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John Emery (May 20, 1905 – November 16, 1964) was an American stage, film, radio and television actor.

John Emery
John Emery (1958).jpg
John Emery in 1958
Born(1905-05-20)May 20, 1905
DiedNovember 16, 1964(1964-11-16) (aged 59)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Resting placeFerncliff Cemetery and Mausoleum
Years active1937-1964
Known forRoles as a villain
Patricia Calvert
(m. 1926–1929)
Tallulah Bankhead
(m. 1937; div. 1941)

Tamara Geva
(m. 1942; div. 1963)
Parent(s)Edward Emery
Isabel Waldron


Early yearsEdit

Born in New York City, Emery was the son of stage actors Edward Emery (c. 1861 – 1938) and Isabel Waldron (1871–1950). He was educated at Long Island's La Salle Military Academy.[3]


Through the late 1930s to the early 1960s he appeared in supporting roles in many Hollywood films, beginning with James Whale's The Road Back (1937) and ranging from Alfred Hitchcock's Spellbound to Rocketship X-M.


Katharine Cornell, Robert Flemyng and John Emery in a revival of W. Somerset Maugham's The Constant Wife (1953)

Emery appeared on Broadway in John Brown (1934), Romeo and Juliet (1934-1935), The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1935), Flowers of the Forest (1935), Parnell (1935-1936), Alice Takat (1936), Sweet Aloes (1936), Hamlet (1936-1937), Antony and Cleopatra (1937), Save Me the Waltz (1938), The Unconquered (1940), Liliom (1940), Retreat to Pleasure (1940-1941), Angel Street (1941-1944), Peepshow (1944), The Relapse (1950), The Royal Family (1951), The Constant Wife (1951-1952), Anastasia (1954-1955), Hotel Paradiso (1957), and Rape of the Belt (1960).[4]

Peepshow was the first production in which Emery and his second wife, Tamara Geva, appeared together.[5]

Television and radioEdit

Emery was also known for his television work, appearing on programs like I Love Lucy and Have Gun Will Travel. In 1946 he starred in a radio program as detective Philo Vance.

Personal lifeEdit

The only husband of Tallulah Bankhead, the two married on August 31, 1937 in Jasper, Alabama and were divorced on June 13, 1941 in Reno, Nevada. The two remained friendly after their marriage. Emery later married dancer Tamara Geva. Due to their resemblance Emery was often rumoured to be the illegitimate child of John Barrymore.[6] As a child Emery roomed for a while with Barrymore and his first wife, Katherine Corri.[7]

From 1961 to 1964 Emery was romantically involved with actress Joan Bennett, who cared for him during his final illness.[8]


Emery died on November 16, 1964 in New York City, aged 59.[9]

Selected filmographyEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "John Emery of 'Angel Street' Had Cauliflower Ear". New York, Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. February 7, 1943. p. 29. Retrieved November 13, 2015 – via  
  4. ^ "John Emery". Playbill Vault. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
  5. ^ "Emerys Are Together First Time on Stage in 'Peepshow'". New York, Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. January 30, 1944. p. 27. Retrieved November 13, 2015 – via  
  6. ^ Israel, Lee. Miss Tallulah Bankhead. Page 177. Putnam, 1972.
  7. ^ John Barrymore: A Bio-Bibliography c.1995 by Martin Norden
  8. ^ Kellow, Brian. The Bennetts Page 406. The University Press of Kentucky (2004)
  9. ^ Rainho, Manny (November 2015). "this month in movie history". Classic Images (485): 32–33.

External linksEdit