Titanic (1997 Film) - Cast - Historical Characters

Historical Characters

Although not - and not intended to be - an entirely historically accurate depiction of events, the film does include dramatisations of various historical characters:

  • Kathy Bates as Margaret "Molly" Brown: Brown is looked down on upon by other first-class women, including Ruth, as "vulgar" and "new money" due to her sudden wealth. She is friendly to Jack and lends him a dinner jacket (bought for her son) when he is invited to dinner in the first-class dining saloon. Although Brown was a real person, Cameron chose not to portray her real-life actions. Molly Brown was dubbed "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" by historians because she, with the support of other women, commandeered Lifeboat 6 from Quartermaster Hichens. Some aspects of this altercation are portrayed in Cameron's film.
  • Victor Garber as Thomas Andrews: The ship's builder, Andrews is portrayed as a very kind and pleasant man who is modest about his grand achievement. After the collision, he tries to convince the others, particularly Ismay, that it is a "mathematical certainty" that the ship will sink. He is depicted during the sinking of the ship as standing next to the clock in the first-class smoking room, lamenting his failure to build a strong and safe ship.
  • Bernard Hill as Captain Edward John Smith: Smith planned to make the Titanic his final voyage before retiring. He retreats into the bridge as the ship sinks, dying when water bursts through the windows whilst he clings to the ship's wheel. It is often disputed whether he died this way or later froze to death, as he was reported seen near the overturned Collapsible B.
  • Jonathan Hyde as Joseph Bruce Ismay: Ismay is portrayed as a rich, ignorant upper-class man. In the film, he uses his position as White Star Line managing director to influence Captain Smith to go faster with the prospect of an earlier arrival in New York and favorable press attention; while this action appears in popular portrayals of the disaster, it is unsupported by evidence. After the collision, he struggles to comprehend that his "unsinkable" ship is doomed, later sneaking on board a lifeboat to escape.
  • Eric Braeden as John Jacob Astor IV: A first-class passenger whom Rose calls the richest man on the ship. The film depicts Astor and his 18-year-old wife Madeleine as being introduced to Jack by Rose in the first-class dining saloon. During the introduction, Astor asks if Jack is connected to the 'Boston Dawsons', a question Jack neatly deflects by saying that he is instead affiliated with the Chippewa Falls Dawsons. Astor is last seen as the Grand Staircase glass dome implodes and water surges in. In reality, Astor died after being crushed when one of the ship's funnels collapsed.
  • Bernard Fox as Colonel Archibald Gracie IV: The film depicts Gracie making a comment to Cal that "women and machinery don't mix", and congratulating Jack for saving Rose from falling off the ship, though he is unaware that it was a suicide attempt. Fox also portrayed lookout Frederick Fleet in the 1958 film A Night to Remember.
  • Michael Ensign as Benjamin Guggenheim: A mining magnate traveling in first-class. He shows off his French mistress Madame Aubert to his fellow passengers while his family waits for him at home. When Jack joins the other first-class passengers for dinner after his rescue of Rose, Guggenheim refers to him as a "bohemian".
  • Jonathan Evans-Jones as Wallace Hartley: The ship's bandmaster and violinist who plays uplifting music with his colleagues on the boat deck as the ship sinks. As the final plunge begins, he leads the band in a final performance of Nearer, My God, to Thee, to the tune of Bethany, and dies in the sinking.
  • Ewan Stewart as First Officer William Murdoch: The officer who is put in charge of the bridge on the night the ship struck the iceberg. During a rush for the lifeboats, Murdoch shoots Tommy Ryan as well as another passenger in a momentary panic, then commits suicide out of guilt, a fictional account that was met with criticism. When Murdoch's nephew Scott saw the film, he objected to his uncle's portrayal as damaging to Murdoch's heroic reputation. A few months later, Fox vice-president Scott Neeson went to Dalbeattie, Scotland, where Murdoch lived, to deliver a personal apology, and also presented a £5000 donation to Dalbeattie High School to boost the school's William Murdoch Memorial Prize. Cameron apologized on the DVD commentary, but noted that there were officers who fired gunshots to enforce the "women and children first" policy.
  • Jonathan Phillips as Second Officer Charles Lightoller. The film depicts Lightoller telling Captain Smith that it will be difficult to see icebergs with no breaking water. He is seen brandishing a gun and threatening to use it to keep order. He can be seen on top of Collapsible B when the first funnel collapses. Lightoller was the most senior officer to survive the disaster.
