A mild-mannered 1930s leading man who claimed to be descended from William the Conqueror, David Manners was born Rauff de Ryther Duan Acklom in Halifax, Nova Scotia, at the turn of the century, April 30, 1900. Manners attended Collegiate Grammar School in Windsor and then received a B.S. in forstry from the University of Toronto. After he fnished school, he held down a variety of jobs in Canada and England.
When Manners' parents moved from Canada to Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, Manners moved to Manhattan to try his luck as an actor. He was seen in a series of stage roles before his relocation to Hollywood and his movie debut in the war drama Journey's End (1930), directed by James Whale. Several films, including roles in Universal's Dracula (1931) and The Mummy (1932) followed shortly after.
Manners acted in three dozen additional features, retiring from the screen in 1936. He wrote a few novels before returning to the stage in director Elia Kazan's Truckline Cafe, in which he appeared with Marlon Brando on Broadway. After acting in several other productions, including a well-received revival of Oscar Wilde's Lady Windemere's Fan, Manners devoted himself once again to his writing.
He was deeply interested in philosophical themes and metaphysics throughout his life. David Manners died December 23, 1998, in Santa Barbara, California.
--from The Mummy, DVD
supplementary material, Universal, 1999
A selection of David Manners films.
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A selection of David Manners in books.
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