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A charming, rotund, portly, double-chinned character actor of British and American stage and screen, Robert Morley tended to be cast in jovial or pompous comedic roles. He was educated in England, Germany, France, and Italy, intending to go into diplomacy. He switched to acting and studied theater at London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Morley debuted on the London stage in 1929, and on Broadway in 1938 when he reprised his London performance in the title role of Oscar Wilde. Also in 1938, he debuted onscreen in the Hollywood film Marie Antoinette, portraying the feeble-minded Louis XVI opposite Norma Shearer; for that performance he received a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination. He went on to play supporting roles in many films on both sides of the Atlantic. He was also a playwright; one of his plays, Edward My Son (written with Noel Langley), became a film in 1949. He was frequently seen as a witty, erudite guest on TV talk shows, and he was the TV commercial spokesman for British Airways.

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