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Archive for May, 2018

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Jessie Buckley

 

Jessie Buckley

IMDB:

Jessie Buckley is an Irish singer and actress, who came in second place in the BBC talent show-themed television series I’d Do Anything, and subsequently played Anne Egermann in the West End revival of Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music. Most recently, Buckley appeared on three BBC television series, as Marya Bolkonskaya in BBC’s adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace, as Lorna Bow in Taboo and as Honor Martin in The Last Post.

Buckley was born in Killarney, County Kerry, the eldest of five children. Her mother, Marina Cassidy, encouraged her to sing and coached her. She has a brother and three sisters. Buckley went to Ursuline Secondary School, an all-girls convent school in Thurles, County Tipperary, where her mother works as a vocal coach and where she performed in school productions. She played a number of male roles at school, including the male lead role of Jets gang founder Tony in the musical West Side Story and Freddie Trumper in Chess.

She has achieved Grade eight in piano, clarinet and harp with the Royal Irish Academy of Music. She is also a member of the Tipperary Millennium Orchestra. Buckley also attended The Association of Irish Musical Societies (AIMS) workshops during the summer, to help improve her singing and acting; it was where she was then recognised as a talented actress and was encouraged to apply for Drama School in London. Just before she auditioned for I’d Do Anything, she was turned down by two drama schools, including one the day before her first audition for the show. In 2008, Buckley won the AIMS Best Actress award for her portrayal of Julie Jordan in the Killarney Musical Society production of Carousel.

Buckley competed in I’d Do Anything, a search for a new, unknown lead to play Nancy in a London West End stage revival of the British musical Oliver. Buckley reached the final on 31 May 2008, finishing in second place behind Jodie Prenger. Before the final vote was announced in Show two of the final, Graham Norton asked the panel who they each thought was Nancy. Three of the panel said Buckley and two Prenger. John Barrowman and Denise van Outen said “Jodie”, while Barry Humphries, Cameron Mackintosh and Andrew Lloyd Webber said “Jessie”. However, the public voted for Jodie.

uckley performed at the Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Birthday in the Park show in Hyde Park, London on 14 September 2008, singing “I Don’t Know How To Love Him” as a solo and “Light at the End of the Tunnel” from Starlight Express with fellow I’d Do Anything finalists Keisha Amponsa-Banson, Niamh Perry, Rachel Tucker as well as Any Dream Will Do finalists Daniel Boys, Lewis Bradley, Ben James-Ellis and Keith Jack. On 18 September she and Aoife Mulholland performed with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra at an Andrew Lloyd Webber evening at the National Concert Hall in Dublin. On 26 August 2008 Buckley performed on Denny Street in Tralee, Co. Kerry where the first ever Millionaire raffle was broadcast live on RTÉ Radio 1. After this, Jessie performed at a charity concert in Tipperary, where she announced that she would be starting rehearals for A Little Night Music in London the following Monday.

Buckley was offered the opportunity to understudy Nancy, but turned it down in favour of another production: on 10 October 2008 it was announced that Buckley would be appearing in a revival of the Stephen Sondheim musical A Little Night Music, in the role of Anne Egerman, at the Menier Chocolate Factory, a fringe Studio Theatre, in London from 22 November 2008 to 8 March 2009. She appeared alongside Maureen Lipman and Hannah Waddingham in the production, which was directed by Trevor Nunn. A Little Night Music transferred from the Menier Chocolate Factory to the Garrick Theatre in London’s West End on 7 April 2009 (previews from 28 March – 6 April). A Little Night Music was Buckley’s West End debut. The show closed on 25 July 2009. Since then, she has appeared in a number of concerts nationally, including a Christmas concert alongside Maria Friedman, Cantabile – the London Quartet and Tim Rice, and in February 2010 appeared alongside Daniel Boys (and Night Music co-star Kelly Price) in a series of Valentine musical concerts.

– IMDb Mini Biography By: ahmetkozan

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Darren Day

Darren Day

Darren Day was born on July 17, 1968 in Colchester, Essex, England as Darren Graham. He is an actor, known for Rough Cut (2015), The Krays: Dead Man Walking (2018) and Dangerous Game (2017). He has been married to Stephanie Dooley since May 21, 2007. They have two children.

