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Colin Clive (born Colin Glenn Clive-Greig; 20 January 1900 – 25 June 1937) was a British stage and screen actor. His most memorable role was Henry Frankenstein in the 1931 monster film Frankenstein and its 1935 sequel, Bride of Frankenstein.

Colin Clive
Clive in the 1929 production of Journey's End
Colin Glenn Clive-Greig

(1900-01-20)20 January 1900
Died25 June 1937(1937-06-25) (aged 37)
Resting placeChapel of the Pines Crematory
EducationStonyhurst College
Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
Years active1925–1937
Evelyn Taylor
(m. 1922; her death 1929)

Jeanne de Casalis
(m. 1929; died 1937)

Early lifeEdit

Clive was born in Saint-Malo, France, to an English colonel, Colin Philip Greig, and his wife, Caroline Margaret Lugard Clive. He attended Stonyhurst College and subsequently Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, where an injured knee disqualified him from military service and contributed to his becoming a stage actor.[citation needed]

Clive created the role of Steve Baker, the white husband of racially mixed Julie LaVerne, in the first London production of Show Boat; the production featured Cedric Hardwicke and Paul Robeson. Clive first worked with James Whale in the Savoy Theatre production of Journey's End and subsequently joined the British community in Hollywood, repeating his stage role in the film version.[1]


Clive's first screen role, in Journey's End (1930), was also directed by James Whale. Clive played the tormented alcoholic Captain Stanhope, a character that (much like Clive's other roles) mirrored his personal life. He was an in-demand leading man for a number of major film actresses of the era, including Katharine Hepburn, Bette Davis, Corinne Griffith and Jean Arthur. He starred as Edward Rochester in the 1934 adaptation of Jane Eyre opposite Virginia Bruce. He was a descendant of Clive of India and appeared in a featured role in a film biography of his ancestor in 1935.[2][1]

Personal lifeEdit

Clive was rumored to be bisexual.[3] He married Jeanne de Casalis in June 1929, though they were estranged for several years before his death.


Colin Clive suffered from severe chronic alcoholism and died from complications of tuberculosis in 1937 at age 37.[2]

Clive's alcoholism was apparent to his co-stars, as he was often seen napping on set and sometimes was so intoxicated that he had to be held upright for over-the-shoulder shots. Clive was tormented by the medical threat of amputating his long-damaged leg.[4]

Forrest J Ackerman recalled visiting Clive's body: "I actually saw him in death, lying in a bed at a mortuary where it was possible for the public to view his body. He looked remarkably as he had when lying in bed in The Bride of Frankenstein."[5] Over 300 mourners turned out. One of the pallbearers was Peter Lorre.[4] His cenotaph is located at Chapel of the Pines Crematory.





  1. ^ a b Colin Clive on IMDb
  2. ^ a b "Colin Clive, Actor, Dies in Hollywood". New York Times. 26 June 1937. Retrieved 26 September 2017.
  3. ^ Vieira, Mark A. (2003). Hollywood Horror: From Gothic to Cosmic. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. p. 82. ISBN 0-8109-4535-5.
  4. ^ a b Mank, Gregory William (2001). Hollywood Cauldron: Thirteen Horror Films From the Genre's Golden Age. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company. p. 150. ISBN 978-0-7864-1112-2.
  5. ^ "The Bride of Frankenstein". Famous Monsters of Filmland. Vol. 4 no. 6. Santa Rosa, California: Warren Publishing. February 1963. p. 71.
  6. ^ Rowell, George; Jackson, Anthony; Jackson, Tony (1984). The Repertory Movement: A History of Regional Theatre in Britain. Cambridge University Press. p. 71. ISBN 9780521319195.
  7. ^ "Hull Little Theatre - Performers Who Will Be Seen in Next Week's Play". Daily Mail (12462). Hull, England. 12 September 1925. p. 2.
  8. ^ "Little Theatre Anti-Climax - Unworthy Finish to Highly Successful Season". Daily Mail (12512). Hull, England. 10 November 1925. p. 8.


  • Curtis, James (1998). James Whale: A New World of Gods and Monsters. Boston, Faber and Faber; ISBN 0-571-19285-8.

External linksEdit