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Charles Laughton

(1899-1962), Actor

Sitter in 19 portraits
Born in Scarborough on 1st July 1899, Laughton followed his father into the hotel trade before studying at RADA in the mid-1920s. He made his professional début on the West End stage in 1926 and three years later appeared in his first feature film, Piccadilly. In 1932 Laughton and his wife, actress Elsa Lanchester, moved to Hollywood. Showing astonishing versatility, he played tyrants, butlers, peasants and advocates in quick succession. Among his most famous roles are Henry VIII (for which he was the first Briton to receive an Oscar), Rembrandt and Captain Bligh of the Bounty, but he is probably most enduringly remembered as Quasimodo, the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

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Charles Laughton, by Anthony Wysard - NPG 6121

Charles Laughton

by Anthony Wysard
pencil and gouache, 1936
NPG 6121

Charles Laughton, by Richard Avedon - NPG P366

Charles Laughton

by Richard Avedon
vintage bromide print, circa 1950
NPG P366

Charles Laughton; Elsa Lanchester, by Sasha (Alexander Stewart) - NPG x193443

Charles Laughton; Elsa Lanchester

by Sasha (Alexander Stewart)
halftone reproduction tear sheet, published 13 February 1929
NPG x193443

Elsa Lanchester; Charles Laughton, by Yvonne Gregory - NPG x11868

Elsa Lanchester; Charles Laughton

by Yvonne Gregory
bromide print, July 1931
NPG x11868

Charles Laughton as Henry VIII in 'The Private Life of Henry VIII', by Tunbridge - NPG x34545

Charles Laughton as Henry VIII in 'The Private Life of Henry VIII'

by Tunbridge
sepia-toned bromide print from original negative, 1933
NPG x34545

The opening night of 'The Private Life of Henry VIII', by George Woodbine, for  Daily Herald - NPG x135050

The opening night of 'The Private Life of Henry VIII'

by George Woodbine, for Daily Herald
modern bromide print from original negative, 24 October 1933
NPG x135050

The opening night of 'The Private Life of Henry VIII', by George Woodbine, for  Daily Herald - NPG x135051

The opening night of 'The Private Life of Henry VIII'

by George Woodbine, for Daily Herald
modern bromide print from original negative, 24 October 1933
NPG x135051

Charles Laughton, by Clarence Sinclair Bull - NPG x35332

Charles Laughton

by Clarence Sinclair Bull
bromide print, 1935
NPG x35332

Charles Laughton, by Howard Coster - NPG Ax136130

Charles Laughton

by Howard Coster
bromide print, 1936
NPG Ax136130

Charles Laughton, by Howard Coster - NPG x12265

Charles Laughton

by Howard Coster
half-plate film negative, 1936
NPG x12265

Charles Laughton, by Raymond J. Hearne - NPG x193451

Charles Laughton

by Raymond J. Hearne
halftone reproduction tear sheet, published 16 December 1953
NPG x193451

John Rothenstein; Charles Laughton, by Desmond O'Neill - NPG x184002

John Rothenstein; Charles Laughton

by Desmond O'Neill
bromide press print, 1 October 1958
NPG x184002

Charles Laughton, by Unknown photographer - NPG x76565

Charles Laughton

by Unknown photographer
bromide print
NPG x76565

Charles Laughton as Rembrandt, by Anthony Wysard - NPG D278

Charles Laughton as Rembrandt

by Anthony Wysard
pencil and watercolour, 1936
NPG D278

Diners at Denham Studios Restaurant, by Anthony Wysard - NPG D312

Diners at Denham Studios Restaurant

by Anthony Wysard
watercolour and pencil, published 1937
NPG D312

Image currently unavailable owing to copyright restrictions

Charles Laughton

by Edward Steichen
gelatin silver print, 1935
NPG P1309

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