John Bryan



John Bryan was born Bradfield Bryan Leavitt in Denver, Colorado, on November 16, 1905. His father was William Homer Leavitt (1871-1951), a well-known American portrait painter. His mother was Ruth Bryan (1885-1954), the daughter of William Jennings Bryan (1860-1925; politician, presidential candidate, and Secretary of State). After his parents’ bitterly fought divorce, Bradfield was placed in the care of his grandfather for several years, and he began using the name John Bryan. His mother remarried and made a political career of her own as a Florida Congresswoman and ambassador to Denmark. John developed an interest in poetry and published three slim volumes. In the 1930s, he became a Shakespearean stage actor before making four Hollywood films: A Tale of Two Cities (1935), Camille (1936), The Garden of Allah (1936), and Romeo and Juliet (1936). He died of barbiturate poisoning under somewhat mysterious circumstances on January 2, 1943, in New York City.