“Anyone with a modicum of intelligence and the right kind of physique ought to make a film actor, if they are lucky enough to be told exactly what to do, and I cannot see that the actor for the screen deserves any more credit than a schoolboy who is good at dictation should have for writing admirable prose.” — Ernest Thesiger
Year: 1911. Artist: John Singer Sargent (1856-1925). Charcoal. Size n/a. In a private collection. Thesiger was around 32 years old at the time the portrait was done.
Here is a brief little Thesiger story from 1960. The author is Leonard Lyons, columnist for The Lyons Den:
Henry Hathaway, the director, lunched at a film studio commissary with members of his cast. One was Ernest Thesiger, over 80, a gentle man who used to spend afternoons doing petit-point at Buckingham Palace with the late Queen Mary….At the studio luncheon, a young actor, who’d gone berserk before, suddenly wheeled and placed the point of a steak knife at Hathaway’s throat. Thesiger broke the tension: He slapped down the knife with his own spoon, and said: ‘It’s very rude to point.’
NOTE: I’m not sure about the film being referenced. There was no filmed collaboration between Henry Hathaway and Thesiger that I could find. Thesiger died in 1961.