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Bernard Hepton Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (2)  | Trivia (3)

Overview (4)

Born in Bradford, Yorkshire, England, UK
Died in Dover, Kent, England, UK
Birth NameFrancis Bernard Heptonstall
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Tall, dignified-looking Bernard Hepton enjoyed a six decade-long career on both stage and screen during which he particularly excelled at subtle, self-effacing or introspective roles. An electrician's son, Hepton grew up in the West Yorkshire town of Bradford. Due to poor eyesight, he missed out on wartime service and instead trained as an aircraft engineer and draughtsman. A teenage 'fire watcher' during the war, he found his boredom relieved by a chance introduction to one act amateur plays. Immediately fascinated by theatre, he joined the Bradford Civic Playhouse where he became a protégé of the director Esme Church. He then acted on stage in York for two years (in his own words tackling "anything from Agatha Christie to Shakespeare"), subsequently graduating to artistic director at the prestigious Birmingham Repertory Theatre and the Liverpool Playhouse. In 1964, Hepton joined the fledgling BBC2 hoping to produce and direct. Before long, however, he ended up in front of the cameras. Specialising in the classics (especially period drama) his many diverse faces over the years have included those of kindly clerk Wemmick in Great Expectations (1967), Archbishop Thomas Cranmer in The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1970), Pallas in I, Claudius (1976) , Hungarian émigré Toby Esterhase, head of the 'Circus' surveillance section, in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1979) and Smiley's People (1982), Inspector Goole in An Inspector Calls (1982) (whose author, J.B. Priestley, incidentally grew up in the same street as Hepton), Sir Thomas Bertram in Mansfield Park (1983), rag and bone man Krook (who spontaneously combusts) in Masterpiece Theatre: Bleak House (1985) and Mr. Woodhouse in Jane Austen's Emma (1996). In addition to numerous one-off guest spots, Hepton also had two notable leading roles in the 70s: as the humane German Kommandant in Colditz (1972) and (on the other side of the wartime divide) as the Belgian cafe owner and resistance fighter Albert Foriet, aiding the escape of downed Allied airmen from occupied territory in Secret Army (1977).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: I.S.Mowis

Spouse (2)

Hilary Liddell (1979 - 4 April 2013) ( her death)
Nancie Jackson (1957 - 18 January 1977) ( her death)

Trivia (3)

He was originally offered the role of Dyson, played by Dudley Jones, in Doctor Who: The Tenth Planet: Episode 2 (1966), and considered for the Castellan in Doctor Who: Arc of Infinity: Part One (1983).
He played Archbishop Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556) in three different productions: The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1970), Elizabeth R (1971) and Henry VIII and His Six Wives (1972).
He was considered for the roles of Dr. Hans Fallada, Dr. Bukovsky, Sir Percy Heseltine and Dr. Armstrong in Lifeforce (1985).

See also

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