Probably more frequently remembered for his turbulent personal life and multiple marriages, Richard Burton was nonetheless regarded as one of the great British actors of the post-WWII period. Burton was born Richard Walter Jenkins in Pontrhydyfen, Wales, to Edith Maude (Thomas) and Richard Walter Jenkins...
“ Robert Angier ” - LaurenceBranagh
A leading man of prodigious talents, Peter O'Toole
was raised in Leeds, England, the son of Constance Jane Eliot (Ferguson), a Scottish nurse, and Patrick Joseph O'Toole, an Irish bookie. As a boy, he decided to become a journalist, beginning as a newspaper copy boy. Although he succeeded in becoming a reporter...
“ Alfred Borden ” - LaurenceBranagh
Sir Ralph Richardson was one of the greatest actors of the 20th Century English-language theater, ascending to the height of his profession in the mid-1930s when he became a star in London's West End. He became the first actor of his generation to be knighted. He became Sir Ralph in 1947, and was quickly followed Laurence Olivier
“ Cutter ” - LaurenceBranagh
Demure British beauty Jean Simmons was born January 31, 1929 in Crouch End, London. As a 14-year-old dance student, she was plucked from her school to play Margaret Lockwood
's precocious sister in Give Us the Moon
, and she went on to make a name for herself in such major British productions as Caesar and Cleopatra
“ Julia McCullough ” - LaurenceBranagh
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 Robert Stephens
and to playwright Beverley Cross
“ Sarah Borden ” - LaurenceBranagh
Julie Christie, the British movie legend whom Al Pacino
called "the most poetic of all actresses", was born in Chukua, Assam, India, on April 14, 1941, the daughter of a tea planter, Frank St. John Christie, and his wife, Rosemary (Ramsden), who was a painter. Her family was of English, and some Scottish...
“ Olivia Wenscombe ” - LaurenceBranagh
Laurence Olivier could speak William Shakespeare
's lines as naturally as if he were "actually thinking them", said English playwright Charles Bennett
, who met Olivier in 1927. Laurence Kerr Olivier was born in Dorking, Surrey, England, to Agnes Louise (Crookenden) and Gerard Kerr Olivier, a High Anglican priest. His surname came from a great-great-grandfather who was of French Huguenot origin...
“ Nikola Tesla ” - LaurenceBranagh
The son of Joseph Livesey and Mary Catherine (nee Edwards), Roger was educated at Westminster City School, London. His first stage appearance was the office boy in Loyalties at St. James' theatre in 1917. Subsequently, he played in everything from Shakespeare to modern comedies. He played various roles in the West End from 1920 to 1926...
“ Alley ” - LaurenceBranagh
His father was a well-to-do inventor, his mother a beautiful concert pianist; Orson Welles was gifted in many arts (magic, piano, painting) as a child. When his mother died (he was seven) he traveled the world with his father. When his father died (he was fifteen) he became the ward of Chicago's Dr...
“ Milton the Magician ” - LaurenceBranagh
Micheal MacLimmoir was a theatrical giant who dominated Irish theatre for over 50 years. Actor, designer, playwright and brilliant raconteur he was very much his own creation. He cut an imposing figure under the spotlight and in real life dressed flamboyantly wearing full make-up at all times and a jet black hairpiece...
“ Owens ” - LaurenceBranagh
“ Merritt ” - LaurenceBranagh
“ Ackerman ” - LaurenceBranagh
“ Jess Borden ” - LaurenceBranagh
Enjoyably larger-than-life character actor Hugh Emrys Griffith was born in Marianglas, Anglesey, North Wales, to Mary (Williams) and William Griffith. Griffith left the world of banking (having been employed as a teller) after winning a scholarship to study acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art...
“ Chung Ling Soo ” - LaurenceBranagh
British character actor Harry Andrews had the sort of massive granite face and square jaw that would stamp that career, but he set himself apart with brilliant stage and screen work. He had graduated from Wrekin College in Shropshire and then moved on to the stage, appearing with Liverpool Repertory in 1933 and focusing on Shakespearean roles...
“ Virgil ” - LaurenceBranagh
A stage actor from 1925, Esmond made his first film appearance in 77 Park Lane
for Michael Powell
for whom he eventually made 11 films. Esmond served in the Royal Navy during WWII and lost one eye and was almost totally blinded in the other during an engagement against The Bismarck. This didn't stop him later portraying a Royal Naval officer in Sink the Bismarck!
“ The Judge ” - LaurenceBranagh
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 drinking...
“ The Prosecutor ” - LaurenceBranagh
Some of Hordern's finest work was not in films or television but on radio: His performance as Gandalf in the BBC's radio adaptation of The Lord of the Rings was arguably the definitive portrayal of that character (contrast Hordern's Gandalf with that of Ian McKellen in the 3-part film adaptation of The Lord of the Rings directed by Peter Jackson).
