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Terence Alexander Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (2)  | Trivia (19)

Overview (4)

Born in Islington, London, England, UK
Died in London, England, UK  (Parkinson's disease)
Birth NameTerence Joseph Alexander
Height 6' (1.83 m)

Mini Bio (1)

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 he might have beaten Queen Victoria's record, had not Parkinson's disease (an illness he finally died of at 86) taken its toll. In 1939, at age 16, he was already in the theater, as the first assistant manager of The White Rose Players Company at the Harrogate Opera House. It did not take more than a few months before he made his acting debut on the aforementioned scene, with the first role in J.B. Priestley's "The Good Companions". And not only would he appear in dozens of plays (signed Jean Anouilh, Ray Cooney, T.S. Eliot, Alan Bennett, Margaret Kennedy, and many others) but he would appear in no fewer than... 340 films, TV movies and series episodes! And that is without counting his career as a voice talent on the radio, as a film and a trailer narrator. Of course, appearing in so many plays and filmed works means that, except on the boards, he was not always the lead. He even hardly ever was. But whether in a supporting role or even a bit part, Terence Alexander managed to establish himself as a well-mannered upper class type with suave manners, although quite often on the wrong side of the law (he was excellent as one of the seven retired army officers turned bank robbers in Basil Dearden's quite enjoyable The League of Gentlemen (1960)). But he could also be an effective foil to comics like Norman Wisdom, Benny Hill and Eric Morecambe & Ernie Wise. On TV, Terence Alexander was everywhere, in many quality TV films like "Autumn Crocus" (1952), "The White Carnation" (1956), "A Room in Town" (1970), "Frankenstein" (1984) and in more than one TV show. But he was first and foremost in an impressive number of series : these included Maigret (1960) (2 episodes, 1962-63), cult classics such as The Avengers (1961) (3 episodes, 1965-69), The New Avengers (1976) (1 episode, 1977), Man in a Suitcase (1967) (1 episode, 1968), The Champions (1968) (1 episode, 1969), The Persuaders! (1971) (1 episode, 1971) and Doctor Who (1963) (2 episodes, 1985), prestigious classic serials such as Nicholas Nickleby (1968) (5 episodes, 1968), The Forsyte Saga (1967) (9 episodes, 1967) and The Pallisers (1974) (3 episodes, 1974), and this is only a sample of all the series the prolific actor appeared in. With such a hectic activity, Terence Alexander of course gained recognition both from his peers and from the public but fame did not come to him before 1981 when he accepted (rather reluctantly by his own admission) the role of Charlie Hungerford in the detective series "Bergerac". As the power broker and (disapproving) partner of detective Jim Bergerac, played by John Nettles, he appeared in 85 of its 86 episodes. Shown in 35 countries, the series allowed Alexander to be known (and cherished) not only by an international audience but by the younger generation too. More than a swan song for this exquisite actor. When he retired in 1999 he must have have felt satisfied with his professional life.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Guy Bellinger

Spouse (2)

Jane Downs (1976 - 28 May 2009) ( his death)
Juno Stevas (1949 - 1972) ( divorced) ( 2 children)

Trivia (19)

Had talks to play the role of Richard Bellamy (David Langton) in Upstairs, Downstairs (1971).
Has two sons, Nicholas and Marcus.
In The Fast Lady (1963), he is seen riding a Triumph 5T Speed Twin, the registration number of which was ERD 562.
Son of a doctor. Retired from acting in 1999 due to Parkinson's disease and lived at his house in London until his death.
For over 30 years from the early 1960s onward, he was the voice of numerous UK theatrical trailers and television commercials.
Although he was born in London, he was brought up in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire. He used his native Yorkshire accent for the part of Charlie Hungerford in Bergerac (1981).
During World War II he served in the British Army as a lieutenant with the 27th Lancers, and was seriously wounded when his armored car was hit by artillery fire in Italy.
Educated at Ratcliffe College, Leicestershire, and Norwood College, Harrogate, and started acting in the theatre while quite young, age 16.
Once contemplated becoming a priest.
By the time of Bergerac (1981) a condition of the retina made him blind in one eye and threatened the sight in the other.
Son of Joseph and Violet Alexander.
Met his first wife, actress Juno Stevas, while performing in theatre repertory after military service. The sister of politician/barrister, Norman St. John Stevas (later Lord St. John of Fawsley), she is the mother of his two sons, Nick Alexander and Marcus Alexander.
At 18 he joined the Army and was badly wounded after his armored car was hit in an enemy attack. His leg and foot was severely damaged and one eardrum was injured leaving him with a permanent "whistle" in his ear. As late as the mid-1970s, he developed a limp and subsequently had surgery to remove the shrapnel from his leg. He left the Army at the end of the war with a 50 per cent disability pension.
Had a lifelong passion for the stage. His theatrical debut was in 1939 in "The Good Companions" for the White Rose Players Company at the Harrogate Opera House.
Considered the part of Charlie Hungerford in Bergerac (1981) as the best role of his career.
His parents were the master and matron of Knaresborough Hospital.
He was reputedly of a superstitious disposition.
Voice on many trailers.
Considered for Dr. Armstrong and Sir Percy Heseltine in Lifeforce (1985).

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