David Manners

Distantly related to Princess Diana on his mother’s side, Nova Scotia-born actor David Manners, nee Rauff de Ryther Daun Acklom, came from well-to-do stock. His father ran the prestigious Tower Road boys’ school Harrow House and later became a literary advisor for E.P. Dutton Publishing Co. in New York. Manners graduated from Trinity School where he first performed on stage as Ferdinand in “The Tempest.” Joining Eva Le Gallienne’s Civic Repertory Co., he forged enduring friendships with the legendary teacher and later with Helen Hayes when both appeared in front of the footlights in the play “Dancing Mothers.” He was discovered for films by director James (“Frankenstein”) Whale who cast the actor in his highly successful movie Journey’s End (1930). From there Manners played opposite Hollywood’s female elite, servicing such stars as Katharine Hepburn, Barbara Stanwyck and Claudette Colbert in well-mounted soapers and tea-service comedies. But he became best known for his participation in horrors where his vital heroes were pitted against the likes of Bela Lugosi’s Dracula (Manners portrayed Jonathan Harker), and Boris Karloff’s Mummy. A lack of interest had Manners eventually abandoning films in 1936 and returning sporadically to the theater. Most of his later years were spent painting and writing novels. He died in 1998.

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