David Manners started out in life as Rauff de Ryther Duan Acklom and claimed to be descended from William the Conqueror. He was educated at Collegiate Grammar School in Windsor, Ontario, and earned a degree in forestry at the University of Toronto, where he also studied acting under Bertram Forsyth, who ran the Hart House Theatre, where Manners made his stage debut in the title role of Euripides’ Hippolytus. The 1935 RKO feature Jalna was based on the novel of the same name by Canadian writer Mazo de la Roche, who was born in Newmarket, Ontario. David Manners played Eden Whiteoak. In 1972, CBC produced 13 episodes of the television series, The Whiteoaks of Jalna, based on the 16 Jalna books written by de la Roche. He costarred with Katharine Hepburn in the 1936 film A Woman Rebels, after which he retired from acting to concentrate on writing. He was coaxed back to the theatre 10 years later, starring in Maxwell Anderson’s play Truckline Cafe. Directed by Elia Kazan and featuring an unknown Marlon Brando, the play ran for 13 performances on Broadway. But in December 1946 Manners scored a great personal success when he took over from Henry Daniell as Lord Windermere in Lady Windermere’s Fan. Designed by Cecil Beaton, the play was a hit in New York and toured for a year, after which Manners announced his permanent retirement as an actor.
The photo of David Manners was scanned from an original in the Northernstars Collection.
Features & TV Movies:
Troopers Three (1929)
Journey’s End (1930)