Although such memorable roles in the classic films Berkeley Square (1933), Of Human Bondage (1934), The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934), The Petrified Forest (1936), Pygmalion (1938) and Intermezzo (1939) guaranteed fame and success, it was as Ashley Wilkes in 1939's Gone With The Wind that made Leslie Howard a star.
It is Leslie Howard's professionalism and devotion to the art of acting that makes him one of Hollywood's most respectable male stars not only of his time but also of ours.
He never did give into the indulgences that Hollywood offered and, instead, he joined the war effort in his native England filming many World War 2 films such as 49th Parallel (1941) and The First of the Few (1942) (known in the U.S. as Spitfire), a film he also produced.
Tragically, Leslie Howard left us much too soon when he passed away in 1943. However, we have the privilege of watching his genius play out on screen whenever it is we need a reminder of what acting had once been about and what it should be now.