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Denholm Elliott Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trivia (20) | Personal Quotes (9)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 31 May 1922Ealing, London, England, UK
Date of Death 6 October 1992Ibiza, Spain  (AIDS)
Birth NameDenholm Mitchell Elliott
Height 5' 10¾" (1.8 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Much-loved character actor who specialised in playing slightly sleazy/slightly eccentric and often flawed upper middle class English gentlemen. His career spanned nearly 40 years, becoming a well-known face both in Britain and in the States.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Roger Davies <roger@easynet.co.uk>

Spouse (2)

Susan Robinson (15 June 1962 - 6 October 1992) (his death) (2 children)
Virginia McKenna (1 March 1954 - 18 June 1957) (divorced)

Trivia (20)

Served in the RAF during WWII. His plane was shot down over Germany in 1942 and he spent the rest of the War in Stalag 8B POW camp in Silesia.
Father of Jennifer Elliott
Lost the top of his right thumb in a childhood accident with a lawnmower.
He was awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 1988 New Year's Honours List for his services to Drama.
Performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
A bisexual, he tested HIV positive in 1987 and was diagnosed with AIDS in 1988.
Best known to movie audiences as the bumbling Marcus Brody in the Indiana Jones series. He appeared in both The Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989).
Educated at Malvern College, Worcestershire.
Some sources state that he acquired the AIDS virus from a blood transfusion. However, his widow Susan documented their open marriage and her husband's bisexuality in her book "Denholm Elliott: Quest for Love", published two years after his death.
Rather than recast the role of Marcus Brody in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008), director Steven Spielberg and writer David Koepp created a new character, Charles Stanforth, played by Jim Broadbent. The passing of Marcus Brody is acknowledged several times in the film, with a portrait of him hanging in the hallway outside Indy's classroom, a statue of him in a University courtyard, and a malt shop named "Brody's.".
Father was Myles Layman Elliott and mother Nina Mitchell.
His wife Susan, born March 7th, 1942 in Cleveland, died from injuries from a fire in her one bedroom flat April 12, 2007 in north London. Her neighbour, journalist Rob Lyons, tried to save her during the fire and was able to move her from her wheelchair down to the street waiting for the ambulance to arrive, she died a day later.
Has a son named Mark.
His daughter Jennifer was addicted to heroin and she hanged herself 2003.
Performed (with Joss Ackland) the first gay kiss seen on a West End stage in John Mortimer's play "Bermondsey" in 1971.
He attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) but was asked to leave after one term. As Elliott later recalled: "They wrote to my mother and said, 'Much as we like the little fellow, he's wasting your money and our time. Take him away!'".
In the 1980s, he won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in three consecutive years, the only actor ever to have achieved this.
Due to Elliott's scene-stealing abilities, Gabriel Byrne, his co-star in Defense of the Realm (1986), once joked "never act with children, dogs, or Denholm Elliott".
He attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) in London but was asked to leave after a single term, as they felt he was not talented enough to be successful and that his being there was a waste of time and money.
On the list of possible actors for the roles of Fallanda, Bukovsky, Dr. Armstrong, and Sir Percy in Lifeforce (1985).

Personal Quotes (9)

I like actors - such as Margaret Rutherford and Peter Lorre - who aren't afraid to over-act like real people. When I take a job I can always come up with ten different ways of doing the part. But I'll always choose the flashiest one. You've got to dress the window a bit.
I'm often given parts that aren't as big as they are colorful, but people remember them. When it's a minor or supporting role, you learn to make the most of what you're given. I can make two lines seem like 'Hamlet'.
I love my freedom and I hate the demands that are made on you. I mean the number of jobs actually that I've turned down is incredible. If I took them all and pushed and was seen in the right places and did all that nonsense, I suppose one could become a top-ranking star. I think the price is too high, quite honestly.
[in 1974] Where I am at the moment I know that I could be - if I wished to be - a top-ranking star because I have the power and the technique, I think, to take on anyone and the only thing that has stopped me from being a top-ranking star is my desire to be - which I've never wanted. It's only recently have I achieved the weight to if I want to be. I mean I could go to Stratford and play Prospero, I could have taken a television series and built myself up and done all sorts of things but I don't. I like an anonymity and I like sort of in a sense being an amateur.
I think you can be terribly overexposed. I've been always very careful in my career to do theatre, it takes you out of the television eye and people are glad to see you back again. I mean if you're on every week...one week last year I was on I think five times a week in different things, re-runs of films and plays and things.
[on A Murder of Quality (1991)] I thought Guinness [Alec Guinness] was brilliant as Smiley. But I thought he was very, very dry. I decided to play him far more eccentric and with as much comedy as I could.
[on Trading Places (1983)] My agent said, 'If you accept the terms of the contract they are offering you, they will despise you. I know the Americans. You are not asking for enough money or first-class transportation or a very good hotel. Your per diem is ridiculous and your billing is non-existent.' Five days later they came back with double everything. I had a flight on the Concorde, the best hotel, star billing, everything. There's sort of a gratitude in their eyes that you got twice the amount of cash out of them because they think they are buying something. If they think they got you cheap, they are worried about it.
I always think instinct is more interesting than anything you can think up. I mistrust and am rather bored with actors who are of the Stanislavski school who think about detail. God almighty. Children just do it when they act. I think we should too - jump in and do it.
[on RADA] I was asked to leave. They said I had no talent. I disliked it intensely there. It was all filled with acting students who thought they were so grand and knew it all. It made me feel ridiculously stupid.

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