When his parents resisted his desire to become an actor, George Coulouris ran away from his home in Manchester, England. After training at London's Central School of Dramatic Art, Coulouris made his first professional stage appearance in 1925 with the Old Vic. In 1929, Coulouris came to Broadway, where he would remain throughout the 1930s save for a brief appearance in the 1933 Hollywood film Christopher Bean. The tall, aristocratic-sounding Coulouris joined Orson Welles's Mercury Theatre, appearing in Welles's 1937 modern-dress version of Julius Caesar. He also appeared as the Rockefeller-like Walter Parks Thatcher in Welles's landmark film Citizen Kane (1941) (for publicity purposes, Kane was advertised as Coulouris' cinematic debut). Most of Coulouris' subsequent film roles were villainous in nature; in 1944, he was Oscar-nominated for his performance as a hateful fascist in Watch on the Rhine, and in 1945 he was top-billed for his role as an incognito Nazi in The Master Race. A victim of Parkinson's disease, George Coulouris still managed to remain active until 1980, when he made his farewell screen appearance in The Long Good Friday.