British-born Henry Travers was a veteran of the English stage before emigrating to the U.S. in 1917. He gained more stage experience there on Broadway working with the Theatre Guild, and began his long film career with Reunion in Vienna
(1933). Travers' kindly, grandfatherly demeanor became familiar to filmgoers over the next 25 years, especially in films like High Sierra (1941), where he played Joan Leslie's kindly but slyly observant uncle, and the generous Mr. Bogardus in The Bells of St. Mary's
(1945), but it's as the somewhat befuddled angel Clarence Oddbody assigned to James Stewart in the classic It's a Wonderful Life (1946) that Travers will forever be known. After a long and successful career, he retired from the screen in 1949, and died in Hollywood in 1965.