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Jacqueline De Witt

Jacqueline De Witt

Jacqueline deWit was born on September 26, 1912 in Los Angeles, California, USA as Wilhelmina deWit. She was an actress, known for Little Giant (1946), The Damned Don’t Cry (1950) and The Snake Pit (1948). She died on January 7, 1998 in Los Angeles.

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Janine Duvitski

IMDB:

Janine Drzewicki was born in Nottingham to an English mother and a Polish father and moved to London to train as an actress at the E 15 theatre school. Shortly after leaving she was given a couple of small roles in television dramas but had no agent, and placed an advert in the ‘Spotlight’ agency catalogue with a photograph. As a result she was approached by the BBC to test for a play about incest, entitled BBC2 Playhouse: Diane(1975). Although she was in her early 20s the part was that of a 13-year-old girl but her audition was sufficiently convincing to win her the role. The door thus opened to her for more TV and stage roles and, whilst she was appearing in ‘Don Juan’ at Hampstead Theatre, London, she was spotted by Mike Leigh who offered her the part of Angie in the stage production of Play for Today: Abigail’s Party (1977), which she repeated in the television version. A familiar face in television comedy series, she has nonetheless been given very little of note in the cinema, playing typically small roles as mad women in Dracula (1979) and The Madness of King George (1994). Married to the actor Paul Bentall, she has two sons and two daughters , one being the actress Ruby Bentalland lives in London.

– IMDb Mini Biography By: don @ minifie-1

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Peter Barkworth

 

Peter Barkworth

Wendy Trewin’s “Guardian” obituary from 2003:

The actor and director, Peter Barkworth who has died aged 77 claimed to have felt “the sheer sensual pleasure of acting” when he first appeared on a stage. He was five years old, in the Wolf Cubs and appearing as Simple Simon in a church hall in Margate.

What followed was a notable stage career but he became known to a wider public on television. His presence was established by his role as Kenneth Bligh in the boardroom drama The Power Game (1965) and confirmed in Brian Clark’s Telford’s Change (1979) opposite Hannah Gordon. In that 10-part series, he played a high-flying banker who opts for the quiet life in Dover.

In the intervening years his small screen roles had taken in such productions as Dr Who, The Avengers (from 1961 to 1969), Paul Temple (1971) and Colditz (1972). At the the Haymarket – his favourite theatre – in 1972 he had his first stage leading part in London as Edward VIII in Royce Ryton’s abdication drama, Crown Matrimonial – at a rare emotional moment speaks to his mother of his love for Wallis Simpson with complete naturalness. He repeated the role on TV two years later.

In 1977 Peter was cast as a British academic adrift in Stalinist Czechoslovakia in Tom Stoppard’s Professional Foul Repeated earlier this month on BBC4, the play won Peter the Royal Television Society and Bafta’s best actor awards. Later TV included the part of Stanley Baldwin in Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years (1981) and the kidnap serial The Price (1985) with Harriet Walter, written by Peter Ransley.

His film work began in 1959 with A Touch of Larceny. It took in No Love for Johnnie (1963), Where Eagles Dare (1969), Patton (1970) and concluded with Stephen Fry’s Wilde (1997).

Peter was born in Margate, and when his father – who worked in the motor trade – was promoted to a sales managership in Manchester the family moved to Bramhall, Cheshire. Peter was educated at Stockport school and as an 11-year-old in 1940 began taking part in concerts for the war effort – and enjoying the applause. Good at work, hopeless at games, after he played the role of Macbeth the producer rewarded the cast with a trip to see John Gielgud’s Hamlet at the Opera House, Manchester. Peter was duly impressed.

While still at school he appeared with the Frank H Fortescue weekly repertory company at the Hippodrome, Stockport in For What We Are in 1942, and had some parts with the BBC drama repertory company which was based in Manchester during the war. His headmaster wanted Peter to go to university but, having played Hamlet at school, Peter applied for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and gained the Michelhill scholarship – but this only covered his Rada tuition fees. His father, earning £8 a week, gave up tobacco and alcohol and provided him with £2.15s (£2.75). a week.

His Rada contemporaries from 1946 to 1948 included John Neville, Barbara Jefford, and Robert Shaw – with whom he shared a flat for some months. Having been awarded the judges’ special medal at Rada’s public show, in 1948 he was offered a part in The Guinea Pig with the Arthur Brough Players at the Folkestone repertory company. His first taste of television was that year too, live at Alexandra Palace in a tiny part. He enjoyed it chiefly because he could speak in a whisper.

