Legend has it that Hume Cronyn wanted to drop out of McGill University in 1930 to pursue a career as an actor. This did not go over well with the family, but his mother offered a compromise -- that he should give McGill one more year and then she would support whatever he chose afterwards. Luckily, Cronyn followed his heart and began acting at McGill. He later enrolled in the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York in 1932.
In 1944, Cronyn was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in "The Seventh Cross". in "The Four Poster," in the early 1950s. He won another Tony in 1964 for his role as Polonius in "Hamlet," and was elected to the Theater Hall of Fame for his outstanding contributions to American theatre that same year.
A great many performances in his career were alongside his British born wife, the late Jessica Tandy. The pair was virtually the Royal Couple of Broadway, sought after by producers and ticket hunters alike. Cronyn and Tandy brought "The Gin Game" to Canada's Stratford Festival in 1978 with great success.The list of awards and commendations is a long one for Hume Cronyn. He was awarded the Order of Canada in 1974, inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in 1979, awarded the Commonwealth Award for Dramatic Arts in 1983, the Christopher Award in 1985 for the screenplay "Dollmaker," a Writer's Guild Award and in 1990 he was awarded the National Medal of Arts Award by George Bush.
Hume Cronyn died at the age of 91 at his home in Fairfield, Connecticut. He is survived by his second wife, Susan Cooper and his two children, Tandy and Christopher.