King’s stars on screen – then and now

King's stars on the screen

For many years, King’s alumni have been showcasing their talents on the silver screen. The industry has transformed since the earliest days of cinema, yet King’s stars have shown that talent is timeless.

Then: Boris Karloff

Boris Karloff

The quintessential Hollywood movie star, Boris moved to America after studying at King’s in the early 1900s. He starred in a number of silent movies and is famous for his role as Frankenstein’s monster in the original Frankenstein movies (1931 and 1939). Boris also starred in the original Scarface (1932) and voiced the Grinch in the 1966 animated television version of Dr Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

Boris has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, with one for film and the other for his TV roles.

Now: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje

After graduating with a degree in Criminal Justice in 1989, Adewale’s modelling career led him to Hollywood. He has since starred in a wealth of Hollywood hits including roles in The Bourne Identity, The Mummy Returns, and Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World. He has also appeared in the wildly popular TV show Game of Thrones. In 2016, Adewale followed in Karloff’s footsteps by playing a famous 'Hollywood monster': portraying ‘Killer Croc’ in Suicide Squad.

Adewale is hoping to direct an autobiographical movie as his next project – here’s hoping some scenes will be shot at King’s.

Then: Greer Garson

Greer Garson

Having graduated from King’s with a degree in French, Greer Garson went on to become one of America’s most popular wartime film stars. She won the 1942 Oscar for Best Actress for her portrayal of a wartime mother in Mrs. Miniver, and was also nominated in the same category for her roles in Madame Curie (1943), Mrs. Parkington (1944), and The Valley of Decision (1945).

Greer holds the Guinness World Record for the longest ever Oscar acceptance speech – a whopping five and a half minutes.

Greer also appeared in the first broadcast of Shakespeare for TV, performing an excerpt of Twelfth Night, from North London’s Alexandra Palace in 1937.

Now: Emily Berrington

Emily Berrington

After graduating from King’s with a degree in Geography in 2008, Emily worked briefly for a Labour MP in Westminster, but decided to follow her acting dreams, gaining her first role in the BBC series The White Queen. She hit the big time with film The Inbetweeners 2 and has also starred in TV show including 24: Live Another Day and Channel 4’s Humans.

Despite her stardom on screen, Emily has retained a love for the theatre, staying close to her roots at King’s, where she was a member of KCLSU’s Musical Theatre Society. And recently Emily has been physically close to us too, as she recently performed in Dead Funny at the Vaudeville Theatre, just minutes from King’s Strand Campus.

Then: Edmund Gwenn

Edmund Gwenn

After graduating from King’s in the late 1800s, Edmund Gwenn went on to have a glittering career on stage and screen. He is best remembered for his role as Kris Kringle in the original version of Miracle on 34th Street (1947), for which he won both an Oscar, and a Golden Globe (both awards were for Best Supporting Actor). He won a second Golden Globe and received an Academy Award nomination for the comedy film Mister 880 (1950).

Now: Naju Abu Nowar

Naji Abu Nowar

Naji Abu Nowar, with Theeb stars Jacir Eid Al-Hwietat and Hassan Mutlag Al-Maraiyeh. Credit: Disney ABC Television Group

The only director on this list, Naju Abu Nowar graduated with a degree in War Studies in 2003 before moving into the world of cinema. He is best known for his works Death of a Boxer (2009), Till Death (2012) and Theeb (2014) which was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards in 2016. Theeb also won the BAFTA for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer at the 69th British Academy Film Awards. Now a resident in Jordan, Naji’s film was the first from the country to receive an Oscar nomination.