James Mason

Born into a wealthy family in Yorkshire, England, on May 15, 1909, James Mason got his start in British films -- most notably The Man in Grey (1943) -- before hopping the pond for Hollywood, where his distinctive voice and handsome face made him endlessly employable.

Equally at ease playing villains and leading men, Mason carved out a remarkably prolific career: Highlights include Oscar nominations (but no wins) for roles in A Star Is Born (1954), Georgy Girl (1966) and The Verdict (1982), as well as memorable parts in Julius Caesar (1953), 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954), Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest (1959), Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959), Stanley Kubrick's Lolita (1962) and The Pumpkin Eater (1964).

The versatile actor died of a heart attack on July 27, 1984, in Switzerland at the age of 75.