You probably won’t remember the name, but I am sure that you will remember the face. Edmund Gwenn is probably one of the most famous faces of Santa Claus. He played the man in the red suit in the 1947 movie Miracle on 34th Street.
Gwenn was born Edmund John Kellaway in Wandsworth, London on September 26, 1877 and began actin in the theatre in 1895 at the age of 18. He impressed the playwright George Bernard Shaw who cast him in six of his plays. Gwenn interrupted his acting career to serve in World War I.
Gwenn appeared in over 80 films during his lifetime such as Pride and Prejudice (1940), Of Human Bondage, Cheer Boys Cheer and Miracle on 34th Street. He moved in Hollywood in 1940. He was nominated and received the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his role of Kris Kringle in Miracle on 34th Street. He remarked when receiving the award “Now I know there is a Santa Claus!”
Edmund Gwenn passed away twenty days before his 82nd birthday in 1959. He died from pneumonia after suffering a stoke.