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William Powell Biography

Birth Name:
William Horatio Powell
Birth Place:
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

Fast Facts

  • An aunt financed his education at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts; his father disapproved of him wanting to become an actor and refused to pay for the classes
  • Was engaged to Jean Harlow at the time of her death in 1937
  • Was diagnosed with rectal cancer in the late 1930s, but survived with treatment
  • Costarred with ex-wife Carole Lombard in My Man Godfrey (1936)
  • Most frequent costar was Myrna Loy, with whom he starred in the Nick and Nora Charles film series


  • 1947Oscar-Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: nominated
  • 1947New York Film Critics Circle-Best Actor: winner
  • 1936Oscar-Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: nominated
  • 1934Oscar-Best Actor: nominated