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Biography

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Overview (2)

Date of Birth 18 October 1930Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, England, UK
Date of Death 20 July 2005Buckinghamshire, England, UK

Mini Bio (1)

Widely regarded as the finest 1st Assistant Director in the World, and co-creator, Producer, Director, and writer of The Prisoner (1967).

Born across the road from Borehamwood Studios in 1931, Tomblin entered the film business at the age of 14 before National Service saw him take a break for a stint in the marines. He returned to the industry in 1952, later taking up a post as 1st Assistant Director to Stanley Kubrick.

In the late 1950s, he moved into television, working on series such as H.G.Wells' Invisible Man (1958), and Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond (1959). In 1959, he joined the crew of the ITC series Secret Agent (1964), and it was here that he met Patrick McGoohan for the first time.

Shortly after, McGoohan and Tomblin created Everyman Films Limited, under whose banner The Prisoner (1967) was later made. Tomblin co-created The Prisoner (1967), working on ideas formulated by McGoohan and story-editor George Markstein (with whom he co-wrote the opening episode, "Arrival"). Tomblin was credited as Producer on all 17 The Prisoner (1967) episodes, and also Directed and co-wrote two more ("Living in Harmony" and "Girl Who Was Death"). It is not doubted that without him, The Prisoner (1967) would have looked very different, and possibly would not have been made at all.

He continued in TV after The Prisoner (1967), directing several episodes of the Gerry Anderson series UFO (1969), Space: 1999 (1975), and The Protectors (1972). However, it was his role as 1st Assistant Director in blockbuster films that made his name. His credit list is endless, and when interviewed about this list for the Channel 4 Documentary Six Into One: The Prisoner File (1984) in 1984, he recalled: "I have just worked on a George Lucas film called "Return Of The Jedi" [Star Wars: Episode VI - The Return of the Jedi (1983)] and, to get permission to work in the States, I had to write down every film that I had been on. I got to 478 and then decided that was probably enough to convince them that I had a reasonable amount of experience."

Some of the best-known films on which he worked were Gandhi (1982), Out of Africa (1985), Superman (1978), A Bridge Too Far (1977), all 3 "Indiana Jones" films [The Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), [Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), and [Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)], Star Wars: Episode VI - The Return of the Jedi (1983), "Never Say Never Again", Cry Freedom (1987), Chaplin (1992), Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999), and _Braveheart_ (a post which re-united him with 'Patrick McGoohan').

In 2003, David was awarded a BAFTA for outstanding contribution to film, and he was working right up until his death, after a short illness, on the film Beyond the Horizon (2009).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Rick Davy

Personal Quotes (1)

I'm accepted and not resented by directors because I'm an older man, so they don't feel that I'm trying to intrude on their territory. And having been a director, writer and producer, I've covered most of the areas so I can be quite a bit of help - and also very diplomatic about it. That's the great secret of always working, if you're not diplomatic about it people don't ask for you.

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