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Sandwich People & History

Sandwich People & History: Sydney Greenstreet

Syney Greenstreet's House

Sydney Greenstreet's House, next to the tannery

Greenstreet was a 'Man of Kent', born on 27th December, one of eight children, the son of a tanner in Sandwich.

The photograph show's his house (with the steps up to the front door) - Sydney's father owned the tannery to the rear.

He left at age 18 to make his fortune as a Ceylon tea planter but drought forced him out of business and back to England where eventually, he entered the acting profession.

GreenstreetHe had been on the stage for nearly 40 years before Hollywood gave him sudden fame. His first part was as a murderer called Craigen in 'Sherlock Holmes' in 1902 at the Marina Theatre in Ramsgate, Kent.

He toured England with Ben Greet's Shakespearian company and in 1905 he had his New York debut.

Years of acting in England and America followed with many offers to appear in films. He refused until he was 62, when he appeared in his first film as Kasper Guttman in "The Maltese Falcon," (1941) starring Humphrey Bogart.

In eight years he made twenty four films, all the while beset by diabetes and Bright's disease. In 1949 he retired from cinema, and four years later he died at 75.