Nelson Leigh
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Nelson Leigh

Nelson Leigh (born Sydney Talbot Christie, January 1, 1905 - July 3, 1985) was a prolific motion picture actor of the 1940s and 1950s.

Early years

Born in Mississippi, Leigh was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Christie.[1] He was a graduate of the University of Southern California, class of 1929.


Leigh appeared on Broadway in Hamlet (1945).[2]

Leigh made over 130 appearances in motion pictures of the era, mainly in supporting roles. He appeared in the cult science fiction movie World Without End as Dr. Gailbraithe. Later in his career he appeared mainly on television, such as in the 1955 anthology drama series Police Call [3] and in popular TV shows such as "Perry Mason", Bonanza and The F.B.I. and in a 1950 episode (#21) of the TV series The Lone Ranger He made regular appearances in the Christian television anthology series, This Is the Life, in the recurring role of Pastor Martin.

Leigh tended to play authority figures such as military officers and clergymen, but also played roles varied as Jesus Christ in a Christian film The Living Bible and numerous villains. He also played the Apostle Paul in the "Life of St. Paul" series and again in the "Acts of the Apostles" series. In 1954, he played a priest, Father Kerrigan, in the western film, Jesse James v. the Daltons. [4]

On stage, Leigh portrayed Jesus Christ in multiple years in the annual production of the Pilgrimage Play in the Hollywood Pilgrimage Bowl.[5]

In 1949, he portrayed the Ghost of Christmas Past in a notoriously low-budgeted half-hour television version of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, with Vincent Price as narrator and Taylor Holmes as Ebenezer Scrooge.


In 1949, the American Association of Religious Film Directors gave Leigh its Best Actor Award for his portrayal of the Christus in The Calling of Matthew.[6] He won a "Christian Oscar" in 1953 from the National Evangelistic Film Foundation for his work in two series, The Living Bible and This Is the Life.[7]

Selected filmography


  1. ^ "Actor's Father Dies Walking to 'Heaven'". The Palm Beach Post. Florida, West Palm Beach. Associated Press. August 30, 1940. p. 16. Retrieved 2018 – via access
  2. ^ "("Nelson Leigh" search results)". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on 16 February 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  3. ^ "TV Guide, Police Call episode listing". Retrieved 2010.
  4. ^ "TV Guide, Nelson Leigh list of films". Retrieved 2017.
  5. ^ "Pilgrimage Play Signs Nelson Leigh for Role". The Los Angeles Times. California, Los Angeles. June 15, 1945. p. 21. Retrieved 2018 – via access
  6. ^ "Filmland". The Minneapolis Star. Minnesota, Minneapolis. February 28, 1949. p. 11. Retrieved 2018 – via access
  7. ^ "Tell Winners Of Religious Film Honors". Des Moines Tribune. Iowa, Des Moines. March 17, 1954. p. 9. Retrieved 2018 – via access

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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