Belovedest Act-orsby scribblingsea | created - 09 Sep 2011 | updated - 20 Feb 2013 | Public
One has to keep track.
This started as a list of actors I consider underappreciated and then grew.
Actress | Department S
Known for her small yet earthy Brit portrayals on film, Eleanor Summerfield was born in London on March 7, 1921, initially trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (1937). The hard-looking, blue-eyed blonde began in films in 1947 but created some waves first on stage opposite Cicely Courtneidge...
2. John Wells
Actor | For Your Eyes Only
John Wells was born on November 17, 1936 in Ashford, Kent, England as John Campbell Wells. He was an actor and writer, known for For Your Eyes Only (1981), Casino Royale (1967) and Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984). He was married to Teresa Chancellor. He died on January 11, ...
Actor | Time Bandits
Preston Lockwood was born on October 30, 1912 in Leyton, London, England as Reginald Herbert Lockwood. He was an actor, known for Time Bandits (1981), Electric Dreams (1984) and The Terrorists (1975). He died on April 24, 1996 in Denville Hall, Northwood, Hillingdon, London.
7. John Bennett
Actor | Watership Down
The lean, rather emaciated-looking John Bennett studied acting at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London. After years in repertory theatre, he made his feature debut in 1960, and, thereafter, appeared regularly on British screens. He was prone to perform in diverse ethnic guises, often ...
Actress | Goldfinger
Comparing this sultry-eyed blonde to Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich may seem a bit overzealous, but Honor Blackman's stylish allure over the years cannot be denied.
One of four children, Blackman was born in London's East End to a statistician father employed with the civil service and a homemaker ...
10. Nicholas Amer
Actor | The Message
Nicholas Amer was born Thomas Harold Amer in Birkenhead, Merseyside, England in 1923. At the age of 18, he enlisted in the Royal Navy and served as a wireless officer for four years during World War II. He saw plenty of action, serving mainly on Motor Torpedo Boats, at first in North Africa. He was...
11. David Warner
David Hattersley Warner was born July 29, 1941 in Manchester, England, to Ada Doreen (Hattersley) and Herbert Simon Warner. He was born out of wedlock and often accepted to be raised by each of his parents, eventually settling with his father and stepmother. His father changed jobs often and moved ...
12. Jeremy Child
Actor | A Fish Called Wanda
Jeremy Child was born on September 20, 1944 in Woking, Surrey, England as 3rd Bt Sir Coles John Jeremy Child. He is an actor, known for A Fish Called Wanda (1988), Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India (2001) and Wimbledon (2004). He has been married to Elizabeth Morgan since 1987. They have two ...
13. Patience Collier
Actress | Fiddler on the Roof
Patience Collier was born on August 19, 1910 in London, England as Renee Ritcher. She was an actress, known for Fiddler on the Roof (1971), Endless Night (1972) and Countess Dracula (1971). She was married to Henry Oswald Jackson Collier. She died on July 13, 1987 in London.
14. Ursula Howells
Actress | Dr. Terror's House of Horrors
Ursula Howells was educated at St Paul's Girls' School in London, where her father Herbert Howells, a doyen of English church music taught music for 26 years. Following the death of her brother Michael from polio in 1935, her father composed his great choral masterpiece "Hymnus Paradisi".
She was ...
15. Margaret Tyzack
Actress | 2001: A Space Odyssey
Margaret Tyzack was born on September 9, 1931 in Plaistow, London, England as Margaret Maud Tyzack. She was an actress, known for 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), A Clockwork Orange (1971) and Match Point (2005). She was married to Alan R. Stephenson. She died on June 25, 2011 in Blackheath, London.
18. Janet Suzman
Actress | Nicholas and Alexandra
This alert and classy Britisher seemed poised for Hollywood stardom in the early 1970s. Although it wasn't meant to be, Janet Suzman has remained one of the more respected classical stage actresses of her time. Born in 1939, she was raised in a staunch, liberal family household in South Africa at a...
