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Vesey Alfred O'Davoren (Davoren) (Dublin, December 8, 1888 - LA, May 30, 1989), British soldier and film actor.[1]

File:Miniature of Captain Vesey O'Davoren presented January 15 1916 by the artist John Morley.jpg

Miniature of Captain Vesey O'Davoren, presented January 15, 1916, by the artist John Morley.


Davoren was a son of Vesey Henry William Davoren (1862-1944), an Irish surgeon, Major R.A.M.C.,[2] His mother was Edith Anne, daughter of Alfred Hoyte, late Surgeon 61st Regiment. His parents had married in January 1888 and by 1915 they were living at Geeler House, Risbygate, Bury St Edmunds and Mrs Davoren was President of the local branch of the League of Pity.[3] There is a Davoren Walk in Bury.

He was educated at St. Paul's School, London; Trinity College Dublin (TCD); and R.C.S.I. He qualified L.R.C.S.I., 1884 and L.R.C.P.I., 1886, and entered A.M.S. 1887. He was promoted Major, 1889 and retired 1907. He was Mayor of Bury St. Edmunds in 1912. He was re-employed during the Great War at Bury St. Edmund's and died at Redhill, January 23, 1944.[4]

His younger brother Lucius Andrew Vesey Davoren held a patent for an Improved method of mechanically wiping goggles or other translucent eye protectors (1933/34).

World War One

He enrolled in the British Army's 7th Suffolk Regiment, under the command of Colonel Charles Douglas Parry Crooke. In October 1915 his Company (B) was massacred in action around the Hohenzollern Redoubt, just after the Battle of Loos.

The 7th Battalion of the Suffolk Regiment's War Diary,[5] 13 October 1915, states that:

Davoren ... was wounded [shot in foot and then side] in the action on the Hohenzollern Redoubt on October 11th, but continued to lead his Company until killed by a shot from a machine gun.

-Officers Killed

  • Major Currey (Vere Fortrey), ("an unsurpassed linguist". Killed commanding ‘B’ Company in the first attack upon the south side of the “Hair-pin”);
  • Captain Cobbold (Charles Augustus), (a pre-war director of the brewing magnates Ind, Coope and Co.);
  • Captain Sorley (Charles Hamilton) (the poet);
  • Lieutenant Gedge (Peter);
  • Lieutenant Wood (Geoffrey Dayrell);
  • 2/Lieutenant Hartopp (Charles William Liddell);
  • 2/Lieutenant Lee (Richard).

-Severely wounded

  • 2/Lieutenant Smith (Donald Claude) died that day.

-Officers Wounded

  • Major Henty (George Herbert), (died 30 Nov. 1917)


  • Lieutenant Davoren (V. A.) [only survivor].

Davoren was rescued, carried for two miles, by Sergeant-Major Martin, of Bury.[6]

Film career

In his youth, as an undergraduate, before World War One he acted in Dublin's Abbey Theatre.[7] In the 1914-1919 war he was wounded thrice and was at one time reported dead. He temporarily lost his voice in a German mustard gas attack, and was given six months to live if he moved to a dry climate. He arrived in Hollywood, California, with his wife in 1920 where he acted in silent films before recovering his voice. He also directed plays and was in an early Hollywood Bowl production of The Pied Piper, taking the title role. He had changed his name to O'Davoren on arriving in America, on applying for U.S. Citizenship, perhaps aware of the romanticism of the Clann O'Dabhoireann and the American fondness for things Irish.[8] Between 1927 and 1957, he appeared in circa 67 films, mostly as butlers.[7][9]

