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Robert Hardy Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (2)  | Trade Mark (3)  | Trivia (19)  | Personal Quotes (11)

Overview (5)

Born in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England, UK
Died in Denville Hall, Northwood, Hillingdon, London, England, UK
Birth NameTimothy Sydney Robert Hardy
Nickname Tim
Height 5' 9" (1.75 m)

Mini Bio (1)

One of England's most successful and enduring character actors, with a prolific screen career on television and in films, Robert Hardy was acclaimed for his versatility and the depth of his performances.

Born in Cheltenham in 1925, he studied at Oxford University and, in 1949, he joined the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre at Stratford-upon-Avon. Television viewers most fondly remember him as the overbearing Siegfried Farnon in All Creatures Great and Small (1978) but his most critically acclaimed performance was as the title character of Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years (1981). His portrayal of Britain's wartime leader was so accurately observed that, in the following years, he was called on to reprise the role in such productions as The Woman He Loved (1988) and War and Remembrance (1988).

Unlike some British character actors, Hardy was not a Hollywood name and his work in films was therefore restricted to appearances in predominantly British-based productions such as The Spy Who Came In from the Cold (1965), Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994) and Sense and Sensibility (1995). However, in the 21st century, Hardy came to the attention of a whole new generation for his performances in the hugely successful Harry Potter films, while also continuing to make regular appearances in British television series. His co-star from All Creatures Great and Small (1978), Peter Davison, quite simply described Hardy as an "extraordinary" actor who would "never do the same thing twice" when he was acting with him. He was awarded the CBE for services to acting. He died in August 2017.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Spouse (2)

Sally Pearson (1961 - 1986) ( divorced) ( 2 children)
Elizabeth Fox (1952 - 1956) ( divorced) ( 1 child)

Trade Mark (3)

Playing patrician figures with hidden depths of melancholy or spite, always with perfect diction
He often played upper-class or middle-class English characters
Characters full of bluster and grand gestures that were trying desperately hard to hide the softer, more vulnerable person within

Trivia (19)

His ex-wife, Sally Pearson, is Gladys Cooper's daughter.
He became an expert on the longbow when he played Henry V at Stratford. He became a longbow/weapons consultant for the Mary Rose Trust when that 16th-century warship was recovered at Portsmouth, England, UK.
He was awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 1981 Queen's Birthday Honours List for his services to drama.
He spoke at the funeral of James Herriot. Herriot was the pseudonym of Alf Wight (due to legal requirements of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons) and Hardy and Wight became close friends over the years of the All Creatures Great and Small (1978) series, adapted from Wight's books.
He was one of the patrons of the Wensleydale Railway, a group that has been set up to re-open the mainly derelict line between Northallerton and Garsdale in Yorkshire, because of his connection with the area from when he played Siegfried Farnon in All Creatures Great and Small (1978).
He has played British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in six separate films (Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years (1981), The Woman He Loved (1988), War and Remembrance (1988), "Bomber Harris" (1989) (TV), Marple: The Sittaford Mystery (2006), Churchill: 100 Days That Saved Britain (2015)) as well as the fictitious Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge in the Harry Potter series. He has also twice played Winston Churchill's World War II ally and friend, American President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
He was the father of three children: son Paul Hardy, from his first marriage; daughters Emma Hardy (actress and photographer) and Justine Hardy (journalist and author) from his second marriage.
He is one of two actors to play Winston Churchill in several movies. The second was Timothy Spall, who played the role in Jackboots on Whitehall (2010) and The King's Speech (2010). The latter concerned itself with King George VI's speech problems, and with the scandal involving his brother Edwards VIII's relationship with a married American woman. Hardy has been in two films about this period: The Woman He Loved (1988) and Bertie and Elizabeth (2002), playing Franklin D. Roosevelt in the latter. He and Spall both appeared in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005).
Hardy revealed he was written out of the Harry Potter films because he became too expensive to insure due to his age.
He was considered to play Dr. Fendelman (played by Denis Lill) in Doctor Who: Image of the Fendahl: Part One (1977) and Captain Rorvik (played by Clifford Rose) in Doctor Who: Warriors' Gate: Part One (1981).
He was considered for the roles of Dr. Armstrong and Sir Percy Heseltine in Lifeforce (1985).
In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007), Hardy's last line as Cornelius Fudge ("He's back!") was repeated, as an uncredited voice-over, in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009).
At university, his professors included J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis.
In common with the American character actor John Lithgow, he played both British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and American President Franklin D. Roosevelt on screen.
His memorial service was held at St Paul's Church in Knightsbridge, London, and was attended by Michael Gambon, Maggie Smith, Nigel Havers, Siân Phillips and Peter Davison.
His co-star in All Creatures Great and Small (1978), Peter Davison, claimed he learned more from working with Hardy than anyone else in his career.
He was a very close friend of Richard Burton, with whom he bonded over their shared love of William Shakespeare.
Died on the same day as his Berserk (1967) co-star Ty Hardin.
Several websites, including Metro and The Telegraph, incorrectly state that he won a BAFTA for Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years (1981). He was nominated but did not win, as Anthony Andrews won for Brideshead Revisited (1981) that year. Brideshead was so dominant in the awards that year that Hardy was actually the only actor among the four nominees to be nominated for appearing in another series.

Personal Quotes (11)

Playing villains is half the fun, and you may not be an absolute villain yourself, but finding something in the villain, the horrid creature, that you enjoy.
[on his role as Cornelius Fudge in the Harry Potter movies] I was kicked out in the end because I was just too expensive. It was great fun while it lasted, the boys and girls were all absolutely splendid. I had a ball fooling around with old friends like Maggie Smith. Thanks to those films I get the most extraordinary amount of fan mail from all over the world, even China.
[on Daniel Craig] I don't think he's a good actor, but he's very good at jumping.
[on Dominic West as Richard Burton] He was hopeless. He wasn't tough enough, he wasn't dangerous enough, he wasn't Welsh enough.
[on Helena Bonham Carter as Elizabeth Taylor] She was brilliant, absolutely brilliant. She got the spirit of her and sounded like her.
[on Timothy Spall as Winston Churchill] Absolutely awful.
[on Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill] From everything I've seen and heard, Oldman's portrayal of Churchill is far more convincing than some other recent portrayals. He certainly looks the part, he's undergone a remarkable transformation. But it's not just his appearance--he's managed to catch the essence of the man.
It's important to get the little details right. It's not just the look, but stance, style and speech, too. It took me nine months of preparation to get [WInston Churchill] right the first time I played him, back in 1981 in the drama series "The Wilderness Years" (1982) for ITV.
If you're going to play somebody, you've got to try to capture that person. If [Winston Churchill] was a bit much to our modern eye, well, so be it--let's have an over-the-top Churchill! If you're asked to play a dog, it's no use being a pussycat!
[on Albert Finney as Winston Churchill] He's a thorough actor and he did a fine job.
There was a very musical element in [Winston Churchill]'s speaking, and the danger of trying to get the voice, and making it simply repetitive, is a very real risk.

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