George Brent was an Irish film and television actor in American cinema.
He was born George Brendan Nolan in Raharabeg, County Roscommon on the opposite bank of the River Shannon from the town of Shannonbridge, County Offaly, Ireland, to a family with a history of British Army service. However, during the Irish War of Independence, Brent was part of an IRA Active Service Unit as early as 1920, carrying out IRA directives. He fled with a bounty set on his head by the British, although he claimed only to have been a courier for guerrilla leader and tactician Michael Collins.
He eventually moved to Hollywood where he made his first film in 1930. Signed to a contract with Warner Brothers, Brent carved out a successful career as a top-flight leading man of the late 1930s and 1940s. Highly regarded by Bette Davis, he became her most frequent male co-star, appearing with her in thirteen films, including Front Page Woman, Special Agent, The Golden Arrow, Jezebel, The Old Maid, Dark Victory and The Great Lie. Brent also played opposite Ruby Keeler in 42nd Street, Greta Garbo in The Painted Veil, Madeleine Carroll in The Case Against Mrs. Ames, Jean Arthur in More Than a Secretary, Myrna Loy in Stamboul Quest and The Rains Came, Merle Oberon in ‘Til We Meet Again, Ann Sheridan in Honeymoon for Three, Joan Fontaine in The Affairs of Susan, Barbara Stanwyck in The Purchase Price, The Gay Sisters and My Reputation, Claudette Colbert in Tomorrow Is Forever, Dorothy McGuire in The Spiral Staircase, Lucille Ball in Lover Come Back and Yvonne De Carlo in Slave Girl. Brent drifted into “B” pictures from the late 1940s and retired from film in 1953. He continued to appear on television until 1960, starring in the series Wire Service in 1956. In 1978, he made one last film, the made-for-television production Born Again.