12-16-1962

Charles Laughton

CHARLES LAUGHTON, English actor, died (b. 1899); Academy Award winning English stage and film actor best known for his historical roles in films, he started his career as a remarkable stage actor. He had a long and resilient marriage to actress Elsa Lanchester, although, in her autobiography, Lanchester revealed that Laughton was homosexual. According to her own account, she was shocked to learn about this, but eventually decided to remain married to him. However, she claims as a result of this, she decided not to have children with him.

The decision caused him great grief, as he longed to become a father, as many friends of Laughton, among them Maureen O’Hara and Stanley Cortez, have stated. In her autobiographical book, Lanchester relates a story regarding the police approaching Laughton at the door of their London flat, with a young boy whom Laughton had approached in Hyde Park. When Laughton confessed, Lanchester told him not to worry about it, that it didn’t matter. “That’s why he cried . . . when I told him it didn’t matter.”