A lawyer turned actor


Leo Genn in Beyond Mombasa (1956)
Leo Genn in Beyond Mombasa (1956)

Leo Genn (August 9, 1905 – January 26, 1978).

Leopold John "Leo" Genn was a British lawyer turned actor who became known as “the man with the black velvet voice” in a stage and screen career that spanned almost four decades. He played Petronius in the 1951 film Quo Vadis, which earned him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor nomination.


Although he appeared in some two dozen movies and more than 50 plays, he is best‐known to American audiences for his film portrayals of Capt. Adorn Brant in Mourning Becomes Electra (1947); the sensitive psychiatrist, Dr. Kik, in The Snake Pit (1948); and Starbuck in Moby Dick (1956). Genn appears with Donna Reed in the film Beyond Mombasa (1956).