January 2, 2017


Anthony Quayle (1913-1989) b. Aindale, Sefton, Merseyside.

Anthony Quayle

British actor and director who was well known for his roles in classic plays on the stage as well as for his extensive motion picture career. Quayle was born in Ainsdale, Sefton, England, where his father was a lawyer. He attended Rugby Secondary School in Warwickshire, and advanced to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London. He made his first stage appearance in 1931 in vaudeville but became a member of the Old Vic Theatre in 1932. During World War II he served as a major with the British Special Operations Executive (S.O.E) in Albania. He returned to the stage in 1945 to perform in Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s The Rivals. In 1948 he became director of the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre at Stratford-upon-Avon, and remained in the post until leaving Stratford in 1956.

Quayle made his film debut in 1935, but his screen career began in earnest with a non-speaking role in Olivier’s Hamlet (1948), playing Marcellus. His film career remained sporadic until the mid-1950s when he hit his stride with memorable roles as the light-hearted Commodore Harewood in Powell and Pressburger’s The Battle of the River Plate (1956), and three J. Lee Thompson films; as the unfaithful husband in kitchen-sink drama Woman in a Dressing Gown (1957), the enemy within in Ice-Cold in Alex (1958) and the blockbuster The Guns of Navarone (1961). Quayle went on to perform in a number of historical epics, including Lawrence of Arabia (1962), The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964), and Anne of the Thousand Days (1969), in which he earned an Academy award nomination. Later Quayle starred as the lead character in the ITC mystery television series, The Strange Report, and made frequent cameo appearances in movies and on the small screen. In 1952 he was appointed a CBE, and became Sir Anthony Quayle in 1985.

blog comments powered by Disqus