Biography

Born in India to English parents, Philip Merivale began his British stage career at the turn of century. On both London and Broadway stage, Merivale was a star, the sort of actor for whom vehicles were specially written. Perhaps he came into films too late for his star status to remain intact, or perhaps his saturnine facial features were not considered particularly photogenic. Whatever the case, Merivale was relegated to secondary roles during his film years. His screen characters were usually serene and sympathetic, notably the martyred Professor Sorel in the 1942 drama This Land is Mine; but he was also effective as an erudite villain, e.g. his duplicitous Prince Saul in Laurel & Hardy's Nothing But Trouble (1945). His final film role was Judge Longstreet in Orson Welles' The Stranger (1946). Philip Merivale's second wife was British actress Gladys Cooper. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi