The son of a Canterbury mayor and lay preacher, Winter Hall turned his early love of acting into a long and steady Hollywood career. He used friendships forged in Australasian dramatic companies to gain entrée into the silent film world, and became a valuable, “poised and distinguished” supporting actor in over 100 films, including 1925 silent epic Ben-Hur. His career continued unabated through the introduction of the ‘talkies’.
Image credit: Alexander Turnbull Library, B-158-009 (detail)
His ascetic cast of countenance and snow white hair gave him an ideal appearance for a clergyman, a family lawyer, a British nobleman, a stern parent, a prosecuting attorney, a judge … He was so useful as a type that Hollywood never bothered to discover whether he could act or not. Australian newspaper The Morning Bulletin, 1 April 1930, Page 10