Trevor Howard was born Trevor Wallace Howard-Smith in Cliftonville, Kent, England, in 1913. His father was an insurance underwriter based in India.
He volunteered for the Royal Air Force but served in the British Army as a Second Lieutenant during World War II and was disabled for service due to mental incapacitation in 1943.
That same year, he turned to film acting. His British film debut, at the age of 31, was for Two Cities Films in 1944.
In 1982, he was offered a knighthood by the Queen of England, but declined.
Throughout his film career Howard insisted that all of his contracts held a clause excusing him from work whenever a cricket Test Match was being played.
Alcoholism affected his ability to work toward the end of his career. After more than 85 feature films, his last movie role was in 1988.
Howard married the actress Helen Cherry (1915-2001) in 1944.
Howard died from a combination of bronchitis, influenza and jaundice, in Arkley, Hertfordshire, England, in 1988. He was 74 years old.