Hume Cronyn

Died June 16th, 2003

FAIRFIELD, Conn. - Hume Cronyn, a veteran stage and screen actor who charmed audiences with his portrayals of irascible old men and frequently paired up with his wife, Jessica Tandy, has died of cancer. He was 91.

Cronyn died of prostate cancer Sunday at his home in Fairfield, Conn., a family spokeswoman said.

Cronyn, known to modern audiences for his roles in the 1980s "Cocoon" movies, was a seasoned stage actor, making his theater debut in 1931 as a paperboy in "Up Pops the Devil."

He and Tandy were married for nearly 52 years at the time of her death from ovarian cancer in September 1994.

The couple were honored at the 1994 Tony Awards with the first-ever Special Lifetime Achievement Award.

Cronyn was known for his versatility as an actor. He played a wide variety of characters on stage, including a janitor in "Hippers' Holiday," in his Broadway debut in 1934; the gangster Elkus in "There's Always a Breeze," 1938; and Andrei Prozoroff, the brother in Chekov's "Three Sisters," 1939.

He made his film debut in 1943 as the detective story addict Herbie Hawkins in Alfred Hitchcock's "Shadow of a Doubt."

After Cronyn appeared in Hitchcock's "Lifeboat" in 1944, a critic in the New York World-Telegram wrote: "Hume Cronyn is one of the most vivid young character actors to come along in Hollywood in quite a time."

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