January 2, 2017


Dennis Price (1915-1973) b. Ruscombe, Berkshire, England.

Dennis Price

Born into an upper-class family, Oxford-educated Price embarked upon an acting career in 1937. After several seasons in Sir John Gielgud‘s acting company, Price then earned his first starring role in Powell and Pressburger’s A Canterbury Tale (1944). He was often cast as the bnoble scoundrel, and after a spell in Gainsborough melodrama’s he went on to land his most famous role as the charmingly homicidal heir Louis Mazzinni in Ealing’s black comedy Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949).

A busy character actor, he appeared in a handful of comedy classics during the late 1950s; notably the Boulting Brother’s Private’s Progress (1956) and I’m All Right Jack (1959), The Naked Truth (1957), and hooking up again with Kind Hearts… director Robert Hamer’s for School for Scoundrels (1960). Price gained a whole new flock of fans for his appearances as Jeeves in the BBC series The World of Wooster. By the 1970s, Price’s career was in decline and he’d become a tax exile to stave off bankruptcy. His characters were now often highly camp, and he was frequently seen in Spanish director Jesus Franco’s terrible psychedelic interpretations of the horror genre. This late foray into horror did bring Price work from the more reputable Hammer studios but by this time their fortunes were also in decline. There was one final memorable cameo as a London theatre critic in Theatre of Blood (1973) before his death 1973.

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