• 7 March 1909
  •  San Francisco, California, USA

Phillip Terry


The only child of a San Francisco couple, actor Phillip Terry was born Frederick Henry Kormann on March 7, 1909. His father, a chemical engineer in the oil fields, moved about in his work so Phillip was sent to live with relatives in New Jersey to achieve more stable schooling. Following high school graduation, Phillip worked for a time in the oil fields, with the assist of his father, as a roustabout, a tool pusher and rig builder. He later studied at Sacred Heart College, then Stanford University where he became both a football and track star. It was at Stanford that he also developed an interest in acting. After a brief, unsuccessful stay in New York, Phillip traveled to England and studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (1933). He grew homesick after a few years, however, and returned to America, landing a job in Los Angeles with CBS Radio as a dramatic player of Shakespeare and other classics. As luck would have it, an MGM agent caught one of his broadcasts and set up an interview. Phillip was signed after a successful screen test and groomed in unbilled film bits; one of these movies was Mannequin (1937) starring Joan Crawford, who would figure prominently into his life down the road. Unable to improve his lot at MGM, he signed with Paramount and finally earned higher visibility in such films as The Monster and the Girl (1941), The Parson of Panamint (1941) (title role), Torpedo Boat (1942), and Wake Island (1942). Around this time he, by chance, happened to hook up with actress Crawford. After a whirlwind romance of only six weeks, the pair married in July of 1942. The marriage would not last, however, divorcing a mere four years later. When Phillip left Paramount in the mid-40s, he signed up with RKO. His movies and no performances were no great shakes with such routine fodder as Music in Manhattan (1944) and Pan-Americana (1945) all he could find. His better work came when he was loaned out. Despite the fact that he appeared in more than eighty movies and was a highly personable gent, most of Phillip's roles ended up unbilled or unmemorable. His better pictures, in which he served as a second lead, were the Oscar-winning The Lost Weekend (1945) starring Ray Milland, and To Each His Own (1946) with Olivia de Havilland. As his career waned, he started focusing on real estate and made himself a rich man with smart investments. From the 1950s on he was seen only sporadically in films and on TV. He retired completely in 1973 after suffering the first of what would be a series of strokes. His health steadily declined and he died of pneumonitis in 1993.


Movie Name Release Date
Το χαμένο Σαββατοκύριακο – The Lost Weekend (1945) January 1, 1970