Henry Travers was born in Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, England, in 1874. His father was a doctor. He initially trained as an architect before going into acting.
A stage actor in England, he traveled to the U.S. in 1901 and appeared for the first time on the New York stage. In 1917, he immigrated to the United States, at the age of 43, and became a ubiquitous Broadway performer. Over the next two decades, he appeared in 29 Broadway productions.
It was not until he was 59 that Travers made his film debut for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1933 to reprise a 1931 Broadway stage role. He went on to appear in more than 50 pictures and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Mrs. Miniver (1942). He made his last film in 1949.
Travers’ first wife was Amy Rhodes. She died in 1954. He then married his nurse, Ann Murphy.
He died of arteriosclerosis in Hollywood, in 1965. Travers was 91 years old.