Gene Lockhart

Edwin Eugene Lockhart (July 18, 1891 – March 31, 1957)[1] was a Canadian-American character actor, playwright, singer and lyricist. He became an American citizen in 1939.[1]

Gene Lockhart
Gene Lockhart in A Christmas Carol trailer.jpg
Lockhart in the trailer for A Christmas Carol (1938)
Edwin Eugene Lockhart

(1891-07-18)July 18, 1891
DiedMarch 31, 1957(1957-03-31) (aged 65)
Resting placeHoly Cross Cemetery, Culver City, California
  • Actor
  • singer
  • playwright
Years active1912–1957
(m. 1924)
ChildrenJune Lockhart

Early lifeEdit

Born in London, Ontario, the son of John Coats Lockhart and Ellen Mary (née Delaney) Lockhart, he made his professional debut at the age of six when he appeared with the Kilties Band of Canada. He later appeared in sketches with Beatrice Lillie.[2]

Lockhart was educated in Canadian schools and at the London Oratory School in London, England. He also played football for the Toronto Argonauts.[3]


Lockhart had a long stage career; he also wrote professionally and taught acting and stage technique at the Juilliard School of Music in New York City. He had also written theatrical sketches, radio shows, special stage material, song lyrics and articles for stage and radio magazines.

He made his Broadway debut in 1916, in the musical The Riviera Girl.[4] He was a member of the traveling play The Pierrot Players (for which he wrote the book and lyrics). This play introduced the song, The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise, for which Lockhart wrote the lyrics along with Canadian composer Ernest Seitz. (The song was subsequently made popular by Les Paul and Mary Ford in the 1950s.) He wrote and directed the Broadway musical revue Bunk of 1926. He sang in Die Fledermaus for the San Francisco Opera Association. On Broadway, Lockhart originated the roles of Uncle Sid in Eugene O'Neill's only comedy, Ah, Wilderness! (1933), and Fortesque in Arthur Schwartz's Virginia (1937).[5] In 1949 he took over from Lee J. Cobb as Willy Loman, during the original run of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman.

Film workEdit

However, Lockhart is mostly remembered for his film work. He made his film debut in Smilin' Through (1922), as the Rector, but did not make his sound debut until the film By Your Leave (1934), where he played the playboy Skeets. Lockhart subsequently appeared in more than 300 motion pictures. He often played villains, including a role as the treacherous informant Regis in Algiers (1938), the American remake of Pepe le Moko, which gained him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He also played the suspicious Georges de la Trémouille, the Dauphin's chief counselor, in Joan of Arc (1948), starring Ingrid Bergman. He had a great succession of "good guy" supporting roles including Bob Cratchit in A Christmas Carol (1938) and the judge in Miracle on 34th Street (1947).

Upon the arrival of Orson Welles in Hollywood in 1940, Lockhart wrote a short poem satirizing Welles entitled "Little Orson Annie". The poem was a parody of the 1885 poem "Little Orphant Annie" by James Whitcomb Riley.

Lockhart is remembered as the Starkeeper in Carousel (1956). Playing a bumbling sheriff, he appeared in His Girl Friday (1940) opposite Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell. He also appeared in the movie The Sea Wolf (1941), adapted from the novel by Jack London, as a ship's doctor. His last film role was that of the Equity Board President in the film Jeanne Eagels (1957).


Lockhart has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame—one for motion pictures, at 6307 Hollywood Boulevard, and one for television at 6681 Hollywood Boulevard. Both were dedicated February 8, 1960.[6]

Personal lifeEdit

Lockhart was married to actress Kathleen Lockhart from June 12, 1924, until his death. They had one child together, June Lockhart, through whom he is the grandfather of Anne Lockhart.[7]


Lockhart died April 1, 1957, from a coronary thrombosis at the age of 65 in St. John's Hospital, Santa Monica, California.[8] He is buried next to his wife in Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City.[citation needed]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Gene Lockhart", The Canadian Encyclopedia.
  2. ^ "Heart Seizure Is Fatal To Gene Lockhart". Ocala Star-Banner. April 1, 1957. p. 11. Retrieved November 30, 2015.
  3. ^ Thomas, Nick (December 15, 2014). "June Lockhart remembers "A Christmas Carol" as a family affair". The Londoner. Retrieved May 19, 2017.
  4. ^ "Eugene Lockhart". Playbill Vault. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
  5. ^ Brooks Atkinson (September 3, 1937). THE PLAY: 'Virginia' Opens the Season With a Large Musical Drama at the Center Theatre Theatre Units' Plays Tonight. The New York Times. p. 13.
  6. ^ "Gene Lockhart". Hollywood Walk of Fame. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
  7. ^ "Kathleen Lockhart". Hollywood Walk of Fame. October 25, 2019. Retrieved January 18, 2022.
  8. ^ "Gene Lockhart". The Montreal Gazette. April 1, 1957. p. 37. Retrieved December 1, 2015.


  • "Gene Lockhart of Stage, Screen Actor of Supporting Roles Dies — Had First Broadway Part in 1916", New York Times, April 1, 1957.

Further readingEdit

  • Thomas, Nick (2011). Raised by the Stars: Interviews with 29 Children of Hollywood Actors. McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-6403-6. (Includes an interview with Lockhart's daughter, June)

External linksEdit