Stage, Screen, and Television Actor. He is probably best remembered for his film and stage performances with his wife, Jessica Tandy. Born Hume Blake Cronyn in London, Ontario, Canada, he one of five children whose father was a businessman and a local representative of the Canadian parliament and whose mother was an heiress of the Canadian Labatt Brewing Company. He received his primary education at the Rockliffe Preparatory School (now called Elmwood School) from 1917 to 1921. After leaving Elmwood, Cronyn attended Ridley College in St. Catharines, where he switched his major from pre-law to drama and McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He continued to study drama at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Manhattan, New York City, New York. In 1934, he made his Broadway debut as a janitor in "Hipper's Holiday" and became known for his versatility, playing a number of different roles on stage. In 1942 he married actress Jessica Tandy. His first Hollywood film was Alfred Hitchcock's "Shadow of a Doubt" (1943), and later appeared in Hitchcock's "Lifeboat" (1944), and worked on the screenplays of "Rope" (1948) and "Under Capricorn" (1949). He and Tandy starred in a short-lived (1953 to 1954) radio series, "The Marriage" that was based on their earlier Broadway play, "The Fourposter. In July 1958 the show moved from radio to television, with him producing as well as acting in the show, and it ran for one season. With Tandy, he starred in the films "The Seventh Cross" (1944, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for best supporting actor), "The Green Years" (1946), "Cocoon" (1985), "*batteries not included" (1987), and "Cocoon: The Return" (1988), as well as the plays "The Gin Game" (1976) and "Foxfire" (1982, which he co-wrote). Other notable films that he appeared in include "Ziegfeld Follies" (1946), "The Postman Always Rings Twice" (1946), "Brute Force' (1947), "Sunrise at Campobello" (1960), "There Was a Crooked Man..." (1970), "Rollover" (1981), and "The Pelican Brief" (1993). He also made television appearances, like "The Barbara Stanwyck Show," the "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" episode "Kill With Kindness" (1956) and "Hawaii Five-O" episodes "Over Fifty, Steal" (1970) and "Odd Man In" (1971). In 1964 he won a Tony Award for his performance as 'Polonius' opposite Richard Burton's "Hamlet." In 1990 he won an Emmy Award for his role in the television movie "Age Old Friends." In 1991 his autobiography "A Terrible Liar" was published. After Tandy died in 1994, he married author/playwright Susan Cooper (with whom he had co-written "Foxfire") in 1996. In 1998 he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada and was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame in 1999. He died of prostate cancer at the age of 91. During his 69-year professional acting career, he appeared in over 50 films (including 17 television movies) and 30 stage productions.
Bio by: William Bjornstad