George Henry Sanders, also known as George Sanders, was a British actor who worked for almost 40 years and was born on July 3, 1906. He has frequently been cast in smart yet wicked roles because of his strong, upper-class English accent and smooth, bass voice.
He is best known for his roles as Jack Favell in Rebecca (1940), The Saran of Gaza in Samson and Delilah (1949), the year’s most popular film, Sir Brian De Bois-Guilbert in Ivanhoe (1952), King Richard the Lionheart in King Richard and the Crusaders (1954), Shere Khan in Disney’s The Jungle Book (1967), and Simon Templar, The Saint, in five films from the 1930s and 1940s.
Sanders learned to sing and landed a role on stage in Ballyhoo, a short-lived show that helped him establish himself as an actor. He began to perform on the British stage on a regular basis, including several appearances with Edna Best. In The Command Performance, he starred alongside Dennis King. Love, Life, and Laughter, a British film, featured him (1934).
His final roles included ‘Fade Out’ on ITV Sunday Night with Stanley Baker, The Night of the Assassin (1970), Mission: Impossible (“The Merchant”), Rendezvous with Dishonour (1971); Doomwatch (1972), a feature-film adaptation of a contemporary BBC television series; Endless Night (1972), and Psychomania (1973).
Sanders checked into a hotel in Castelldefels, a coastal town near Barcelona, on April 23, 1972, and dialed his friend George Mikell’s number. After consuming the contents of five bottles of the barbiturate Nembutal, he died of cardiac death two days later. He left two suicide notes behind.
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