ichard Hart (Apr 14.1915 - Jan 2.1951)
Above right: Mr. and Mrs Richard Hart, (in 1947) on their first visit to California, see the original state capital, picturesque Monterey. First stop on their tour brings Mr.and Mrs.Hart to the First California Theater built in 1845. The theater is now a State Museum.
in Providence, Rhode Island as Richard Comstock Hart on April 14. 1915. Hart
was the son and grandson of Henry Clay Hart and Richard Borden Comstock,
leading Rhode Island lawyers. An all-American soccer player which graduated
from Brown and worked briefly for the Gorham Silver company. He married his
teenage sweetheart in 1938, and had one son Christopher. He took an
extension course in journalism but got bitten by acting and with success.
That led to studying acting in New York City, some off-Broadway roles and
divorce from his wife, who remained in Providence with their son. Hart's big
break came when, as resident juvenile in a summer theater at the Brattle
Playhouse in Cambridge, Massachusetts, he played John the witch boy, the
lead role in a new play trying out there, Dark of the Moon "a Legend with Music" by Howard
Richardson and William Berney. The Brothers Shubert took it to Broadway
(1945), keeping little of the original company except Hart, who won a
Theatre World Award for his debut. A Broadway run of 318 performances then
led to a national tour and a contract with Metro Goldwyn Mayer. In 1945 he
married an actress Louise Valery he had met in Dark of the Moon
(she played the Fair Witch), they had two
He showed great promise in his second movie Green Dolphin Street (1947) which involves two sisters in love with one man. When she is mistaken for her sister Marguerite (Donna Reed), Marianne Patourel (Lana Turner) is shipped off to the Antipodes, there to marry Marguerite's fugitive fiancée, British navy deserter William Ozanne played by Hart.
Next he played in B.F.'s Daughter
Barbara Stanwyck plays Polly Fulton, rebellious daughter of a wealthy
industrialist (Charles Coburn). Polly marries a conservative economist
professor Robert S. 'Bob' Tasmin III (Richard
Hart), but she chafes at his values and leaves him for socialist professor
Van Heflin. In England, where the letters "B. F." comprise a euphemism for
"bloody fool", the film was retitled to Polly Fulton .
He then voluntarily left MGM to go back to the stage. Back on Broadway he appeared in a flop, Leaf and Bough (1949) then took over for Sam Wanamaker in Goodbye, My Fancy (1949) and had a hit as the original Uncle Desmonde in The Happy Time (1950-51) opposite Claude Dauphin and the young Eva Gabor.
Between 1949 and 1950 he made several appearances on television's The Ford Theatre Hour , Studio One, The Philco Television Playhouse, NBC Presents; The Silver Theater and Masterpiece Playhouse (playing such roles as Eilert Lovborg in Hedda Gabler and Marc Antony in "Julius Caesar").
Richard Hart, big and strapping and sporting an incongruous Errol Flynn moustache, was the star of The Adventures of Ellery Queen also known as "a Kaiser-Frazer Adventure in Mystery" (Right). It was the first TV-series to try and bring to live Ellery Queen and it was aired live and was well done for a Dumont net program. Florenz Ames played his father, Inspector Richard Queen. The show appeared on the Dumont Network beginning in 1950 and each episode took 25 minutes. After only four months, less than a third of the way through the season, January 2nd 1951, Hart died of a heart attack during a rehearsal.
Additional video & audio sources
|This actor profile is a part of the Ellery Queen a website on deduction. The actor above played Ellery Queen in an Ellery Queen TV series.|
Page first published before May 22. 2016
Last updated September 23, 2018
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