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Heggie, Otto Peters (known as OP) 1877-1936

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Born: 17 September 1877 [Angaston, South Australia]

Died: 7 February 1936 [Los Angeles, California, US]

OP Heggie was born in Angaston, in South Australia's Barossa Valley, in 1879. He was educated in Adelaide and attended the Elder Conservatorium at the University of Adelaide. Heggie made his stage debut at Adelaide's Theatre Royal in Stolen kisses in 1899. He became a member of WF Hawtrey's theatre company and appeared in many stage productions.

Heggie made his debut on the London stage in 1906. He appeared in many plays including George Bernard Shaw's Androcles and the lion and The School for Scandal. Arthur Conan Doyle praised Heggie's portrayal of his character Sherlock Holmes as the best he had ever seen. Heggie first toured America in 1907 appearing in the play Nance Oldfield with Ellen Terry, one of the foremost stage actresses of the day. Until the late 1920s he appeared regularly on the stage in London and New York.

He appeared in his first film Trelawny of the Wells in 1928. Heggie became known as a character actor and throughout the 1920s and 30s appeared in a number of films. His most well known role is that of the hermit who befriends the creature in 1935s The Bride of Frankenstein.

Key achievements

1899: Made stage debut at Adelaide's Theatre Royal

1907: Toured America with Ellen Terry

1928: Film debut in Trelawny of the Wells

1935: Appeared in his most famous film role; in The Bride of Frankenstein

Did you know?

Heggie's performance as the blind hermit who befriends the monster in The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) was parodied by Gene Hackman in Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein (1974).

Further reading

Porter, Hal. Stars of Australian stage and screen, Adelaide : Rigby, 1965, pp. 69-72

Robbins, Jim. 'Our Sherlock was 'the best', Advertiser, 22 December 1975, p. 27, col. a, b


Australians in Hollywood [National Portrait Gallery] See: Biographies: O.P. Heggie

The Internet Broadway Database (IBDB) Search for: Heggie, O.P.

The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) Search for: Heggie, O.P.

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