1920s (x1)
  • Winds of the Pampas (1927), as Eusabio.
1930s (x43)
  • The Mandarin Mystery (1936), Mason - Kirks' butler
  • Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936), party guest
  • Vamp Till Ready (1936)
  • London By Night (1937), as Bobby
  • Hound Of The Baskervilles (1939), as ship's steward
  • Raffles (1939), as David Niven's butler
  • The Lady Objects (1938), as Langham
  • Ants in the Pantry (1936) as Gawkins the butler (a Three Stooges short)
  • Violent is the Word for Curly (1938), Professor Hicks (a Three Stooges short)
  • Ladies in Love (1936), as Fritz, (a Three Stooges short)
  • The Devil to Pay! (1930), butler
  • Female (1933), footman
  • Shall We Dance (1937), ship's bartender
  • Jimmy the Gent (1934), James Cagney's second steward
  • Springtime for Henry (1934), as a butler
  • Shipmates Forever (1935), as Converse, Dick Powell's butler,
  • The Lone Wolf Returns (1935), as Stewart's (Gail Patrick) butler Joseph
  • Stella Dallas (1937) as Helen's butler at wedding
  • The Little Princess (1939) as orderly
  • Lord Jeff (1938) as Steward . Queen Mary Steward
  • Shall We Dance (1937) as Steward or ship's bartender
  • Let's Get Married (1937) as butler
  • Wife, Doctor and Nurse (1937), as Butler
  • She Asked for It (1937), as Fletcher
  • She Had to Eat (1937), as Waiter
  • It's All Yours (1937), as Valet
  • Dracula's Daughter (1936), as Butler
  • Lloyd's of London (1936), as Waiter
  • The White Angel (1936), as Thompson, butler
  • The Golden Arrow (1936), as Butler
  • The Right to Live (1935), as waiter
  • Clive of India (1935), as Assistant surveyor
  • Folies Bergère de Paris (1935), as Man in Montage
  • The Dark Angel (1935), Voice at station (voice, uncredited)
  • The Girl from 10th Avenue (1935), as servant (scenes deleted)
  • The Love Captive (1934), as Second butler
  • Coming Out Party (1934), as second butler
  • British Agent (1934), as secretary, Henderson
  • Four Men and a Prayer (1938), Vincent a flunky
  • The Last of Mrs. Cheyney (1937), ship steward
  • I Found Stella Parish (1935), deck steward
  • Stranded (1935), Tuthill's butler
  • Going Hollywood (1933), waiter in bar with message
1940s (x9)
  • My Son, My Son! (1940), as the butler
  • Blondie's Reward (1948), as Dickson or Dickson's butler
  • A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1949), as castle servant
  • I Love Trouble (1948), Lilly, as butler
  • If Winter Comes (1947), as Tybar, butler
  • The Emperor Waltz (1948), as butler
  • Dark Delusion (1947), as butler
  • The Late George Apley (1947), as Minister
  • Forever Amber (1947), as Fop
1950s (x14)
  • Until They Sail (1957), as Minister/Reverend, Delia's Wedding
  • Diane (1956), as valet
  • The Scarlet Coat (1955), as butler
  • The King's Thief (1955), as courier
  • Brigadoon (1954), as townsman
  • Let's Do It Again (1953), as Gary's Butler
  • All the Brothers Were Valiant (1953), as the Minister
  • Million Dollar Mermaid (1952)
  • Kind Lady (1951), as pedestrian
  • The Milkman (1950), as Carter's butler
  • Please Believe Me (1950), as ship's Maitre D'Hotel
  • Rogues of Sherwood Forest (1950)
  • The Son of Dr. Jekyll(1951) as Utterson's butler
  • Telephone Time (TV Series), (1956), the episode: She Also Ran (1956), as President's Aide.[9][10][11]


File:Ivy de Verley, Mrs Vesey O'Davoren, painted by John Morley & presented to her husband in 1916, 3 x 2.5 inches, oval.jpg

Ivy de Verley aka Mrs. Vesey O'Davoren, presented January 15, 1916, by the artist John Morley.

Ivy Flossie 'Madame' de Verley, (Kingston, Jamaica, 27 July 1879 - LA, December 27, 1963, aged 84), daughter of Jamaican merchant Louis Francois Verley (1817-1901).[12] She survived the November 1907 Kingston earthquake, though her first husband (she had married Richard Walter Bradley in 1905) was killed,[13] they lived at lived at Bamboo Cottage, Kingston. A portrait painter. She was photographed by James McBey.

Involved with or conducted the Scarab Salon in London she was said to have studied with Sir William Orpen and Richard Jack, R.A. (1866-1952). She also studied in Berlin with Clara Berkowski (Königsberg, 1857-). She made portraits of, amongst others, Nola Luxford, Raymond Blathwayte (1855-1935), (journalist and film actor), James McBey, Alan Odle and Halliwell Hobbes. Some of her "Life Masks" were shown at the New York Independent exhibition (Raymond Blathwayte and James McBey), and at the Southwest Museum, the spring exhibition known as "Selected Work by Western Painters", Los Angeles Museum, May 1922/1923.

She also exhibited at: Independents, NYC, 1924, Society of Independent Artists, the Waldorf-Astoria, New York, from March 7 to March 30, inclusive.[14] and Salons of America.

