For those of you that don’t know who George Sanders is, you’ve seen or heard him on a lot of great movies from the 30’s to the 60’s, most recognizable as the voice of Shere Kahn the Tiger in Disney’s The Jungle Book(1967) (who hasn’t seen that movie?) but I loved him over the years in the thriller film series of The Saint and later for the Falcon series (taken over by his brother Tom Conway), as well as the movies; Rebecca (1940), All About Eve(1950), and Ivanhoe (1952).
He was a fascinating and complex man, but the strangest story about him is that he planned his death decades before he died. In 1937 George Sanders told David Niven that he would commit suicide when he got older. Stranger things have been told in confidence, but I’m sure David never gave it much thought. Sure enough, though, some 35 years later he made good on his statement.
He was found dead in a hotel in Barcelona, Spain in 1972, having overdosed on 5 vials of Nembutal. He left a suicide note saying, “Dear World, I am leaving because I am bored. I feel I have lived long enough. I am leaving you with your worries in this sweet cesspool. Good luck.”.
He was a very interesting man and wrote an autobiography titled, “The Memoirs of a Professional Cad” and a very good friend of his (actor Brian Aherne) wrote another book about him called, “A Dreadful Man” (in jest). Both books are great fun and show what a truly witty and interesting person he was. I also find it interesting that he wrote a mystery novel as well, starring him “Crime on my Hands“. Another mystery reported to have been written by him, but ghost written by Leigh Brackett was published later but starred Michael Vickers and called “Stranger at Home”. It was done, just to take advantage of his popularity, much like they do nowadays with Bestselling authors like Clive Cussler and James Patterson.