Shop by the Stars aisle featuring Phillips Holmes (1907-1942) vintage movie cards, still photos, ephemera, and other collectibles.
Son of actors Taylor Holmes and Edna Phillips, Phillips Holmes—his unusual first name was his mother's surname—was born in Grand Rapids, MI. A well-educated young man who made a couple of bit appearances in films featuring his father, and then director Frank Tuttle found Holmes at Princeton and cast him in Varsity (1928), earning the young actor a contract with Paramount. His first couple of years there were filled with stops and starts as Holmes was shifted to the stage and relegated to bits and small roles such as he played in The Wild Party (1929) starring Clara Bow. Stairs of Sand (1929) was a lift in stature, as was The Return of Sherlock Holmes (1929) starring Clive Brook. Holmes made a further impression in musical Pointed Heels (1929) and opposite Nancy Carroll in The Devil's Holiday (1930), but saw his breakthrough come on loan to Pathé for Tay Garnett's Her Man (1930) opposite Helen Twlevetrees. Popular features that followed include The Criminal Code (1930) at Columbia, Stolen Heaven (1931) with Carroll again, Paramount's An American Tragedy (1931) for Josef von Sternberg, and Broken Lullaby (1932) for Ernst Lubitsch. Over to MGM Holmes went for Night Court (1932), The Secret of Madame Blanche (1933), and smaller parts in bigger pictures like Dinner at Eight (1933) and Penthouse (1934). He was also in Goldwyn's Nana (1934), the unfortunate flop that debuted Anna Sten in America. Then he appeared in a few British films before returning for Chatterbox (1936) with Anne Shirley and General Spanky (1936), his final Hollywood film starring, you guessed it, "Spanky" McFarland. Holmes made a couple more movies in England, then took to the stage, and then, at the start of World War II, joined the Royal Canadian Air Force with his brother (mother Edna Phillips was born in Canada). Following his graduation from the Air Ground School in Winnipeg, Holmes and six others were killed in a mid-air collision over Armstrong, Ontario. He was just 35. An interesting actor who never seemed to get his due, Holmes especially shines in any of his more prominent roles released between 1931-33.
Birthday: July 22