Charles Laughton Birthday & Fun Facts

Height, Age, Net Worth, Biography & More

Aishwarya Ingle
Sep 01, 2023 By Aishwarya Ingle
Originally Published on Aug 30, 2022
Edited by Jade Scott
Fact-checked by Chandan Shukla
In this article, we will find out all about Charles Laughton.
All ages
Read time: 6.3 Min

About Charles Laughton

Charles Laughton was born on July 1, 1899, in Scarborough, Yorkshire, England.

He was a successful actor of his time. Charles Laughton was an English-American actor who moved from theater plays to movies.

Charles Laughton was trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. He started in theater in 1927. Charles Laughton's Hollywood journey began with 'The Old Dark House'. He even directed a few Broadway plays. Charles Laughton, with his roles as proud historical characters like Henry VIII and Caption Bligh, became typecast for such roles.

To break this cycle, he signed for modern roles like an Italian vineyard owner, an American admiral, and a Victorian butler. Charles Laughton was a film director for 'The Night Of The Hunter'. The movie was a commercial flop and was the only movie he ever directed. Laughton produced '3 For Tonight', a musical revue, in 1955.

Charles Laughton served in World War I when he was a teen. He was gassed while serving with the 2/1st battalion of Huntingdonshire Cyclist Battalion. He later served in the seventh battalion for the Northamptonshire Regiment. Apart from his acting skills, Charles Laughton is also known for his deep and penetrating yet soft and velvety voice.

Charles Laughton Net Worth, Earnings & Spending Habits

What was Charles Laughton’s net worth?

Charles Laughton's net worth at the time of his death was estimated to be $2 million. The majority of his net worth was income accrued from film and theater activities.

How much did Charles Laughton earn per year?

There is no information available about what the yearly income of Charles Laughton was.

Height, Age & Physical Attributes

How tall was Charles Laughton?

Charles Laughton was 5 ft 8 in (173 cm) tall.

How old was Charles Laughton?

Charles Laughton, born on July 1, 1899, died on December 15, 1962, in Hollywood, California. At the time of his death, he was 63 years old. Charles Laughton died of renal cancer and was in a coma for some time before passing. Before his death, he was admitted to a hospital for a ruptured disc and collapse of the vertebra.

Childhood And Education

Charles Laughton was born on July 1, 1899, in Scarborough, North Riding of Yorkshire, England. His parents were Yorkshire hotel keepers, where Charles Laughton worked from time to time. His mother's name was Eliza Laughton, and his father was Robert Laughton. Eliza sent Charles to the local all-boys Scarborough College for a time.

She later transferred him to Stonyhurst College, which was a renowned English Jesuit school. Charles had two siblings, Tom Laughton and Francis Laughton. Tom Laughton was on 'Hollywood Greats', a docuseries that profiled various Hollywood stars.

While working at the hotel, Charles performed in many theater plays in Scarborough. Noticing his passion for acting, the family enrolled him in the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1925, where he was trained by Claude Rains. Charles Laughton met his future wife Elsa in Arnold Bennett's 'Mr. Prohack'.

Charles received a standing ovation for his acting skills in Paris as he was the first English actor to appear there. His career slowly commenced from theater to film, where he was cast in multiple movies. His first Hollywood movie was 'The Old Dark House' in 1932, where he played the role of a Yorkshire businessman. In the future, Charles Laughton had to leave the London theater altogether and move to Hollywood due to the successful reception of his movies.

Family, Romance, And Relationships

Who was Charles Laughton’s partner?

Charles Laughton married Elsa Lanchester in 1929. Charles and Elsa met as co star of a play in 1927. Elsa Sullivan Lanchester was also a famous theatre, film, and television actress. Charles Laughton did not have any children with her.

There are a few theories like infertility and inept abortions that explain why the couple was not bestowed with children. According to the biographer Charles Higham, the couple or Elsa simply did not want kids. The couple remained happily married until Charles' death in 1962.

Career And Professional Highlights

Best Known For…

Charles Laughton was an English-American actor who was best known for his role as the arrogant Henry VIII in 'Private Life Of Henry VIII'. That role landed him international recognition, fame, and an Academy Award for best actor in a lead role.

