilfrid Hyde-White
Full name
Wilfrid Hyde-White
Other names or aliases
Wilfrid Hyde-White was born on in Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire County, UK United Kingdom
Wilfrid Hyde-White died on at Woodland Hills in Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California United States
Wilfrid Hyde-White was born on in Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire County, UK United Kingdom
Wilfrid Hyde-White died on at Woodland Hills in Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California United States
Heart failure
Cause of death


Marlborough College and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.




He made his stage debut in the farcical play Tons of Money on the Isle of Wight in 1922 and appeared in the West End for the first time three years later in the play Beggar on Horseback.[1] He then gained steady work on the stage in a series of comedies produced at the Aldwych Theatre in London. He joined a tour of South Africa in 1932 before making his film debut in Josser on the Farm (1934) where he was credited as "Wilfrid Hyde White" (without the hyphen). He also appeared in some earlier films as plain "Hyde White". He later added the hyphen, as well as his first name.

Following a supporting role in The Third Man (1949), he became a fixture in British films of the 1950s. His other films of this period include Carry on Nurse and the Danny Kaye film On the Double.[1] Two-Way Stretch displays the more roguish side to some of the characters he played in this period. He continued to act on the stage and played opposite Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh in the repertory performance of Caesar and Cleopatra and Antony and Cleopatra in 1951. He also appeared on Broadway and was nominated for a Tony Award in 1956 for his role in The Reluctant Debutante. His first Hollywood appearance came alongside Marilyn Monroe in the film Let's Make Love (1960), followed by other higher profile films, including My Fair Lady (1964).

Later career
Between 1962 and 1965, Hyde-White starred in the BBC radio comedy The Men from the Ministry. In the 1970s and 1980s, he featured on Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, the Battlestar Galactica pilot episode "Saga of a Star World" and The Associates. He continued to appear on Broadway, and earned a second Tony nomination for his performance in The Jockey Club Stakes.

He appeared in two episodes of the mystery series Columbo, starring Peter Falk as the rumpled detective. Although the first, "Dagger of the Mind" (1972), was set in Britain and concerned Columbo paying a visit to Scotland Yard, Hyde-White's ongoing UK tax problems meant that, unlike American actors Falk and Richard Basehart, and British actors appearing in the episode, Honor Blackman, Bernard Fox, John Fraser and Arthur Malet, he was unable to take part in location filming in the UK. His scenes as a butler were therefore filmed in California.[3] His second appearance on Columbo was in the episode "Last Salute to the Commodore" in 1976.

He was the subject of This Is Your Life in 1976 when he was surprised by Eamonn Andrews at Goodwood Racecourse.[4]

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British Actor Wilfrid Hyde-White Dead at 87
May 6, 1991
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ British actor Wilfrid Hyde-White, whose 66-year acting career in plays, film and television included his portrayal of Col. Pickering in the movie ″My Fair Lady,″ died Monday at age 87.

Hyde-White died of congestive heart failure at the Motion Picture & Television Hospital, where he had been a patient since 1985, said Louella Benson, a spokeswoman for the Motion Picture and Television Fund.

With his silvery hair and dry aristocratic manner, Hyde-White portrayed the quintessential Englishman in many films, plays and television shows.

Although his best-known performance in this country was in the 1964 classic ″My Fair Lady,″ the actor’s son said his father preferred his performance with Peter Sellers in the 1960 British comedy film ″Two Way Stretch.″

″It made him a star supporting actor in Britain, and that helped him get ‘My Fair Lady’ a few years later,″ said Alex Hyde-White, 31, also an actor.

Born in Gloucester, England, Hyde-White trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art after his actor uncle, J. Fisher White, failed to talk him out of an acting career.

Hyde-White began his career in British theater and films. He first appeared on the London stage in 1925 as a juror in ″Beggar on Horseback.″ He also appeared in such plays as ″Rise Above It″ and ″Caesar and Cleopatra.″ His British films include ″Gaily, Gaily″ and ″Rembrandt.″

Hyde-White’s American television credits include a brief run as Martin Peyton on the 1960s nighttime soap opera, ″Peyton Place.″

He also starred as Emerson Marshall in the critically acclaimed but short- lived television series ″The Associates,″ which aired on ABC in 1979 and 1980. And he portrayed Dr. Goodfellow in television’s ″Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.″

Hyde-White is survived by his wife, Ethel, sons Alex and Michael, daughter Juliet and four grandsons. A memorial service was scheduled for Saturday.

Refresh this page to see various historical events that occurred during Wilfrid's lifetime.

In 1903, in the year that Wilfrid Hyde-White was born, the first World Series of American baseball was played between October 1st and 13th. The Boston Americans of the American League played the Pittsburgh Pirates of the National League. Boston came back from a three game to one deficit, winning the final four games to capture the title - such a large comeback wouldn't be repeated by a team until 1925. (A total of eight games were played.)

In 1941, when he was 38 years old, on December 7th, the Japanese attacked the military base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The surprise aerial attack damaged 8 U.S. battleships (6 later returned to service), including the USS Arizona, and destroyed 188 aircraft. 2,402 American citizens died and 1,178 wounded were wounded. On December 8th, the U.S. declared war on Japan and on December 11th, Germany and Italy (allies of Japan) declared war on the United States. World War II was in full swing.

In 1958, he was 55 years old when on January 1st, the European Economic Community (Common Market) came into operation. The first members were France, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg. The Common Market was formed as a way to strengthen members' economies and deter wars in Europe.

In 1961, when he was 58 years old, on May 5th, Navy Cmdr. Alan B. Shepard, Jr., made the first manned Project Mercury flight, MR-3, in a spacecraft he named Freedom 7. He was the second man to go into space, the first was Yuri Gagarin - a Soviet cosmonaut.

In 1991, in the year of Wilfrid Hyde-White's passing, on January 16th, Allied forces began the first phase of Operation Desert Storm. Saddam Hussein's forces had previously invaded the sovereign state of Kuwait and the focus of the operation was to remove his Iraqi troops from Kuwait. On February 24th, the ground war began. Within 100 hours, American ground troops declared Kuwait liberated.

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