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Reginald Lawrence Knowles (11 November 1911 – 23 December 1995) was an English film actor who renamed himself Patric Knowles. Born in Horsforth, West Riding of Yorkshire, he made his film debut in 1933, and played either first or second film leads throughout his career. He appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1970s.

Patric Knowles
Patric Knowles.jpg
Born Reginald Lawrence Knowles
(1911-11-11)11 November 1911
Horsforth, West Riding of Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom
Died 23 December 1995(1995-12-23) (aged 84)
Woodland Hills, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1932–1973
Spouse(s) Enid Percival (1935–1995; his death) 2 children: Michael Knowles (born 5/11/1938), Antonia Knowles (12/7/1942)
Parent(s) Lawrence Knowles, Nellie Knowles[1]


Life and careerEdit

On 11 November 1911, Reginald Lawrence Knowles was born in Milton college Horsforth.[2] His father, Lawrence Knowles, was then aged 22 and was working as an accountant clerk, whereas Reginald's mother, Nellie Knowles, was aged 19 and working as a dressmaker. Both parents had only been married for under a year at the time of Knowles birth.[3] He also had two brothers, Phillip and William Knowles.

From the age of 14, Knowles left school and was being prepared to take his place, alongside other relatives, in the family bookbinding business in Leeds.[4] However, Knowles was persistent in following his dreams as an actor and ran away from home at the age of 14, but was brought back. He ran away again in later years, which proved to be more successful. Knowles began his acting career with the British sound films early in 1932, calling himself, Patric Knowles. He later joined the repertory group of the Playhouse Theater in Oxford and began touring with various companies and was involved in some seasons in regional theater, being featured in 14 British films. During the same time, Knowles met Gladys Enid Percival, an actress and homemaker, and married the 23 year old on 3 October 1935.[5]

After a few tours Knowles went to London and appeared in "By Appointment" in 1936, where he was spotted by Irving Asher of Warner Bros. and got a Hollywood contract for more than 2 years.[6]

In 1936 he arrived in New York alongside his wife and appeared in his first American film, Give Me Your Heart (1936), released in Great Britain as Sweet Aloes, Knowles was cast as a titled Englishman of means. In 1939 and at the age of 27, Knowles moved to his new residence with his wife in Tarzana, Los Angeles, California, USA. During his free time Knowles became a licensed private pilot in the late 1930's.

While making The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936) at Lone Pine, California, he befriended Errol Flynn, whose acquaintance he had made in England when both were under contract to Warner Bros. at Teddington Studios. Since that film, in which Knowles played the part of Capt. Perry Vickers, the brother of Flynn's Maj. Geoffrey Vickers, he was cast more frequently as straitlaced characters alongside Flynn's flamboyant ones, notably as Will Scarlet in The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938). Both actors starred as well in Four's a Crowd, also in 1938. More than two decades after Flynn's death, biographer Charles Higham accused Flynn of having been a fascist sympathizer and Nazi spy. Knowles, who had served in World War II as a flying instructor in the Royal Canadian Air Force, came to Flynn's defense, writing Rebuttal for a Friend as an epilogue to Tony Thomas' Errol Flynn: The Spy Who Never Was (Citadel Press, 1990) ISBN 0-8065-1180-X.

He was a freelance film actor from 1939 until his last film appearance, Arnold, in 1973. In the 1940s, he was known for playing protagonists in a number of horror films, including The Wolf Man (1941) and Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman (1943). He was also cast as comic foils in a number of comedies such as Abbott and Costello's Who Done It? (1942) and Hit the Ice (1943), and as the leading man in romantic comedies like Lady in a Jam (1942), in which he co-starred with Irene Dunne. His voice also appears uncredited in the Three Stooges film Punch Drunks (1934), as an announcer heard on a radio. He also appeared opposite Jack Kelly in a 1957 episode of the television series Maverick called "The Wrecker", which was based on a Robert Louis Stevenson adventure and also featured James Garner. He also appeared in Have Gun - Will Travel in 1960 as Phileas Fogg in the episode "Foggbound." Arguably one of his best film roles was also one of his last: his genial portrayal of the rancher John Tunstall in the John Wayne Western Chisum (1970). During his time as an actor he worked with Universal and 20th Century Fox.

Knowles was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

He wrote a novel, Even Steven (Vantage Press, 1960, ASIN B0006RMC2G).

Knowles died from a brain hemorrhage at West Hills Hospital in West Hills, California on 23 December 1995, where he was cremated and his ashes distributed to family and friends.[7] At the point of his death, Knowles left behind his wife Gladys, his 2 children as well as four grandchildren.

Partial filmographyEdit


  1. ^ Retrieved 8 May 2018.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ . Yorkshire evening post. 1984-01-27.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ Mcpeak, William. "Patric Knowles Biography". IMDB. Retrieved 8 May 2018. 
  5. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ Mcpeak, William. "Patric Knowles Biography". IMDB. Retrieved 8 May 2018. 

I'm not sure where this information came from but there are some errors. Patric (Reg) was NOT BOUGHT BACK by his family after running away in his teens. Perhaps the writer meant to say brought back.

At the time of my father's death in 1995 he had no great grandchild.[1]

External linksEdit

  1. ^ daughter of Patric Knowles