Pdf is free of charge. 

Shayle Gardner

Shayle Gardner 1890–1945 was born in Devonport, Auckland.

His larger-than-life father took the family to California and later left Shayle there to fend for himself at age nine. Shayle returned to relatives in Auckland, attended Kings College and took part in amateur dramatics and became something of a stage entrepreneur.

In 1912 he was in London and in 1913 on the London stage. In 1915 he attempted to enlist but required an appendicectomy so returned to New Zealand where he did enlist, returned to England, was sent to France and in 1918 was promoted to Captain as Officer in Charge of the New Zealand Divisional Theatre. In fact he led the “Tuis”, later the “Kiwis”, the Pierrot group of performers who entertained the troops.

After discharge he rejoined London theatre and in 1922 played in his first movie, Poetic Licence, after which he starred in several important films, with such success that he was dubbed “the British Rudolph Valentino”. He starred in George Bernard Shaw’s new play Saint Joan in 1924 with Sybil Thorndyke as Joan.

In 1929 he tried his luck in Hollywood, but after several successful movies, visa difficulties soon saw him back in England, on stage and making talkies.

Shayle Gardner
Download PDF