  • Mark Lindsay Chapman as Chief Officer Henry Wilde: The ship's chief officer, who lets Cal on board a lifeboat because he has a child in his arms. Before he dies, he tries to get the boats to return to the sinking site to rescue passengers by blowing his whistle. After he freezes to death, Rose uses his whistle to attract the attention of Fifth Officer Lowe, which leads to her rescue.
  • Ioan Gruffudd as Fifth Officer Harold Lowe: The only ship's officer who led a lifeboat to retrieve survivors of the sinking on the icy waters. The film depicts Lowe rescuing Rose.
  • Edward Fletcher as Sixth Officer James Moody: The ship's only junior officer who died in the sinking. The film depicts Moody admitting Jack and Fabrizio onto the ship only moments before it departs from Southampton. Moody is later shown following Mr. Murdoch's orders to put the ship to full speed ahead, and informs First Officer Murdoch about the iceberg.
  • James Lancaster as Father Thomas Byles: Father Byles, a Catholic priest from England, is portrayed praying and consoling passengers during the ship's final moments.
  • Lew Palter and Elsa Raven as Isidor Straus and Ida Straus: Isidor is a former owner of R.H. Macy and Company, a former congressman from New York, and a member of the New York and New Jersey Bridge Commission. During the sinking, his wife Ida is offered a place in a lifeboat, but refuses, saying that she will honor her wedding pledge by staying with Isidor. They are last seen lying on their bed embracing each other as water fills their stateroom.
  • Martin Jarvis as Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon: A Scottish baronet who is rescued in Lifeboat 1. Duff-Gordon's conduct was much criticized in the years after the disaster. He and his wife were among only 12 people in Lifeboat #1, whose capacity was 40. It was suggested that he had boarded the emergency boat in violation of the "women and children first" policy, that the boat had failed to return to rescue those struggling in the water, and that his offer of five pounds to each of the lifeboat's crew might be viewed as a bribe to keep their distance from those still in the water. The Duff-Gordons at the time (and his wife's secretary in a letter written at the time and rediscovered in 2007) stated that there had been no women or children waiting to board in the vicinity of the launching of their boat, and there is confirmation that lifeboat 1 of the Titanic was almost empty and that First Officer William Murdoch was apparently glad to offer Duff-Gordon and his wife and her secretary a place (simply to fill it) after they had asked if they could get on. Duff-Gordon denied that his offer of money to the lifeboat crew represented a bribe. The British Board of Trade's inquiry into the disaster accepted Duff-Gordon's denial of bribing the crew, but maintained that, if the emergency boat had rowed towards the people who were in the water, it might very well have been able to rescue some of them.
  • Rosalind Ayres as Lady Duff-Gordon: A world-famous fashion designer and Sir Cosmo's wife. She is rescued in Lifeboat 1 with her husband. She and her husband never lived down rumors that they had forbidden the lifeboat's crew to return to the wreck site in case they would be swamped.
  • Rochelle Rose as Noël Leslie, Countess of Rothes: The Countess is shown to be friendly with Cal and the DeWitt Bukaters. Despite being of a higher status in society than Sir Cosmo and Lady Duff-Gordon, she is kind, and helps row the boat and even looks after the steerage passengers.
  • Scott G. Anderson as Frederick Fleet: The lookout who saw the iceberg. Fleet escapes the sinking ship aboard Lifeboat 6.
  • Paul Brightwell as Quartermaster Robert Hichens: One of the ship's six quartermasters and at the ship's wheel at the time of collision. He is in charge of lifeboat 6. He refuses to go back and pick up survivors after the sinking and eventually the boat is commandeered by Molly Brown.
  • Martin East as Reginald Lee: The other lookout in the crow's nest. He survives the sinking.
  • Simon Crane as Fourth Officer Joseph Boxhall: The officer in charge of firing flares and manning Lifeboat 2 during the sinking. He is shown on the bridge wings helping the seamen firing the flares.
  • Gregory Cooke as Jack Phillips: Senior wireless operator on board the Titanic whom Captain Smith ordered to send the distress signal.
  • Craig Kelly as Harold Bride: Junior wireless operator on board the Titanic.
  • Liam Tuohy as Chief Baker Charles Joughin: The baker appears in the film on top of the railing with Jack and Rose as the ship sinks, drinking brandy from a flask. According to the real Joughin's testimony he rode the ship down and stepped into the water without getting his hair wet. He also admitted to hardly feeling the cold, most likely thanks to alcohol.
  • Terry Forrestal as Chief Engineer Joseph G. Bell: Bell and his men worked until the last minute to keep the lights and the power on in order for distress signals to get out. Bell and all of the engineers died in the bowels of the Titanic.
  • Kevin De La Noy as Third Officer Herbert Pitman: In charge of Lifeboat 5.

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