Born Reginald Truscott-Jones, Milland was born in Wales, UK, on 3 rd January 1907. His acting career started in 1929 in British films, but then he headed for Hollywood in 1930 to try and pursue and enhance his career. For several years he enjoyed supporting roles in movies, and in the mid-1930s went on to enjoy a number of leading roles.
In the 1940s, whilst filming, Milland went up in a plane and decided to do a parachute jump. He was all set to jump when the pilot told him not to because they were running short on gas. The pilot saved Milland’s live that day, as he later found out that the parachute he was going to use was only a prop.
He also suffered another near-fatal accident during the filming of ‘Hotel Imperial’ where he insisted on doing his own stunts and was catapulted into a pile of masonry by his horse. He ended up in hospital for two weeks and was told that he was lucky to be alive.
During the 1950s, Milland turned his hand to directing, and the 1970s saw him return to acting, although in far lower budget productions. He was a man that liked to keep himself to himself, and preferred to settle down with a good book than be in the midst of the Hollywood glitterati. He won a Best Actor Oscar for his movie ‘The Lost Weekend’ and is the only actor ever to have simply bowed and accepted his award rather than launching into a long speech.He died on 10 th March 1986 from lung cancer.
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