William Stack

William Stack
Born (1882-03-05)March 5, 1882
Baker, Oregon, United States
Died January 15, 1949(1949-01-15) (aged 66)
Pasadena, California, United States
Occupation Actor
Years active 1918–45

William Stack was an American actor who began his acting career in Great Britain. Over the course of his career he appeared in over 50 films in the U.S. and the U.K, including such notable films as Mary of Scotland, Captains Courageous, and Gone with the Wind.

Life and career

Stack was born on March 5, 1882 in Baker, Oregon. He began his acting career on the stage in England, before entering the film industry with a starring role in the 1918 British silent film, The Girl from Downing Street.[1] He also starred in the 1922 British film, The Scourge, which also stars Madge Stuart and J.R. Tozer.[2]

In 1930, Stack returned to the U.S., making his American film debut with a featured role in the melodrama, Sarah and Son, starring Ruth Chatterton and Fredric March.[3] He followed this with an appearance as Travis in Derelict, directed by Rowland V. Lee, and starring George Bancroft, Jessie Royce Landis, and William "Stage" Boyd.[4] He finished the year in the small role of Dr. Fowler in The Right to Love, starring Ruth Chatterton and Paul Lukas.[5] In 1931 he only appeared in a single film, the legal drama A Free Soul, in a small role. The film stars Norma Shearer, Leslie Howard, Lionel Barrymore, and Clark Gable.[6] 1932 would see him in another small role, that of a doctor in Payment Deferred, starring Charles Laughton and Maureen O'Sullivan.[7] In Charlie Chan's Greatest Case (1933), starring Warner Oland in the title role, Stack had the minor part of Jack Eagan.[8] Small roles followed in the 1934 films The Fountain, starring Ann Harding, Manhattan Melodrama, starring Clark Gable, William Powell, and Myrna Loy, Wonder Bar, starring Al Jolson, and Chained, starring Gable and Joan Crawford.[9] Before he appeared in the substantial role as Warner Baxter's captain in the war drama, Hell in the Heavens.[10] In 1935 he again had several small roles in such films as Rendezvous, where he played a waiter, as a director in The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo, and as Sir Phillip in The Perfect Gentleman. Stack also played the Judge Advocate, another small role, in the classic 1935 version of Mutiny on the Bounty, starring Charles Laughton and Clark Gable.[11] That year he also had prominent roles in several films. He played a mysterious professor, Henri Fresnel, the father of Wendy Barrie, in the murder mystery, College Scandal.[12] Stack also had a leading role in the historical drama, Becky Sharp, which was notable because it was the first film shot entirely in the new three-strip Technicolor process.[13]

Stack's final screen performance was as the Butler in the 1945 spy film, Confidential Agent, starring Charles Boyer and Lauren Bacall.

Stack died on January 15, 1949 at the age of 66, in Pasadena, California.


(Per AFI database)[9]


  1. "The Girl From Downing Street (1918)". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on January 9, 2016. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
  2. "The Scourge (1922)". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on January 9, 2016. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
  3. "Opinions on Pictures: Sarah and Son". Motion Picture News. March 22, 1930. p. 54. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
  4. "Opinions on Pictures: The Derelict". Motion Picture News. October 18, 1930. p. 61. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
  5. "Opinions on Pictures: The Right to Love". Motion Picture News. December 6, 1930. p. 118. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
  6. "Passing in Review: A Free Soul". Motion Picture Herald. April 25, 1931. p. 36. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
  7. "Casts of Current Photoplays". Photoplay. December 1932. p. 130. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
  8. ""Charlie Chan's Greatest Case"". The Film Daily. October 7, 1933. p. 4. Retrieved January 12, 2016.
  9. 1 2 "William Stack". American Film Institute. Retrieved January 12, 2016.
  10. "Reviews: Warner Baxter in "Hell in the Heavens"". The Film Daily. December 12, 1934. p. 4. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
  11. "Mutiny on the Bounty". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on January 13, 2016. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
  12. "Motion Picture Daily's Hollywood Preview: "College Scandal"". Motion Picture Daily. May 31, 1935. p. 3. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
  13. "Becky Sharp". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on January 13, 2016. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
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