19. Timothy Bateson
Prolific British character actor, adept at eccentric or whimsical impersonations, particularly of Dickensian characters. The son of law society president Sir Dingwall Bateson, he won a scholarship to Wadham College, where he trained for acting with the Oxford University Dramatic Society. Straight ...
20. Charles Simon
Actor | Topsy-Turvy
Charles Simon was born on February 4, 1909 in Tettenhall Wood, Wolverhampton, West Midlands, England as Charles Henry Simon. He was an actor, known for Topsy-Turvy (1999), 102 Dalmatians (2000) and The Man Who Knew Too Little (1997). He was married to Sheila Eves and Nancy McDermid. He died on May ...
21. Robin Bailey
Actor | The Diplomatic Corpse
Robin Bailey was born on October 5, 1919 in Hucknall, Nottingham, England as William Henry Mettam Bailey. He was an actor, known for The Diplomatic Corpse (1958), Jane and the Lost City (1987) and A Legacy (1975). He was married to Patricia Mary Weekes. He died on January 14, 1999 in London, ...
22. Ian Richardson
Actor | From Hell
A classical actor (and founding member in 1960 of the Royal Shakespeare Company), Richardson earned international fame as the villainous Francis Urquart in the BBC television trilogy, "House of Cards." Uttered in a cut-glass accent, the Machiavellian Prime Minister's sly "You might well think that ...
23. Alan Badel
Actor | The Day of the Jackal
British thespian Alan Badel came to prominence after graduating from RADA a Gold Medal winner. He made an almost instant impact on the stage in both modern and classical roles. One of his first critically acclaimed performances was as Romeo, opposite Claire Bloom's Juliet at the Old Vic. Despite ...
24. John Hurt
Actor | Nineteen Eighty-Four
This transatlantic talent was born John Vincent Hurt on January 22, 1940 in Shirebrook, a coal mining village near the busy market town of Chesterfield, in Derbyshire, England. He is the son of Phyllis (Massey), an engineer and one-time actress, and Arnold Herbert Hurt, an Anglican clergyman and ...
25. Alison Steadman
Actress | Life Is Sweet
Liverpool-born actress Alison Steadman was born in 1946, the daughter of George Percival Steadman and Marjorie Evans. Educated at Childwall Valley High School, she studied at the East-15 Acting School from 1966-1969, then toiled as a secretary at the Liverpool Probation Service before deciding on a...
26. Annette Crosbie
Crosbie was born in Gorebridge, Midlothian, Scotland, to Presbyterian parents who disapproved of her becoming an actress. Nevertheless, she joined the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School while still in her teens. Her big break came in 1970 when she was cast as Catherine of Aragon in the BBC television ...
27. Anthony Andrews
Actor | The King's Speech
Anthony Andrews made his West End theater debut at the Apollo Theatre as one of twenty young schoolboys in Alan Bennett's "Forty Years On" with John Gielgud. He began his career at the Chichester Festival Theatre in the UK. His theater credits include spells with the New Shakespeare Company - "...
28. Aubrey Morris
Actor | A Clockwork Orange
He was one of those delightful, typically British, actors with a penchant for playing eccentrics. Early in his career, Jeremy Brett once quaintly introduced Aubrey Morris to Noël Coward as "the finest small-part player in London". Born Aubrey Steinberg of Jewish-Ukrainian ancestry, he was one of ...
29. Bernard Hepton
Actor | Colditz
Bernard Hepton was born on October 19, 1925 in Bradford, Yorkshire, England as Francis Bernard Heptonstall. He is an actor and producer, known for Colditz (1972), Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1979) and Smiley's People (1982). He was previously married to Hilary Liddell and Nancie Jackson.
30. Beryl Reid
Actress | The Killing of Sister George
Beryl Reid was the daughter of Scottish parents and grew up in industrial Manchester, England. She left home at the age of 16 to go and work in a shop. She lasted 6 weeks. She applied for and was accepted in a revue in the Summer season in Bridlington. She had no formal training but joined the ...
