Arthur Margetson

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This English actor was highly successful on Broadway, and moderately successful in both UK and US films.
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b. 27 April 1887, London, England, d. 13 August 1951, London, England. Many of Margetson’s stage appearances were on Broadway where he appeared inThe Passing Show Of 1922, with Fred Allen and Gertrude Lang, and The Dancing Girl (1923), with Edythe Baker, Marie Dressler and Jack Pearl. He appeared with Irene Bordoni in the musical Paris (1928), which ran at the Music Box Theatre for 195 performances and had a book by Martin Brown, music and lyrics by Cole Porter, with co-producer E. Ray Goetz also supplying additional music. Most of Margetson’s late 30s and early 40s appearances on Broadway were in non-musical plays, usually light comedies: Nona (1932), A Saturday Night (1933), Mainly For Lovers (1936), Billy Draws A Horse (1939), a 1940 revival of Charley’s Aunt, Flare Path (1942), and Mrs Kimball Presents (1944). He returned to musicals with Park Avenue (1946) and a 72-performance run at the Shubert Theatre. Produced by Max Gordon, the music was by Arthur Schwartz, lyrics by Ira Gershwin, book by Nunnally Johnson and George S. Kaufman. Also in the cast were Dorothy Bird, David Wayne and Mary Wickes. Among the Schwartz and Gershwin songs were ‘Tomorrow Is The Time’, ‘For The Life Of Me’, ‘Don’t Be A Woman If You Can’, ‘There’s No Holding Me’, ‘Land Of Opportunities’, ‘Goodbye To All That’ and ‘Echo’.

Margetson played the central role of Phileas Fogg in an Orson Welles production of Around The World (1946) at the Adelphi Theatre. Welles based the show on Jules Verne’s famous novel, and music, lyrics and incidental music were by Cole Porter. Rightly described as an extravaganza, the show included a circus. Among a huge cast were Larry Laurence as Passepartout and Dorothy Bird as Meerahlah. Also in the cast were Jack Cassidy, Victoria Cordova, Florence Gault, Mary Healy, Guy Spaull, Julie Warren, and Welles himself who appeared as Dick Fix. Margetson’s songs were ‘There He Goes, Mr. Phileas Fogg’ and ‘Wherever They Fly The Flag Of Old England’. In the late 40s Margetson was in a revival of The Play’s The Thing (1948) and Clutterbuck 1949). In the 30s and early 40s, Margetson also had a moderately successful film career in the UK and the USA, appearing in Wolves (1930), Music Hath Charms and Royal Cavalcade (both 1935), Pagliacci andBroken Blossoms (both 1936), Random Harvest (1942) and Sherlock Holmes Faces Death (1943).