Leslie Howard was a Jewish English stage and film actor, director and producer.
Born Leslie Howard Stainer on April
3, 1893 in Forest Hill, London.
In 1914, Howard received his first screen role in a silent film. Howard
was then drafted into the British army to serve in World
Howard made his American debut in 1920, in the film Just Suppose. In 1927, he cemented his mark in the film industry
in Her Cardboard Lover and Escape. However, by the 1930s
he had become bored with acting and thus turned to producing. Howard
produced his first film in 1930, Outward Bound; the film was
an enormous success for the first time producer.
Howard became notorious for playing stiff-upper-lipped
Englishmen in films such as Berkeley Square (in 1933, for which
he was nominated for Best Actor Academy Award), The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934), and Pygmalion (in 1938, for which he was nominated
for an Academy Award). In 1936, Howard began a lifelong friendship with
Humphrey Bogart, when both men co-starred in the film The Petrified
In 1939, Howard landed the unforgettable role of Ashley
Wilkes in Gone with the Wind. He then returned to England to
direct and star in several propaganda films relating to World
including The First of the Few (1942), Pimpernel Smith (1941), and Forty-Ninth Parallel (1941).
Howard died on June 1, 1943, when his plane returning
to England from a visit in Lisbon,
was shot down by the Luftwaffe over the Bay of Biscay.
Sources: “Leslie Howard (1893 - 1943).”American
Jewish Historical Society, American
Jewish Desk Reference, (NY: Random
House, 1999). pg. 461, Wikipedia, Internet Movie Database