Actor Vernon Steele was known as a "British actor," but he was, in fact, born in Santiago, Chile on this day in 1882. He was the son of a music professor of Italian descent and an English mother, he was christened Arturo Romero Antonetti (he often used the "R" as an initial before Vernon--he is credited this way in some sources). His family relocated to Great Britain when he was young. He got his start on the stage and was a lifelong performer on Broadway. He appeared in his first film in 1915, the Clara Kimball Young film Hearts In Exile, a full length feature (59 minutes) directed by James Young for World Film. He appeared regularly in films up through 1923 ; he then had a hiatus in film appearances between 1924 (in which he acted in only two pictures) and 1929--years he spent on the stage, mostly Broadway. When he returned, he had a role in the all sound Big News in 1929. He then acted intermittently in film all through the 1930's and 1940's. He last film appearance came in 1949 in Vincent Minnelli's Madam Bovary in which he played the priest. His last appearance in front of the camera came on an early television series The Life Of Riley in the episode Night School in 1949. Steele died in Los Angeles 6 years later on the 23rd of July of a heart attack, he was 72 years old. He was cremated and his ashes were placed in a vault at the Chapel of the Pine Crematory also in Los Angeles.
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