• 17 January 1864
  •  Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

David Torrence


David Torrence was the second child born out of eleven children to Henry Torrance Thomson and Janet Bryce. Davis given name was 'David Bryce Thomson." Born on Jan 17,1863 in Edinbough,Scotland. David's brother was character star 'Ernest Torrence' who was 15 years younger than David. Ernest was the first of the two to come to California and become actors. Educated in both England and Germany, David moved with equal ease from stage to screen in the early part of the 20th century. Following the completion of the classic silent films Tess of the D'Urbervilles (1913) with the legendary stage actress Minnie Maddern Fiske, and The Prisoner of Zenda (1913), however, David returned to focus on Broadway plays and enjoy life on a Mexican ranch. A steep reversal of fortunes aggravated a necessary return to Hollywood following World War I, and, fortunately for his fans, he stayed for nearly two decades. Playing a number of leads during his silent heyday, many of them men of influence, his portrayals of stern-faced villains may not have rivaled that of brother Ernest, but David made for quite a contemptible gent in a few. In his first sound picture, the historical drama Disraeli (1929), he played an austere-looking anti-Semitic head of the Bank of England whose refusal to finance the Suez canal results in action taken by Prime Minister Disraeli, played by George Arliss. David also went on to lend Arliss prime support in the comedy drama A Successful Calamity (1932), and in another biopic history lesson, Voltaire (1933). Come the advent of sound, his characters continued to prestigious characters (bankers, merchants, lawyers, and attorneys), but grew smaller in size until he faded out in unbilled parts, such as in The Dark Angel (1935) and Lost Horizon (1937). Comedy fans might remember David for his performance as Scots attorney Mr. Miggs in the Laurel and Hardy feature Bonnie Scotland (1935). His last roles included, Rulers of the Sea (1939) and Stanley and Livingstone (1939). David Torrence died Dec 26,1951 Beverly Hills, Ca. and is buried at the Inglewood Cemetery while others give 1951.