31. Bill Paterson
Bill Paterson was born on June 3, 1945 in Glasgow, Scotland. He is an actor and writer, known for How to Lose Friends & Alienate People (2008), The Witches (1990) and Miss Potter (2006). He is married to Hildegard Bechtler. They have two children.
36. David Ryall
Actor | Around the World in 80 Days
David Ryall was born on January 5, 1935 in Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, England as David John Ryall. He was an actor, known for Around the World in 80 Days (2004), Automata (2014) and City of Ember (2008). He was married to Penny England, Cathy Buchwald and Gillian Eddison. He died on December 25,...
38. Derek Jacobi
Actor | Gladiator
Preeminent British classical actor of the first post-Olivier generation, Derek Jacobi was knighted in 1994 for his services to the theatre, and, in fact, is only the second to enjoy the honor of holding TWO knighthoods, Danish and English (Olivier was the other). Modest and unassuming in nature, ...
39. Diana Rigg
Actress | On Her Majesty's Secret Service
British actress Dame Diana Rigg was born on July 20, 1938 in Doncaster, Yorkshire, England. She has had an extensive career in film and theatre, including playing the title role in "Medea", both in London and New York, for which she won the 1994 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play.
Rigg made her ...
41. Donald Pleasence
Actor | Halloween II
Balding, quietly-spoken, of slight build and possessed of piercing blue eyes -- often peering out from behind round, steel-rimmed glasses -- Donald Pleasence had the necessary physical attributes which make a great screen villain. In the course of his lengthy career, he relished playing the ...
Actress | Sense and Sensibility
Elizabeth Spriggs was born on September 18, 1929 in Buxton, Derbyshire, England as Elizabeth Jean Williams. She was an actress and writer, known for Sense and Sensibility (1995), Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) and Paradise Road (1997). She was married to Murray Manson, Kenneth Spriggs...
43. Eric Porter
Actor | The Day of the Jackal
A highly respected Shakespearean for five decades until his death of colon cancer in 1995, classical actor Eric Porter's claim to international fame would, ironically, be outside of that realm, with one superb portrayal in one superb miniseries, The Forsyte Saga (1967), in which he won the BAFTA ...
Actor | Waterloo
To say that Terence Alexander, the distinguished British thespian, was hyperactive is a statement that borders on the understatement! Judge for yourself : born in 1923, following a short period when he considered becoming a priest, Alexander exercised the acting profession for six full decades and ...
45. Freddie Jones
Actor | Dune
The British character actor Freddie Jones came to the acting profession after 10 years of working as a laboratory assistant and acting in amateur theater on the side. To kick off his mid-life career change, Jones attended Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama in Kent, England, on a scholarship. ...
46. George Baker
Actor | On Her Majesty's Secret Service
George Baker was born on April 1, 1931 in Varna, Bulgaria as George Morris Baker. He was an actor and writer, known for On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and I, Claudius (1976). He was married to Louie Ramsay, Sally Home and Julia Squire. He died on October 7, 2011...
47. Hywel Bennett
Actor | Neverwhere
Hywel Bennett was born on April 8, 1944 in Garnant, Carmarthenshire, Wales as Hywel Thomas Bennett. He was an actor, known for Neverwhere (1996), Vatel (2000) and Twisted Nerve (1968). He was married to Sandra Layne Fulford and Cathy McGowan. He died on July 25, 2017.
48. Joan Hickson
Actress | Miss Marple: Nemesis
Joan Hickson was born in 1906 at Kingsthorpe, Northampton. Her stage career began with provincial theater in 1927, going on to a long series of West End comedies, usually playing the part of a confused or eccentric middle-age woman. She performed at the Regent's Park Open Air Theater, at the time ...
49. Ian McDiarmid
Ian McDiarmid was born on August 11, 1944 in Carnoustie, Tayside, Scotland. He studied for a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology at the University of St. Andrews, but eventually found that his calling was in theatre. He went to the Royal Academy in Glasgow, where he received the prestigious gold...
50. Ian Holm
Sir Ian Holm is an Academy Award-nominated British film and stage actor who was a star of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and played more than 100 roles in films and on television.
