Paul Cavanagh

William Grigs Atkinson[1] (8 December 1888 – 15 March 1964), known professionally as Paul Cavanagh, was an English film and stage actor. He appeared in more than 100 films between 1928 and 1959.

Paul Cavanagh
Paul Cavanagh in The Woman in Green.jpg
Cavanagh in The Woman in Green, 1945
William Grigs Atkinson

(1888-12-08)8 December 1888
Died15 March 1964(1964-03-15) (aged 75)
London, England
Resting placeLorraine Park Cemetery, Baltimore, Maryland
Years active1928–1959
Spouse(s)Catherine Layfield Luhn (1946–1964)[citation needed]

Life and careerEdit

Cavanagh was born in Felling, Durham. He attended the Royal Grammar School, Newcastle upon Tyne, and Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where he was an undergraduate student. Cavanagh studied law in England, earning a master of arts degree at Cambridge.[2] A newspaper article published 17 June 1931, reported, "It is on record that Cavanagh won high honors in mathematics and history."[3]

Cavanagh practised "for several years" before he changed professions.[4] He went to Canada "for a year of sightseeing and wandering" before he joined and served nine months with the Royal Northwest Mounted Police.[5][6]

After serving in World War I, he returned to Canada, where he practised law, including revising the statutes of Alberta,[7] but eventually went back to England to practise law.

Cavanagh went onto the stage after a stroke of bad luck in 1924 caused him to lose his savings, and later he went into films.

In 1926, Cavanagh lost $22,000 in one evening on a roulette wheel in Monte Carlo. An observer offered to provide a letter "to some of my theatrical acquaintances" in London, England.[8] Those contacts led to Cavanagh's role in Walter Hackett's It Pays to Advertise.[8] He also appeared in Eden Phillpotts' Blue Comet in the West End.

After appearing in a handful of British silent films he moved to the United States. Cavanagh first film contract and film came in 1929 with Paramount Pictures.[9]

Cavanagh died in London from a heart attack in 1964, aged 75.




  1. ^ "Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Cavanagh, 125 F.2d 366 (9th Cir. 1942)". JUSTIA US Law. Justia. Archived from the original on 7 July 2018. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  2. ^ "Studio Flashes". The Age. Australia, Melbourne. 28 August 1937. p. 38. Retrieved 30 June 2016 – via  
  3. ^ "English Scholars in New Bennett Film". The Evening News. Pennsylvania, Harrisburg. 17 June 1931. p. 27. Retrieved 30 June 2016 – via  
  4. ^ "Play's Villain Once a Lawyer". Oakland Tribune. California, Oakland. 19 May 1941. p. 11. Retrieved 30 June 2016 – via  
  5. ^ "A Prince Who Clips No Words". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. New York, Brooklyn. 4 July 1937. p. 50. Retrieved 30 June 2016 – via  
  6. ^ "Ex-Mountie Now in Films". Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. 6 December 1935. p. 22. Retrieved 28 November 2020 – via  
  7. ^ Keavy, Hubbard (5 July 1931). "Screen Life In Hollywood". Bluefield Daily Telegraph. West Virginia, Bluefield. p. 6. Retrieved 30 June 2016 – via  
  8. ^ a b Carroll, Harrison (7 November 1935). "Behind the Scenes in Hollywood". The Bristol Daily Courier. Pennsylvania, Bristol. King Features Syndicate, Inc. p. 4. Retrieved 30 June 2016 – via  
  9. ^ "Paid Though Idle Failed to Suit Paul Cavanagh". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. New York, Brooklyn. 9 October 1931. p. 17.

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