Although the first Europeans to land in what is now the U. S. were English, these days only about 27 million of us (6% of the population) can claim English roots.
Although many Englishman (and women) captivated Hollywood — we believe the most successful men were Ronald Colman and George Arliss –who both starred in silents and made successful transitions to sound.
And the most successful female English immigrant movie star was Elizabeth Taylor. (Did you know that she was born in England?)
Frank insists that we add one more native Britain to this admittedly arbitrary listing. There he is below with a young you-know-who in perhaps his most famous role. Can you name this invaluable English import?
Final note: Earlier this week we noted the work of two Black actors who, although born in the U.S., are considered immigrants to some extent (Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte).
This week one of our favorite actors, Yaphet Kotto, died at the age of 81. Born in the Bronx, he traced his heritage to the West Indies (on his mother side) and the central African nation of the Cameroon (on his father’s).
Kotto lent his formidable presence to dozens of films ranging from 1988’s Midnight Run to 1972’s Across 110th Street to 1991’s Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare to the 1973 James Bond title Live and Let Die as a nasty villain opposite Roger Moore. No matter the role, Kotto performed with great authority, intelligence and dignity. A fine actor.