Edmund Gwenn (September 26, 1877 - September 6, 1959) was an Academy Award-winning English theatre and film actor.
Born Edmund Kellaway in Wandsworth, London, England Gwenn started his acting career in theatre in 1895. Playwright George Bernard Shaw was impressed with his acting, and cast him in the first production of Man and Superman , and subsequently in five more of his plays. Gwenn's career was interrupted by his military service during World War I, however after the war ended he started appearing in films in London. (Cecil Kellaway was his cousin.)
Gwenn appeared in more than eighty films during his career, including the 1940 version of Pride and Prejudice , Cheers for Miss Bishop , Of Human Bondage , and The Keys of the Kingdom . He is perhaps best remembered for his role as Kris Kringle in Miracle on 34th Street , for which he won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Upon receiving his Oscar, he said "Now I know there is a Santa Claus!" He received a second nomination for his role in Mister 880 (1950). Near the end of his career he played one of the main roles in Alfred Hitchcock's The Trouble with Harry (1955). He has a small but hugely memorable role as a Cockney assassin in another Hitchcock film, Foreign Correspondent (1940)
In 1954, Gwenn played Dr. Harold Medford in the classic science fiction film Them! with James Arness and James Whitmore.
Edmund Gwenn died from pneumonia after suffering a stroke, in Woodland Hills, California. He was cremated and his ashes are stored in the vault at the Chapel of the Pines Crematory in Los Angeles, California.
Edmund Gwenn has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1751 Vine Street for his contribution to motion pictures.