He was born Ian Holm Cuthbert on September 12, 1931, in Goodmayes, Essex, UK, to Scottish parents who worked at the ...
53. Joss Ackland
Actor | Lethal Weapon 2
Joss Ackland, the distinguished English actor who has appeared in over 100 movies, scores of plays and a plethora of television programs in his six-decade career, was born Sidney Edmond Jocelyn Ackland on February 29, 1928, in North Kensington, London. After attending London's Central School of ...
54. Mia Kirshner
Actress | The Black Dahlia
Mia Kirshner was born in Toronto, Ontario on January 25, 1975, to Etti, a teacher, and Sheldon Kirshner, a journalist. Her father is of Polish Jewish descent and her mother is a Bulgarian Jewish immigrant. Mia had a middle class upbringing and graduated from the prestigious McGill University with a...
55. Leo McKern
Actor | Ladyhawke
Although he sounded very British, Leo McKern was an Australian. By the time he was 15 years old, he had endured an accident that left him without his left eye. A glass eye replaced it - one might conjecture for the better, as far as making McKern a one-day actor of singular focus (no pun intended; ...
57. Martin Jarvis
Actor | Wreck-It Ralph
Martin Jarvis OBE is one of Britain's most versatile leading actors. His distinguished career continues to encompass just about every aspect of the entertainment industry: film, television, theatre, radio and audio recording. He is also the author of two bestselling books: a hilarious autobiography...
58. Michael Hordern
Following a brief teaching career, Michael Hordern made his stage debut in 1937. He made his film debut in 1939, but his career was stalled by WWII. He resumed his acting career in 1946, both in theatre and films. He hit his stride in the 1960s playing befuddled characters, particularly stuffy ...
59. Patrick Godfrey
Actor | The Count of Monte Cristo
Patrick Godfrey was born on February 13, 1933 in Finsbury Park, London, England as Patrick Lindesay Archibald Godfrey. He is an actor, known for The Count of Monte Cristo (2002), Ever After: A Cinderella Story (1998) and A Room with a View (1985). He has been married to Amanda Walker since April 20...
60. Patrick Macnee
Actor | A View to a Kill
British actor Patrick Macnee was born on February 6, 1922 in London, England into a wealthy and eccentric family. His father, Daniel Macnee, was a race horse trainer, who drank and gambled away the family fortune, leaving young Patrick to be raised by his gay mother, Dorothea Mary, and her lover. ...
Actor | The Omen
Patrick Troughton was born in Mill Hill, London and was educated at Mill Hill School. He trained as an actor at the Embassy School of Acting in the UK and at Leighton Rollin's Studio for for Actors at Long Island, New York in the USA. During World War II he served in the Royal Navy and after the ...
62. Peter Miles
Actor | Blake's 7
Peter Miles is a British actor and singer. His acting work includes performances with the Birmingham Repertory Theatre and the UK's most prestigious theatre organization, the Royal Shakespeare Company. However, he is most famous for his appearances on British television, which include three ...
63. Peter Woodthorpe
Actor | The Madness of King George
Peter Woodthorpe was educated at Archbishop Holgate's Grammar School in York and attended Magdalene College, Cambridge. He undertook National Service in the Royal Navy and made his debut as a professional actor in the theatre in 1955. His extensive and distinguished stage career included work with ...
64. Prunella Scales
Actress | Fawlty Towers
Prunella Scales was born on June 22, 1932 in Sutton Abinger, Surrey, England as Prunella Margaret Rumney Illingworth. She is an actress, known for Fawlty Towers (1975), Howards End (1992) and An Awfully Big Adventure (1995). She has been married to Timothy West since October 1963. They have two ...
65. Renée Asherson
Actress | The Others
A beautiful and durable actress of screen, stage and television. She played the bride of Laurence Olivier's title character in Henry V (1944) (Henry V (1944)). She later appeared in Maniacs on Wheels (1949), a speedway drama with Dirk Bogarde. A frequent co-star of the actor Robert Donat, whom she ...
