Film Actor: James Mason.
There are not many people that are aware of this fact living in Cookham today, will know that the late James Mason was once a resident in Cookham Dean.
He was born on the 15th of May 1909 in Huddersfield, Yorkshire and died of a heart attack on the 27th of July 1984 at his home in Lausanne, Switzerland.
He was a wartime resident in Cookham Dean and then moved to Hollywood in the late 1940's.
He was educated at Marlborough and Cambridge, where he was studying to become an architect. It was at Cambridge where he took up acting as a lark and the bug bit. Though he was turned down for one part and told to consenentrate on architecture by a fellow student Alistair Cooke of "Letter from America" fame.
He left Cambridge and joined several stock companies and finaly the Old Vic under the wing of Sir Tyrone Guthrie and Alexander Korda. He played for quite awhile as a stage actor, with small parts now and then in small short or quickie films.
He will be best known for his lead with the actress Anne Todd in "The Seventh Veil." It was his mellifluous voice that drew the attention of the cinema crowds. Also in such later film as "North by Northwest" and as Captain Nemo in Jules Vernes "20 Thousand Leagues under the sea."