Her works were in the collections of the: Civic Club, NYC; Orange Co. (CA) Museum Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA); Freelance Art League (LA), 1925; Pasadena Art Institute, Pasadena, 1928; Ebell Club (LA), 1920s (she was a member); Surf and Sand Club, Hermosa Beach, California, 1925; Friday Morning Club (LA), 1930.[15][16][17]

They married on or by January 15, 1916, perhaps having met while he was in the Chelsea Hospital, London.[18]

In 1922 she and Vesey had built a 2,500 square foot house in West Hollywood, California, in Hollywood's Sunset Strip, near Beverly Boulevard and Sunset Las Palmas Studios, at 2049 North Las Palmas Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90068. It still exists.[19] [20]


  1. spanning silent, black and white, colour and tv)
  2. Son of Lt. Col. Vesey Davoren, JP, & Agnes, daughter of Richard Jeffreys, J.P., of Swansea, Major 23rd Regiment.
  3. Bury Free Press, October 1915.
  5. Suffolk Regiment's War Diary, Suffolk Record Office in Bury St Edmunds.
  6. 'The Gallant 7th Suffolks.'/ 'Charge for the Hohenzollern Redoubt.'/ 'Lieut. Vesey A. Davoren wounded.'/ 'Heroic Rescue by Bury NCO.', Bury Free Press, 30 October 1915.
  7. 7.0 7.1 'Find a Grave', with thanks to Frank Reighter (1938-2017)
  8. The O'Davorens of Cahermacnaughten, Burren, Co. Clare by Dr. George U. Macnamara, 'Journal of the North Munster Archaeological Society' 4:2 (1913), pages 194-211.
  9. 9.0 9.1 IMDB
  10. Thanks to Frank Reighter (1938-2017). Organizer (1987-1995) of the Three Stooges Conventions, and the Three Stooges Fan Club Meetings (1999 - 2015).
  11. Alan Goble, The Complete Index to Literary Sources in Film, Walter de Gruyter, 1999.
  12. Of Verley & Robinson Ltd, which had a wharf in Kingston, Jamaica, and issued their own currency or aluminium token system, for loaves of bread, such as 'GOOD FOR 1d LOAF'. (Dix Noonan Webb, Mayfair, April 2014, Lot 924, KINGSTON, Verley & Robinson Ltd, square aluminium Three-Halfpence Loaf, Verley & Robinson ltd, stamped 4451, rev. value, 1.73g/12h (Lyall 211; cf. Prid. 155; Roehrs 1221). Very fine and very rare £100-150).
  13. The son of Dr Samuel Messenger Bradley, Bradley went to Magdalene College, Cambridge to read Maths.
  14. no jury, no prizes
  15. Edan Milton Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940", 2002 (third edition), Crocker Art Museum, page 146.
  16. Nancy Dustin Wall Moure Southern California Artists 1890 - 1940, 1979
  17. Ferdinand Perret (1888-1960) research files and material on California art and artists, 1769-1942
  18. A wedding present of miniature portraits of the couple are inscribed on their backs: miniature of Captain Vesey O'Davoren presented to his wife on the occasion of their marriage Jan 15 1916 by the artist John Morley. Captain O'Davoren fought in the world war, attached to the 7th Suffolk Regiment & was wounded 3 times & gassed and miniature of Ivy de Verley (portrait painter) who is Mrs Vesey O'Davoren, painted by John Morley & presented to her husband in 1916- (3 x 2.5 inches, oval), by John Morley, possibly this is the British surgeon John Morley (1885 - 1974), Croix de Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur; MRCS and FRCS 1911; MB ChB Manchester 1908; ChM 1911; LRCP 1911. A master surgical craftsman, Professor of Surgery in Manchester. He was invalided home at the end of 1915 with severe jaundice and dysentery and he spent the rest of the war doing his military duties, civilian hospital work, and private practice at the same time.'
  19. Sold (for sale) in 2017/2018 for $1,499,000.
  20. Is it just us, or does the rent on this 1922 Hollywood one-bedroom, one bath two-story Spanish style house seem kind of reasonable? The house was originally built for actress [sic] Vessey [sic] O'Davoren, who the listing claims was in 'London by Night' and 'Hounds [sic] of the Baskervilles'. (Although IMDB begs to differ.) The two-story house, which is roughly 800 square feet [sic], features hardwood floors, refrigerator and dishwasher, and a one car garage. The real estate agents are asking $1,800 per month [$6,046 per month in 2018] for a one-year lease. LA Curbed, 'Rent Check: 1920's Hollywood Hills Guest House', by Marissa Gluck, February 2, 2009, 12:13pm PST
  • Alan Goble, The Complete Index to Literary Sources in Film, Walter de Gruyter, 1999.
  • Bury Free Press, Bury St Edmunds' newspaper, Suffolk, UK, 30 October 1915
  • Edan Milton Hughes, Artists in California, 1786-1940, 2002 (third edition), Crocker Art Museum, page 146.
  • Nancy Dustin Wall Moure, Southern California Artists 1890 - 1940, 1979.

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