Actress | The Haunting
Acclaimed actress Rosalie Crutchley originally trained at the Royal Academy of Music. She made her acting debut in repertory in 1938 at the Liverpool Playhouse. She made her Broadway debut in 1950. The Guild of Television named her best actress of the year in 1956 for Armchair Theatre: Black ...
67. Roger Delgado
Actor | Doctor Who
Born of a Spanish father and French mother in Whitechapel. Although most often called upon to play the villain (due to his dark good looks and sinister beard), he also had a career as a voice actor on BBC Radio appearing on such programs as the "Morning Story". He was a notable 'The Master' in many...
68. Ronald Pickup
Actor | The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Ronald Pickup was born on June 7, 1940 in Chester, England as Ronald Alfred Pickup. He is an actor, known for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011), Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010) and The Mission (1986). He has been married to Lans Traverse since August 9, 1964. They have two children.
70. Stratford Johns
Actor | Cromwell
South African-born Stratford Johns was forever associated with the role of tough, abrasive Superintendant Charlie Barlow on TV's Z Cars (1962) and its sequels Softly Softly: Task Force (1969) and Barlow at Large (1971). In between, he also played Barlow in the miniseries Jack the Ripper (1973) (...
74. William Hartnell
Actor | Carry On Sergeant
William Hartnell was born on 8 January 1908, just south of St. Pancras station in London. In press materials in the 1940s he claimed that his father was a farmer and later a stockbroker; it turns out that he had actually been born out of wedlock, as his biography "Who's There?" states. At age 16 he...
75. Janet Henfrey
Actress | Les Misérables
Janet Henfrey took English prelims at St Anne's, Oxford, after which she read history followed by a graduate year at Smith, from where she went to the RADA as part of their US intake. Since then she has had a varied career in the theatre and on film and television. The latter has included 'The ...
76. Jon Pertwee
Actor | Doctor Who
Jon Pertwee is best known for his portrayal of the Doctor, on the BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who (1963). He portrayed the Doctor from 1970 to 1974. His 60-year entertainment career included work in radio, films, and cabaret. This was despite the inauspicious beginning of having ...
77. John Wood
Actor | WarGames
Studied law at Jesus College, Oxford, but became president of OUDS by his final year, when he played the lead in "Richard III" to wide critical acclaim. Subsequently joined the Old Vic, where among other roles he played "the Dauphin" to Richard Burton's "Henry V". Left the Old Vic under less than ...
78. Robert Stephens
Actor | Romeo and Juliet
Sir Robert's career fell into two distinct parts. In the '60s, he was widely regarded as the heir of Laurence Olivier. But, after his departure from Britain's National Theatre in 1970 and the breakup of his marriage with Maggie Smith three years later, he suffered a slump made worse by heavy ...
79. Jack May
Actor | The Man Who Would Be King
Jack May was born on April 23, 1922 in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, England. He was an actor, known for The Man Who Would Be King (1975), Adam Adamant Lives! (1966) and Vanity Fair (1956). He was married to Petra Davies. He died on September 19, 1997 in Hove, East Sussex, England.
80. Jerome Willis
Actor | Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
Jerome Willis was born on October 23, 1928 in London, England as Jerome Barry Willis. He was an actor, known for Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006), The Sandbaggers (1978) and Scotch on the Rocks (1973). He was married to Dilys Elstone. He died on January 11, 2014 in London.
82. Michael Gambon
Actor | Gosford Park
Sir Michael Gambon was born in Cabra, Dublin, Ireland, to Mary (Hoare), a seamstress, and Edward Gambon, an engineer. After joining the National Theatre, under the Artistic Directorship of Sir Laurence Olivier, Gambon went on to appear in a number of leading roles in plays written by Alan Ayckbourn...
83. Maggie Smith
Actress | Gosford Park
One of the world's most famous and distinguished actresses, Dame Maggie Smith was born Margaret Natalie Smith in Essex. Her Scottish mother, Margaret (Hutton), worked as a secretary, and her English father, Nathaniel Smith, was a teacher at Oxford University. Smith has been married twice: to actor ...
