Classic Entertainment Autographs

Cat. #00403121: ONSLOW STEVENS

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Scarce vintage 6x8-inch glossy restrike of a 1930s portrait, boldly signed in brown fountain pen, probably in the early 1950s. In good condition, with a tiny bend in border at top right and a minute surface chip. Onslow Stevens was working as a stage actor in the late 1920s, with no intention of entering films and following in the footsteps of his father, character actor Housley Stevenson. However, in 1932, he agreed to appear in a screen test with a friend and was immediately implored by Universal Studios to sign a contract. At first a leading man, he quickly established himself in character roles, typically cast as saturnine villains or weak-willed men with the capacity for wickedness. He was mesmerizing in a string of horror, sci-fi, fantasy, mystery, crime, and adventure flicks, including Jungle Mystery (1932), The Secret of the Blue Room (1933), House of Danger (1934), The Vanishing Shadow (1934), Life Returns (1935), Murder with Pictures (1936), The Monster and the Girl (1941), House of Dracula (1945), Angel on My Shoulder (1946), Night Has a Thousand Eyes (1948), The Creeper (1948), Bomba, the Jungle Boy (1949), Mark of the Gorilla (1950), Them! (1954), and The Couch (1962).  Highlights of his work in the "lighter" genres included Once in a Lifetime (1932), Peg o' My Heart (1933) and The Three Musketeers (1935).  From 1952 through 1955, Stevens was cast against type as the kindly Mr. Fisher on the religious T.V. dramatic series "This Is the Life".  He spent his final years in a nursing home where he was reportedly persecuted and brutalized by his fellow patients, and died under mysterious circumstances at the age of 75.