Frank Vosper

Frank Permain Vosper (15 December 1899, in London – 6 March 1937) was an English actor who appeared in both stage and film roles and a dramatist, playwright and screenwriter.[4][5]

Frank Vosper
Actor & playwright Frank Vosper.jpg
Publicity still, autographed: 1933
Frank Permain Vosper[1][2]

(1899-12-15)15 December 1899
Died6 March 1937(1937-03-06) (aged 37)
at sea
Cause of deathaccidental drowning
OccupationActor, dramatist/playwright, screenwriter[3]


Vosper made his stage debut in 1919 and was best known for playing urbane villains.[6][7]

His extensive stage experience included appearing in his own play Love from a Stranger (1936), adapted from the short story "Philomel Cottage" by Agatha Christie.[8][9]

His screenplays included co-writing the comedy No Funny Business with Victor Hanbury (1933).[10] He also co-wrote the adaptation of G.B. Stern's novel Debonair with the novelist which opened at the Lyric 23 April 1930. [11]

He also wrote People Like Us, based on the case of Edith Thompson and Frederick Bywaters.[12] Banned by the Lord Chamberlain after a performance at the Strand Theatre featuring Atholl Fleming,[13] it remained unperformed until 1948, when it premiered at Wyndham's Theatre in London, with Miles Malleson, George Rose, Robert Flemyng and Kathleen Michael.[14]


Vosper drowned on 6 March 1937, when he fell from the ocean liner SS Paris.[15] The death was eventually ruled as accidental after considerable media speculation.[16] Several newspapers reported that earlier in the evening Vosper had been attending a farewell party for Miss Muriel Oxford, "Miss Great Britain" of 1936, in her cabin, and that he had threatened suicide if she refused to marry him. Miss Oxford reported that her last conversation with Vosper was "quite normal" and that he never threatened suicide.[17][18][19] According to the Daily Express Fiction Library edition of Murder on the Second Floor, Vosper fell from the French ocean liner SS Normandie, while contemporary newspaper accounts and the evidence produced at the inquest stated it was the liner SS Paris.[2][20][17][18][19]



Year Title Role Notes
1926 Blinkeyes Seymour (film debut)
The Woman Juror Morgan Short
1929 The Last Post Paul
1932 Rome Express M. Jolif
1933 Strange Evidence Andrew Relf
1934 Waltzes from Vienna Prince Gustav
Dick Turpin Tom King
Red Ensign Lord Dean
Jew Suss Karl Alexander
Blind Justice Dick Cheriton
The Man Who Knew Too Much Ramon Levine
Open All Night Anton
1935 Royal Cavalcade Capt. Robert Falcon Scott
Heart's Desire Van Straaten
Koenigsmark Maj. Baron de Boise
1936 Spy of Napoleon Napoleon III
Secret of Stamboul Kazdim (final film role)


Year Title
1932 Murder on the Second Floor
Rome Express
1933 No Funny Business
On Secret Service
1937 Love from a Stranger (based on his play)
1941 Shadows on the Stairs (based on his play)
1947 Love from a Stranger (based on his play)



  1. ^ National Probate Calendar, 1937, p. 245
  2. ^ a b ""Found Drowned" Verdict at Vosper Inquest". Eastbourne Gazette. 7 April 1937. p. 17.
  3. ^ "Frank Vosper Biography, Movie Highlights and Photos".
  4. ^ "Frank Vosper".
  5. ^ League, The Broadway. "Frank Vosper – Broadway Cast & Staff - IBDB".
  6. ^ Wearing, J. P. (27 March 2014). The London Stage 1920-1929: A Calendar of Productions, Performers, and Personnel. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 9780810893023 – via Google Books.
  7. ^ "Frank Vosper".
  8. ^ "Frank Vosper Biography, Movie Highlights and Photos".
  9. ^ "Philomel Cottage".
  10. ^ "No Funny Business (1933)".
  11. ^ Dundee Evening Telegraph Saturday 06 March 1937
  12. ^ Kabatchnik, Amnon (1 January 2010). Blood on the Stage, 1925-1950: Milestone Plays of Crime, Mystery, and Detection : an Annotated Repertoire. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 9780810869639 – via Google Books.
  13. ^ "Music and Drama" Sydney Morning Herald 21 December 1929
  14. ^ "CONTEMPORARY ARTS » 15 Jul 1948 » The Spectator Archive".
  15. ^ "Reading Eagle - Google News Archive Search".
  16. ^ "Frank Vosper Biography, Movie Highlights and Photos".
  17. ^ a b "Reading Eagle - Google News Archive Search".
  18. ^ a b "Nevada Mail - Google News Archive Search".
  19. ^ a b "The Owosso Argus-Press - Google News Archive Search".
  20. ^ "Prescott Evening Courier - Google News Archive Search".

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