‘King Solomon’s Mines’ star Granger, 80, dies

Stewart Granger, the tall, suave star of adventure films such as “King Solomon’s Mines,””The Great White Hunter” and more than 60 other movies, died Monday. He was 80.

The actor died at Saint John’s Hospital & Health Center following a lengthy battle with cancer, said hospital spokesman Gary Miereanu.

Born James Lablanche Stewart in Britain, he starred in local theater revues in the 1930s.

He made his film debut in “So This Is London” in 1939. With a break to serve in World War II,he became a regular on British screens throughout the 1940s.

Granger came to the United States in 1950 to star in “King Solomon’s Mines,” changing his name to prevent being confused with actor James Stewart.

The actor stayed in Hollywood to play virile leading men in romantic swashbuckling films, including a remake of “The Prisoner of Zenda” in 1952 and “Salome” in 1953.

More recently, he starred in “The Wild Geese” in 1978, a film about mercenaries in Africa.

Granger became a U.S. citizen in 1956. He continued to star in films in Europe, including “Sodom and Gommorah” in 1961 and “Requiem for a Secret Agent” in 1966.

He also was among the many actors to portray Sherlock Holmes, starring in a 1972 television movie version of “The Hound of the Baskervilles.”

In 1989, he appeared with Rex Harrison in a Broadway revival of “The Circle.”

Miereanu said he had few details about Granger’s illness.

“All I can tell you is that he had been in and out of the hospital for several months,” Miereanu said.

Granger is survived by three daughters and a son.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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