National Service proved better than he had feared, especially after he had been commissioned, but he was glad to return to weekly rep in Folkestone and the Brough Players. But when he moved to fortnightly rep in Sheffield Brough, furiously accused him of disloyalty, and vowed he would never have him back at Folkestone.

Peter did not need to make the return. He appeared at the Q theatre in Palmers Green in London, and, in Sheffield was given some good parts in a company that included his Rada contemporary Peter Sallis. Peter also wrote the songs and incidental music for the Christmas play.

Spotted by HM Tennent’s scout, and given a contract, Peter’s first London appearance was in Dodie Smith’s adaptation of Henry James’s Letter from Paris in 1952 at the Aldwych which was roundly booed and came off after three weeks. His next part, Gerald Arbuthnot in Oscar Wilde’s A Woman of No Importance (1954) gave him another kind of shock. There were rows in the company, the lead, Clive Brook quarrelled explosively and Peter was so depressed that he was on the brink of giving up the stage. Athene Seyler persuaded him to carry on.

He found more backstage trouble with Christopher Fry’s The Dark is Light Enough (1955) directed by Peter Brook. Barkworth played Stefan, the young son of the Countess (Edith Evans). Arguments continued during rehearsals and on the long tour which made Barkworth consider seriously giving up once more; however, the atmosphere improved and he enjoyed the rest of the seven months’ run.

“Of all the jobs I have ever had, teaching at Rada is the one I should least like to have missed, ‘ Peter wrote in First Houses (1983) and from the mid-1950s into the early 1960s he taught acting technique. His pupils included Anthomny Hopkins, Simon Ward and Diana Rigg while Richard Wilson found that Peter was the first Rada teacher to give him real confidence. Peter had attended Fabia Drake’s classes as a student and had learnt, he said, more from her than from any other teacher.

Back on stage his roles included that of Captain Christopher Mortlock in Noel Coward’s South Sea Bubble (1956) with Vivien Leigh, and, from September 1957 Bernard Taggart-Stuart in Lesley Storm’s Roar Like a Dove. One of his favourite parts, he got more laughs than anyone else in the cast for his horrified reactions, as a town dweller, to country life. He enjoyed it so much he remained in the play for its entire three year run at the Phoenix.

At the Haymarket he was the cynical Sir Benjamin Backbite in Gielgud’s production of The School for Scandal (1962) which went to New York in 1963. It was his first appearance there.

His other stage work included The Chinese Prime Minister (1965), while at the Globe in 1976 in Michael Frayn’s Donkeys’ Years he was one of the former undergraduates who returned to their Oxford college for a reunion with their old flame (Penelope Keith). He wrote an erudite script for his one man Siegfried Sassoon (1987) which he gave at the Hampstead theatre, in the West End and on tour.

Peter conscientiously researched the technicalities of his performances; once when about to play a clergyman he consulted his local vicar. He wrote an erudite script for his one man Siegfried Sassoon which he gave at the Hampstead Theatre, in the West End and on tour.

Peter’s other books included About Acting (1980), More About Acting (1944) The Complete About Acting (1991) and For All Occasions (1997). In November 1999 a new theatre in Stockport opened, named after him.

One of his hobbies was gardening; he received an award for his small garden at Hampstead where he lived for 40 years.

· Peter Wynn Barkworth, actor and director, born January 14, 1929; died October 21 2006

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Olwyn Feore

 

Olwyn Feore

Brilliant actress who hails from Clifden.

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Victor McLaglen

 

Victor McLaglan

 

