Leslie Fenton (Leslie Carter Fenton)

Leslie Fenton

Leslie Fenton was born on 12 March 1902 in Liverpool, England. He moved to America with his mother, Elizabeth Carter, and his brothers when he was six years old. They sailed as steerage passengers on board the R.M.S. Celtic, which departed from Liverpool, 11 September 1909, and arrived at New York, where they were ferried over to Ellis Island for “U.S. Immigrant Inspection” on 19 September; they were quickly admitted and continued their journey by rail to join his father, shoe manufacturer’s representative Richard Fenton, in Mifflin, Ohio. As a teenager, Leslie worked as an office clerk. He moved to New York and began a career on the stage. His film career began later with Fox Studios. He also directed 19 films between 1938 and 1951. Fenton saw active service during the Second World War. In spring 1941, he was commissioned into the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve. In 1942, as commander of a motor launch vessel, he took part in the St Nazaire Raid. He was injured in the raid and spent months convalescing in Devon. Unable to return to sea, he took a desk job at the War Office. He married American actress Ann Dvorak in 1932. Dvorak (Anna May McKim) moved to England with Leslie Fenton while he served in the British military during World War II. The union was childless and ended in divorce in 1945. Fenton died 25 March 1978 in Montecito, California, aged 76. Some sources, including IMDB, incorrectly cite Frank Fenton, the noted screenwriter and novelist, as his younger brother. Frank Fenton’s parents were John Fenton and Eveline Edgington (married Liverpool, 1900), as evidenced by the ship’s manifest for the SS Caronia (page 0817, line 0008), aboard which Frank Fenton arrived in the US on Apr 21 1906.

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  • March, 12, 1902
  • United Kingdom
  • Liverpool, Lancashire, England


  • March, 25, 1978
  • USA
  • Montecito, California


  • Santa Barbara Cemetery
  • Santa Barbara, California
  • USA

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