James Whale (1896 - 1957)

Born: July 22, 1896, Dudley, England
Died: 1957
Former newspaper cartoonist who embarked on a stage career, trying his hand at acting, set designing and directing. Whale, whose homosexuality was an widely known, arrived in Hollywod in 1930 to bring his stage version of Journey's End to the screen. He went on to craft some of the most intelligent and witty films of the horror genre, including the three classics, Frankenstein (1931), The Invisible Man (1933) and Bride of Frankenstein (1935). Whale brought a similar grace and humor to several literary and stage adaptations, including Show Boat (1936) and The Man in the Iron Mask (1939). He abandoned film in the early 1940s (save for a segment of a never-released omnibus film produced in 1949) to try his hand at painting. Whale, who was openly gay, drowned in his swimming pool under suspicious circumstances in 1957.

Biography from Baseline's Encyclopedia of Film