John Turnbull, Actor

1880 - 1956


John Richardson Turnbull was born with a bang, on Guy Fawkes day, November 5th 1880, with his father in attendance and delivering his son at 23 High Street, Dunbar. John was the 4th or 5th generation of Turnbulls to train as a physician but before reaching his majority he left the breezy burgh - his father died in 1890 (aged 35) - and headed for “the smoke & the limelight”, to take up acting and “joined” the police, reaching the rank of inspector in 1935 under film director Alfred Hitchcock. He began his stage career in 1901 moving onto films in 1920. He was also known as Stanley Turnbull for a time. Heavy-set and of no-nonsense demeanour, he specialised in authority figures on screen, invariably as policemen, military types or schoolmasters. During World War II, he directed and produced plays for ENSA. He was known for The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934), His Lordship (1936) and Detective Lloyd (1932).

He died aged 75 on February 23, 1956 at St Marleybone, London.

in The Night of the Party (1934)


Actor (98 credits)

 1950    The Happiest Days of Your Life    Conrad Matthews

 1949    The Man from Yesterday    Judge

 1948    Daybreak    Superintendent

 1948    Gas Light (TV Movie)    Sergeant Rough

 1947    So Well Remembered    Morris

 1947    The Hangman Waits    Inspector

 1945    A Place of One's Own    Sir Roland Jervis

 1944    Don't Take It to Heart!    Police Sergeant

 1944    Fanny by Gaslight    Magistrate (uncredited)

 1943    There's a Future in It (Short)    Father

 1943    The Shipbuilders    Baird

 1942    Hard Steel    Mr. Rowlandson

 1941    The Common Touch    Father at School Cricket Match (uncredited)

 1941    Old Mother Riley's Circus    Cinema Manager

 1940    Spare a Copper    Inspector Richards

 1940    Three Silent Men    Inspector Gill

 1940    Spies of the Air    Sir Andrew Hamilton

 1940    Return to Yesterday    Station-master

 1939    Inspector Hornleigh on Holiday    Chief Constable

 1939    The Little Father of the Wilderness (TV Movie)    Chevalier de Frontenac

 1939    Dead Men Are Dangerous    Inspector Roberts

 1939    The Tempest II (TV Movie)    Gonzalo

 1939    The Tempest (TV Movie)    Gonzalo

 1939    Middle-Class Murder (TV Movie)    Mr. West

 1938    London Wall (TV Movie)    Mr. Walker

 1938    Libel (TV Movie)    Undetermined role

 1938    Laburnum Grove (TV Movie)    Inspector Stack

 1938    Julius Caesar (TV Movie)    Decius Brutus/Masala

 1938    Night Alone    Superintendent

 1938    Strange Boarders    (uncredited)

 1938    The Terror    Superintendent Hallick

 1938    Stepping Toes    Representative

 1938    Star of the Circus    Tenzler

 1937    It's a Grand Old World    Auctioneer

 1937    Death Croons the Blues    Actor

 1937    Saturday Night Revue    Minor Role (uncredited)

 1937    Silver Blaze    Inspector Lestrade

 1937    Talking Feet    Lord Mayor (uncredited)

 1937    Make-Up    Karo

 1937    The Angelus    (uncredited)

 1937    The Song of the Road    Bristow

 1936    Shipmates o' Mine    Captain Roberts

 1936    The Conquest of the Air    Von Zeppelin

 1936    His Lordship    Stevenson

 1936    Rembrandt    Minister

 1936    Hearts of Humanity    Mr. Willis

 1936    The Limping Man    Insp. Potts

 1936    Where There's a Will    Detective Collins

 1936    The Amazing Quest of Ernest Bliss    Masters

 1936    Tudor Rose    Arundel (uncredited)

 1936    Soft Lights and Sweet Music    Gramophone Factory Director (uncredited)

 1935    Music Hath Charms    (uncredited)

 1935    Sexton Blake and the Bearded Doctor    Inspector Donnell

 1935    The Black Mask    Inspector Murray

 1935    Line Engaged    Supt. Harrison

 1935    The Passing of the Third Floor Back    Major Tomkin

 1935    The Night of the Party    Insp. Ramage

 1935    The 39 Steps    Scottish Police Inspector (uncredited)

 1935    Radio Pirates    (uncredited)

 1935    A Real Bloke    (uncredited)

 1935    The Lad    Inspector Martin

 1934    Once in a New Moon    Capt. Crump

 1934    The Scarlet Pimpernel    Jellyband

 1934    The Case for the Crown    Prof. Lawrence

 1934    Badger's Green    Thomas Butler

 1934    What Happened to Harkness?    Inspector Marlow

 1934    The Lady Is Willing     Butler (uncredited)

 1934    Lord Edgware Dies    Inspector Japp

 1934    The Girl in the Flat    Inspector Grice

 1934    Music Hall    Collins

 1934    Warn London    Inspector Frayne

 1934    Passing Shadows    Inspector Goodall

 1934    It's a Cop    Inspector Gray

 1934    Tangled Evidence    Moore

 1934    The Rise of Catherine the Great    Rumyantsev (uncredited)

 1934    The Black Abbot    Detective Inspector Lockwood

 1934    The Scotland Yard Mystery    Angry Director of Insurance Company (uncredited)

 1933    Ask Beccles    Inspector Daniels

 1933    Matinee Idol    Inspector North

 1933    Puppets of Fate    Supt. Desabine

 1933    The Man Outside    Inspector Jukes

 1933    The Medicine Man    Police Inspector

 1933    The Umbrella    Governor

 1933    Too Many Wives    (uncredited)

 1933    The Private Life of Henry VIII.    Hans Holbein (uncredited)

 1933    The Shadow    Det. Inspector Carr

 1933    The Iron Stair    Major Gordon

 1932    The Midshipmaid    Officer

 1932    A Voice Said Goodnight (Short)    Inspector Lavory

 1932    The Wickham Mystery    Howard Clayton

 1932    Murder on the Second Floor    Inspector

 1932    Detective Lloyd    Barclay - Scotland Yard Superintendant

 1931    Keepers of Youth    Gordon Duff

 1931    The Man at Six    Inspector Dawford

 1931    77 Park Lane    Superintendent

 1931    Rodney Steps In (Short)    Inspector

 1930    Tons of Money    Sprules

 1920    The Amazing Quest of Mr. Ernest Bliss    Willie Mott (as Stanley Turnbull)