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1 item from 2011

Nicholas Selby obituary

4 May 2011 4:05 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

A familiar face on TV and a stage actor at the cutting edge

Nicholas Selby, who has died aged 85, was, in many ways, the archetypal supporting actor: dependable, grave and imposing while emitting a sense of authoritarian decency, courtesy and old school charm. And yet, although he was a familiar face on television, playing majors, judges and elderly peers – and a chief constable in the long-running late-1960s police series Softly Softly – he was linked with radical theatre work at the Royal Court and the Royal Shakespeare Company, where he was one of the earliest associate artists.

Selby was, in fact, an old-fashioned socialist, hailing from a working-class family in Holborn, central London, where his father worked for a rubber company. The family lived above a cinema, where young James (he later changed his name at the behest of Equity), the youngest of three, watched all the new releases free of charge. »

- Michael Coveney

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