Canadian born actor
aka Eugene Lockhart
Born in London, Ontario, Canada on July 18, 1891. He was the son of John Coates Lockhart and Ellen Mary Delany Lockhart. Father John had studied singing and took a job with the 48th Highlander's Regimental Band. While John took the family along as it toured England, Gene studied at London's Brompton Oratory School.
Returning to Canada when the tour ended, Gene was encouraged by his mother to continue with his musical pursuits and to try his luck on Broadway. At the age of 25 Gene got his first break. In September 1917 he landed a role in The Riviera Girl, a New York based play.
Between acting assignments he wrote for the stage. His first project was The Pierrot Players in 1919. Gene, along with composer Ernest Seitz, wrote The World Is Waiting For the Sunrise, which became a very popular ballad. He followed up with Heigh-Ho in 1920, also doing duty as author, lyricist, and actor.
In 1924, at 33 years of age, he married Kathleen Arthur, an English born actress and musician. They soon became parents with the birth of their daughter June Lockhart in 1925. June was to be their only child.
Gene was a busy man in the late 20s and early 30s. He coached drama for the New York Junior League members in drama and taught dramatic technique at the Julliard School of Music. He also wrote articles for theatrical magazines as well as a column for a Canadian publication.
His big break came when he portrayed the character of Uncle Sid in Eugene O'Neill's comedy Ah, Wilderness!. He starred opposite George M. Cohan. O'Neill was very enthusiastic regarding Lockhart's work. His work earned him a contract with RKO Pictures and a role in By Your Leave (1934). He made the move to Hollywood where he became a fixture.
He returned to Broadway in 1949 when he took over the role of Willie Loman from actor Lee J. Cobb in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman.
In his career Gene Lockhart appeared in over 125 films. He played doctors, judges, and other pillars of society. He also portrayed villains, usually ending up getting his due recompense.
Gene Lockhart suffered a heart attack on March 30, 1957 while sleeping in his Los Angeles, California apartment. He was taken to St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California where he died the following day. Eugene Lockhart was interred at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California.
Gene Lockhart has 2 stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, 1 for his work in film, the other for his TV work.