Prolific British stage actor who came to America in 1916 and starred as a romantic lead on Broadway. Although Atwill made his screen debut in 1916, he is best known as the suavely menacing villain (most often a sinister mad doctor) of countless Hollywood horror films of the 1930s and 40s, most notably "Doctor X" (1932), "The Mystery of the Wax Museum" (1933, an especially superb performance), "Murders in the Zoo" (1933) and "The Hound of the Baskervilles" (1939). He was also memorable as the stolid, one-armed police chief doggedly searching for the monster in the horror sequel, "Son of Frankenstein" (1939). Rather stocky in middle age, with an incisive manner and a rich voice beautifully suited to the delivery of ruefully ironic dialogue, Atwill also gave a fine account of himself as one of several men dangerously obsessed with Concha (Marlene Dietrich) in Josef von Sternberg's memorable "The Devil Is a Woman" (1935).
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