James Mason is probably the best known English actor of our period, he was enormously successful in England and also made a big impact in the United States. He was born in Huddersfield in 1909 and trained initially as an architect. However he turned to films and became a star of 'quota quickies' in the late 1930s. The war years saw some sterling performances in such films as Secret Mission and Thunder Rock, however it was The Man In Grey which turned the tide, this was the first of Gainsborough's period romances, and brought together Mason and Margaret Lockwood for the first time. The late 1940s saw them both top the popularity polls for several years.

Then in 1947 he went to Hollywood and made a name for himself there, though in slightly different roles to those which had brought him success in England.

More to come...

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