“ The Defender ” - LaurenceBranagh
Julian Wyatt Glover was born on March 27, 1935 in Hampstead, London, England, to Honor Ellen Morgan (Wyatt), a BBC journalist, and Claude Gordon Glover, a BBC radio producer. He is of English, Scottish and Welsh ancestry. Primarily a classical stage actor, Glover trained at the National Youth Theatre...
“ The Captain ” - LaurenceBranagh
A veteran of stage, screen, radio and TV, character actor Nigel Stock was born in Malta in 1919, the son of Captain W.H. Stock, RE, and his wife Margaret Marion Munro. In British India from childhood, he and his sister Angela returned to the UK in his early teens for schooling. Nigel was educated at St...
“ The Sullen Warden ” - LaurenceBranagh
“ The Hotel Manager ” - LaurenceBranagh
“ The Stagecoach Driver ” - LaurenceBranagh
Born September 30, 1952, in Royton, near Oldham, England, Jack Wild was discovered by talent agent June Collins
, mother of rock star Phil Collins
. His breakthrough came when he landed the role of Oliver in the London stage production of "Oliver!" When it came to casting the film, the role of the Artful Dodger went to Jack...
“ The Boy ” - LaurenceBranagh
John Cairney made his stage debut at the Park Theatre, Glasgow, before enrolling at the RSAMD in Glasgow. After graduation, he joined the Wilson Barrett Company as Snake in "The School for Scandal". A season at the Glasgow Citizens' Theatre followed before going on to the Bristol Old Vic where he appeared in the British premiere of Arthur Miller's "The Crucible"...
“ The Policeman ” - LaurenceBranagh
Born of Italian heritage Lucio Rietti was "discovered" at the tender age of 8 by his father Vittorio (Victor Rietti
veteran actor of the stage and screen) who had noticed the boy had completely memorized a copy of a script he had given Lucio having wanted help from his son while rehearsing his lines for a play...
“ The Voice ” - LaurenceBranagh
An English actor active in the theater since 1961, having made few theatrical movies, none of which particularly outstanding, with the exception of John Boorman
and Nigel Cole
's popular Calendar Girls
, John Alderton has become famous thanks to British television. Appearing in approximately two hundred TV series episodes...
“ The Man ” - LaurenceBranagh
Judi Dench was born in York, England, to Eleanora Olive (Jones), who was from Dublin, Ireland, and Reginald Arthur Dench, a doctor from Dorset, England. She attended Mount School in York, and studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama. She has performed with Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre...
“ The Elegant Lady ” - LaurenceBranagh
“ The Ticket Hawker ” - LaurenceBranagh
“ The Moderator ” - LaurenceBranagh
“ The Scalper ” - LaurenceBranagh
“ Man in Hotel #1 ” - LaurenceBranagh
“ Man in Hotel #2 ” - LaurenceBranagh
Although he liked to sign his autographs, perhaps jokingly, "Milton Gaylord Reid" his real name was Milton Rutherford Reid and he was born in Bombay on 29 April 1917. His father Edgar William Reid was a Scottish-born Customs and Excise inspector who had married an Indian lady. Milton moved to London in 1936, settling in Shepherd's Bush, and during his early career worked as a commercial traveller...
“ The Burly Stagehand ” - LaurenceBranagh
“ Bling Stagehand #1 ” - LaurenceBranagh
Spade-jawed British character actor Norman Rossington was born in Liverpool, so it shouldn't be considered THAT ironic that he would end up appearing in The Beatles
' debut film smash, A Hard Day's Night
, as "Norm", the Fab Four's chagrined road manager. The son of a publican, he never finished high school...
“ Blind Stagehand #2 ” - LaurenceBranagh
“ Blind Stagehand #3 ” - LaurenceBranagh
“ The Carriage Driver ” - LaurenceBranagh
Everyone knows (or should know) Lois Maxwell as the one and only "Miss Moneypenny", but there's much more to her acting career than that. She started out against her parents' will, and without their knowledge, in a Canadian children's radio program, credited as "Robin Wells". Before the age of 15 she...
“ The Glamorous Assistant ” - LaurenceBranagh
“ The Housekeeper ” - LaurenceBranagh
A tall, imposing character actor with a voice to match, John Phillips brought an authoritative manner and dignified military bearing to his many roles on stage and screen. A decorated veteran of the 1944 Normandy Campaign, Phillips frequently appeared on television as uniformed senior officers and police chief constables...
“ Workman #1 ” - LaurenceBranagh
Sir Christopher Rhodes, 3rd baronet was the only son of Sir John Rhodes DSO, 2nd baronet and former chairman of Thomas Rhodes Ltd, cotton spinners and manufacturers. Educated at Eton and Magdalen College, Oxford. He succeeded his father to the baronency in 1955. He served in the Essex regiment during...
“ The Warder ” - LaurenceBranagh
“ Leonard ” - LaurenceBranagh
“ Will ” - LaurenceBranagh
“ Stand-in ” - LaurenceBranagh