George Sanders : 1972 Obituary

1972 Obituary

The GAZETTE, Montréal, Wednesday, April 26, 1972

Film's No. 1 'cynic' George Sanders dies

… BARCELONA – (UPI) – British actor George Sanders, suave sophisticate of the movies, died yesterday in a Spanish resort hotel of an overdose of sleeping pills, leaving a note saying he was committing suicide "because I am bored… and have lived long enough."
… The 65-year-old Sanders, who delighted playing the cynic and was typecast many times as a blasé lover and ma 5b4 n of the world, was found dead in a room of the seaside luxury hotel Rey Don Jaime at Casteidelfels, near Barcelona.
… A police spokesman said Sanders had checked into the hotel alone two days ago. He said five empty tubes of Nembutal were found in his room.
… The official Spanish news agency said Sanders left behind a one-line note reading: "I am committing suicide because I am bored. I feel I have lived long enough."


… A police spokesman said authorities were investigating further and had ordered an autopsy into the death of the actor who was born in Russia of British parents.
… The manager of the hotel, who refused to give his name, said he found the body yesterday morning. Sanders, former husband of actress Zsa Zsa Gabor, had left orders for an early morning call, but there was no reply.
… Sanders made his American motion picture debut as Madeleine Carroll's villainous husband in "Lloyd's of London." It followed stage and screen successes in England and won Sanders a long-term contract with 20th Century Fox.
… The urbane, six-foot-three actor's pictures also included "Picture of Dorian Gray," "Forever Amber," "Call Me Madam," "All about Eve," "Touch of Larceny" and "Rebecca."
… Miss Gabor, Sanders' second wife, once described him years after their divorce as "a slight cad," but wit 16d0 h no apparent tones of bitterness. She said that it was on a bed he made with her in 1953 that she became an actress.


Sanders was labeled Hollywood's No. 1 cynic in the years after The Second World War. In 1946, the handsome actor enraged clubwomen with the remarks:
… "Women are strange little beasts. I agree with that old verse: 'A woman, a dog and a walnut tree – the more you beat them the better they be.'"
… Sanders was born July 3, 1906, the son of an English rope manufacturer who worked in St. Petersburg. His father plied a successful trade there until the revolution when he and his family fled to England.
… Choosing science as his goal, Sanders studied textiles at the Manchester Technical School and later went into the textile business.
… He went to South America to operate tobacco plantations in Argentina and Brazil, but the venture failed with the world depression of the late 1920s and 1930s.


… When he returned to England, an uncle who had been in Opera suggested he take singing lessons. Sanders was "discovered" at a party and he began singing in London musicals which led to his film career.
… He didn't sing in motion pictures, however, until 1953 when he made "Call Me Madam."
… Sanders married Benita Hume, widow of actor Ronald Coleman, February 10th 1959, in a ceremony at the British consulate at Madrid. He was in Spain for work on the picture "Solomon and Sheba" at the time.
… His previous marriages were October 27, 1940 to Elsie M Pool and April 2, 1949, to Zsa Zsa. In 1970 he married Zsa Zsa's sister, Magda, whom he divorced last year after less than two months.
… On hearing the news of Sanders' death, Zsa Zsa said, "I'm heartbroken. He was the love of my life. I saw George only two weeks ago in Spain. He was all right then and looking for a new house. I am terribly depressed at this awful news."

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Re: 1972 Obituary

George Sanders left behind a suicide note that kept his image as a bored man of the world intact, but at the end he was a depressed, lonely and unhappy man. He had a stroke, lost his beloved wife, brother and mother the same year and was suffering from dementia. He wrote three notes, one of them to his sister telling her it was better this way. He could be rude, difficult, but that was a mask for an insecure, compassionate and intelligent man. A great actor.