Actress | The Crying Game
Miranda Richardson was born in Southport, Lancashire, England on March 3, 1958, to Marian Georgina (Townsend) and William Alan Richardson, a marketing executive. She has one sister, eight years her senior. Her parents and sister are not involved in the performing arts. At an early age she performed...
85. Bob Peck
Actor | Jurassic Park
British actor Bob Peck was born in Leeds in north England on August 23, 1945. He attended Leeds Modern School and then graduated from Leeds College of Art before starting professional stage acting. Peck acted for the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre. He also starred in more than ...
87. Vladek Sheybal
Actor | From Russia with Love
Looking back at his filmography, it isn't difficult to imagine Vladek Sheybal in a scene, lobbing Molotov cocktails at advancing German troops, against a backdrop of war-torn Warsaw. However, this part of his life played out for real. A member of the Polish underground, he was twice captured and ...
89. Lindsay Duncan
Lindsay Duncan was born on November 7, 1950 in Edinburgh, Scotland as Lindsay Vere Duncan. She is known for her work on Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014), About Time (2013) and Under the Tuscan Sun (2003). She is married to Hilton McRae. They have one child.
90. David Ross
Actor | Jake's Progress
David Ross is a British actor from Blackburn, Lancashire. He is most known for his work in television series, where he has enjoyed a lengthy career. He has also appeared stage productions and films.
David Ross' most famous role was that of Kryten during his first appearance on comedy series Red Dwarf...
91. Daniel Massey
Actor | Star!
Daniel Massey was born on October 10, 1933 in London, England as Daniel Raymond Massey. He was an actor, known for Star! (1968), Scandal (1989) and In the Name of the Father (1993). He was married to Linda Mary 'Lindy' Wilton, Penelope Wilton and Adrienne Corri. He died on March 25, 1998 in London.
92. Bruno Ganz
Actor | Der Untergang
Bruno Ganz debuted at the theatre in 1961 and gained there a good reputation as a solid, young actor. In 1970 he founded with Peter Stein the theatre company "Schaubuehne" of Berlin. His debut at the movies was early and unsuccessful during the decade of 1960. His talent as a reflexive actor with ...
British character actor Richard Griffiths came from radio and the classical stage where he built up an early reputation as a Shakespearean clown, with larger-than-life portrayals of Henry VIII, Falstaff in "The Merry Wives of Windsor" and Bottom in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" with the Royal ...
95. Burt Kwouk
Actor | You Only Live Twice
Burt Kwouk was a British actor, he was best known for his role as Cato in the Pink Panther films, and for play Mr Ling in the third James Bond film Goldfinger.
Kwouk was born in Warrington, but was brought up in Shanghai. He made his film debut in the 1957 film Windom's Way. In Goldfinger (1964) he ...
96. Peter Vaughan
Actor | Brazil
A true character actor in the best sense of the word, offbeat British thespian Peter Vaughan's hefty frame could appear intimidating or marshmallow benevolent; his beady, hollow eyes menacing or tender; his mere presence menacing or avuncular. Adept at playing both sides of the law, his characters ...
Actress | The Others
Fionnula Flanagan was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland. From an early age she grew up speaking both English and Irish on a daily basis. Her parents weren't native Irish speakers but wanted Fionnula and her four siblings to learn the language. Her mother used to say, "A nation without a language ...
98. Eli Wallach
Actor | Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo
One of Hollywood's finest character / "Method" actors, Eli Wallach was in demand for over 60 years (first film/TV role was 1949) on stage and screen, and has worked alongside the world's biggest stars, including Clark Gable, Clint Eastwood, Steve McQueen, Marilyn Monroe, Yul Brynner, Peter O'Toole,...
100. Jim Carter
Actor | Transformers: The Last Knight
Jim Carter was born on August 19, 1948 in Harrogate, Yorkshire, England as James Edward Carter. He is an actor, known for Transformers: The Last Knight (2017), Downton Abbey (2010) and Shakespeare in Love (1998). He has been married to Imelda Staunton since October 1983. They have one child.