George Zucco

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ZuccoGeorge Desylla Zucco (11 January 1886 – 27 May 1960) was an English character actor who appeared, almost always in supporting roles, in 96 films during a career spanning two decades, from 1931 to 1951. He is fondly remembered for his roles in classic horror films, usually as a suave villain.

Zucco was born in Manchester, Lancashire, England. His mother, Marian (née Rintoul), was English and ran a dressmaking business; she was a former lady-in-waiting to Queen Victoria. His father, George De Sylla Zucco, was a Greek Merchant. He debuted on the Canadian stage in 1908. He and his wife Frances toured the American vaudeville circuit during the 1910s, their satirical sketch about suffragettes earning them renown.He returned to Great Britain and served as a lieutenant in the British Army’s West Yorkshire Regiment during World War I. He became a leading stage actor of the 1920s, and made his film debut in 1931, playing Eugene Godefroy Cavaignac in The Dreyfus Case, an early British re-telling of the Dreyfus Affair.
Zucco500fullZucco returned to the United States in 1935 to play Benjamin Disraeli alongside Helen Hayes in Victoria Regina, and appeared with Gary Cooper and George Raft in Souls At Sea (1937). His best known film role was that of Professor Moriarty in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939), opposite Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson. During the 1940s, he took every role he was offered, landing himself in B-films and Universal horror films, including The Mummy’s Hand (1940), The Mummy’s Tomb (1942), The Mad Monster (1942), The Mad Goul (1943), Dead Men Walk (1943), The Mummy’s Ghost (1944), House of Frankenstein (1944), and Tarzan and the Mermaids (1948). He was reunited with Basil Rathbone in another Sherlock Holmes adventure, Sherlock Holmes in Washington,  this time playing not Moriarty, but a Nazi spy.
Zucco GorillaHe retired due to illness, after playing a bit part in David and Bashsheba in 1951. Kenneth Anger, in his 1988 book Hollywood Babylon II, claimed that Zucco died in a madhouse, convinced that he was being haunted by H.P. Lovecraft’s creation Cthulhu, and that Zucco’s wife and adult daughter committed suicide in response to the loss. However, in reality, Zucco died from pneumonia in an assisted-living facility in 1960, aged 74. His daughter Frances (1931-1962) died of throat cancer aged 30, and his widow died from natural causes in 1999 (aged 99).




Zucco-Fez Brotherhood

Partial Filmography

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    •    Dreyfus (1931)
    •    There Goes the Bride (1932)
    •    The Midshipmaid (1932)
    •    The Roof (1933)
    •    The Man from Toronto (1933)
    •    The Good Companions (1933)
    •    Autumn Crocus (1934)
    •    The Lady Is Willing (1934)
    •    What Happened Then? (1934)
    •    Road House (1934) (uncredited)
    •    Something Always Happens (1934) (uncredited)
    •    What’s in a Name? (1934)
    •    It’s a Bet (1935)
    •    Abdul the Damned (1935)
    •    The Man Who Could Work Miracles (1936)
    •    Sinner Take All (1936)
    •    After the Thin Man (1936)
    •    Parnell (1937)
    •    Saratoga (1937)
    •    London by Night (1937)
    •    Souls at Sea (1937)
    •    The Firefly (1937)
    •    Madame X (1937)
    •    The Bride Wore Red (1937)
    •    Conquest (1937) (uncredited)
    •    Rosalie (1937)
    •    Arsène Lupin Returns (1938)
    •    Three Comrades (1938) (uncredited)
    •    Lord Jeff (1938)
    •    Fast Company (1938)
    •    Marie Antoinette (1938) (uncredited)
    •    Vacation from Love (1938)
    •    Suez (1938)
    •    Charlie Chan in Honolulu (1938)
    •    Arrest Bulldog Drummond (1939)
    •    Captain Fury (1939)
    •    The Magnificent Fraud (1939)
    •    The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939)
    •    Here I Am a Stranger (1939)
    •    The Cat and the Canary (1939)
    •    The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939)
    •    New Moon (1940)
    •    The Mummy’s Hand (1940)
    •    Arise, My Love (1940)
    •    Dark Streets of Cairo (1940)
    •    Topper Returns (1941)
    •    The Monster and the Girl (1941)
    •    A Woman’s Face (1941)
    •    International Lady (1941)
    •    My Favorite Blonde (1942)
    •    The Mad Monster (1942)
    •    Dr. Renault’s Secret (1942)
    •    The Mummy’s Tomb (1942)
    •    The Black Swan (1942)
    •    Dead Men Walk (1943)
    •    Sherlock Holmes in Washington (1943)
    •    Never a Dull Moment (1943)
    •    The Black Raven (1943)
    •    Holy Matrimony (1943)
    •    The Mad Ghoul (1943)
    •    House of Frankenstein (1944)
    •    Voodoo Man (1944)
    •    The Mummy’s Ghost (1944)
    •    The Seventh Cross (1944)
    •    Fog Island (1945)
    •    Sudan (1945)
    •    Midnight Manhunt (1945)
    •    Week-End at the Waldorf (1945)
    •    Confidential Agent (1945)
    •    The Flying Serpent (1946)
    •    Scared to Death (1947)
    •    The Imperfect Lady (1947)
    •    Lured (1947)
    •    Where There’s Life (1947)
    •    Captain from Castile (1947)
    •    Desire Me (1947)
    •    The Pirate (1948)
    •    Tarzan and the Mermaids (1948)
    •    Who Killed Doc Robbin (1948)
    •    Joan of Arc (1948)
    •    The Secret Garden (1949)
    •    The Barkleys of Broadway (1949)
    •    Madame Bovary (1949)
    •    Let’s Dance (1950)
    •    David and Bathsheba (1951) (uncredited)




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