To break the stereotype that he can only person classical roles of dishonest, arrogant characters, he signed movies like 'They Knew What They Wanted' and 'The Tuttles of Tahiti'. He played the roles of the Italian Vineyard owner and a patriarch to break the archetype.

Charles Laughton's acting skills were known for bringing dark and dull characters to life. His acting in ‘Payment Deferred’ where he played the role of a murderous clerk, was critically appraised.

The success of Charles Laughton's movies released in the ’30s established his reputation as one of the most admired Hollywood actors. His best work includes a few movies like 'Mutiny On The Bounty', 'The Huntchback of Notre Dame', ‘Les Misérables’, and ‘The Barretts Of Wimpole Street’.

Charles Laughton was known for his sharp and penetrating voice. His voice is preserved on a 10-inch disc titled 'Voice Of The Stars', which was issued from 1934 to 1938.

An album titled 'The Story Teller A Session With Charles Laughton' was released posthumously, which was the collection of snippets from Charles Laughton's stage shows. The album won The Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Recording in 1962.

The excerpts of the album are broadcasted on thanksgiving day on Minnesota Public Radio.

Charles Laughton's first color film was shot in Paris. He played the role of Inspector Maigret in 'The Man On The Eiffel Tower'.

Charles Laughton's last film was 'Advice & Consent' in 1962, where his portrayal of a US senator was widely acclaimed.

What awards did Charles Laughton win?

Charles Laughton was nominated for and won numerous awards, including the prestigious Academy Awards.

In 1933 Charles Laughton won the Academy Award for Best Actor In A Leading Role for 'Private Life Of Henry VIII'.

In 1935 he was nominated for Academy Award for Best Actor In A Leading Role for 'Mutiny On The Bounty'.

In 1957 he was again nominated for the academy award for Best Actor In A Leading Role for 'Witness For The Prosecution'. Charles Laughton, for his immense contribution to film and cinema, was indicted with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7021 Hollywood Boulevard in 1960.

Charles Laughton also won the New York Film Critics' Circle Award for two of his movies, 'Mutiny On The Bounty' and 'Ruggles Of Red Gap' in 1935.

Other Interesting Charles Laughton Facts And Trivia

  • Charles Laughton was the godfather of Mary Poppins or actress Karen Dotrice.
  • He was a close friend of Burgess Meredith.
  • Charles Laughton was on the cover of Time magazine in 1952, which covered his stage production 'Don Juan In Hell'.
  • He was the mystery guest on the famous television show 'What's My Line' in 1951.
  • Charles Laughton and his wife became US citizens in 1960.
  • In 1928 Charles Laughton was the first actor ever to play Agathe Christie's famous detective Hercule Poirot.
  • He developed a strong voice by shouting a lot during his stage years.
  • Charles Laughton became the archetype for playing the arrogant character after acting as Henry VIII in 'Private Life Of Henry VIII' and Captain Bligh.
  • Charles Laughton's lifestyle was detrimental to his health. The constant smoking and drinking gave him renal cancer.
  • Charles Laughton traveled to China for a few months to understand his character in 'Checkmate'. He played the role of a missionary who returned from China.
  • Charles Laughton, with Paul Gregory, directed many Broadway plays like ' The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial'.

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Charles Laughton Birthday & Fun Facts Facts

Birth Name

Charles Laughton

Date of Birth


Date of Death




Place of Birth



173 cm


Actor, Producer, Director

Net Worth



Elsa Laughton


Robert, Eliza


Francis, Tom
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Written by Aishwarya Ingle

Bachelor's degree specializing in Economics, Master of Journalism and Mass Communication

Aishwarya Ingle picture

Aishwarya IngleBachelor's degree specializing in Economics, Master of Journalism and Mass Communication

With a Master's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, Aishwarya has a passion for writing and brings a humorous touch to her work. Prior to joining Kidadl, she produced news articles for various sites. Alongside her professional experience, Aishwarya has volunteered as a teacher for Childline and holds a degree in economics.

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