Rambunctious British leading man (contrary to popular belief, he was of Scottish ancestry, not Irish) and later character actor primarily in American films, Victor McLaglen was a vital presence in a number of great motion pictures, especially those of director John Ford. McLaglen (pronounced Muh-clog-len, not Mack-loff-len) was the son of the Right Reverend Andrew McLaglen, a Protestant clergyman who was at one time Bishop of Claremont in South Africa. The young McLaglen, eldest of eight brothers, attempted to serve in the Boer War by joining the Life Guards, though his father secured his release. The adventuresome young man traveled to Canada where he did farm labor and then directed his pugnacious nature into professional prizefighting. He toured in circuses, vaudeville shows, and Wild West shows, often as a fighter challenging all comers. His tours took him to the US, Australia (where he joined in the gold rush) and South Africa. In 1909 he was the first fighter to box newly-crowned heavyweight champion Jack Johnson, whom he fought in a six-round exhibition match in Vancouver (as an exhibition fight, it had no decision). When the First World War broke out, McLaglen joined the Irish Fusiliers and soldiered in the Middle East, eventually serving as Provost Marshal (head of Military Police) for the city of Baghdad. After the war he attempted to resume a boxing career, but was given a substantial acting role in The Call of the Road (1920) and was well received. He became a popular leading man in British silent films, and within a few years was offered the lead in an American film, The Beloved Brute (1924). He quickly became a most popular star of dramas as well as action films, playing tough or suave with equal ease. With the coming of sound, his ability to be persuasively debonair diminished by reason of his native speech patterns, but his popularity increased, particularly when cast by Ford as the tragic Gypo Nolan in The Informer (1935), for which McLaglen won the Best Actor Oscar. He continued to play heroes, villains and simple-minded thugs into the 1940s, when Ford gave his career a new impetus with a number of lovably roguish Irish parts in such films as She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949) and The Quiet Man (1952). The latter film won McLaglen another Oscar nomination, the first time a Best Actor winner had been nominated subsequently in the Supporting category. McLaglen formed a semi-militaristic riding and polo club, the Light Horse Brigade, and a similarly arrayed precision motorcycle team, the Victor McLaglen Motorcycle Corps, both of which led to apparently erroneous conclusions that he had fascist sympathies and was forming his own private army. The facts prove otherwise, and despite rumors to the contrary, McLaglen did not espouse the far right-wing sentiments often attributed to him. He continued to act in films into his 70s and died, from heart failure, not long after appearing in a film directed by his son, Andrew V. McLaglen.

– IMDb Mini Biography By: Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

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Elliot Reid

Elliot Reid

Elliott Reid was born on January 16, 1920 in New York City, New York, USA as Edgeworth Blair Reid. He was an actor and writer, known for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), Inherit the Wind (1960) and Vicki (1953). He died on June 21, 2013 in Studio City, Los Angeles, California, USA.

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Robert Reed

Robert Reed

Robert Reed was born on October 19, 1932 in Highland Park, Illinois, USA as John Robert Rietz Jr. He was an actor, known for The Brady Bunch (1969), Bloodlust! (1961) and Rich Man, Poor Man (1976). He was married to Marilyn Rosenberger. He died on May 12, 1992 in Pasadena, California, USA.

Elliot Reid

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Bryan Pringle

 

Bryan Pringle

“Guardian” obituary by Eric Shorter in 2002:

Bryan Pringle, who has died aged 67, was a first-rate character actor who excelled at underdogs. He brought to a wide range of nonentities, both on stage and screen, a warm humanity.

Perhaps best known in Jack Rosenthal’s 1969 television series The Dustbinmen or, on stage, playing Pinter or Beckett, few actors had a likelier physique when it came to looking the part: lugubrious, with a long face, bulbous nose, heavy jowls and bags under both sad eyes. If not visibly under someone’s thumb, Pringle seemed born to represent thoughtful inadequacy.

It was as Stanley in Pinter’s 1964 revival of The Birthday Party that he first caught critical attention, as a seedy, one-time entertainer who had turned his back on the world to eke out a wretched existence in a seaside boarding house, where he fell victim to menacing visitors.

Years later, he recalled: “Harold was, by then, a big name. It wasn’t simply a question of struggling to find the meaning. He wouldn’t have told us what it was about, anyway. We took it at face value. He just told us to be truthful and the text would play itself. And of course he was right.”

Within a few weeks of that opening, Beckett’s Endgame joined the Royal Shakespeare Company repertoire – and, as Nagg, Pringle’s performance was likened to “a dead man speaking”.

It would be five years before he caught the nation’s imagination in The Dustbinmen, as the leader of a gang of refuse collectors – based, it was claimed, on daily Lancashire life – for once getting their own back on society. Wherever they went, Pringle’s disorderly cohorts spread dismay – and garbage. To Rosenthal’s popular sit-com, he brought one of his most grittily realistic and raucously observed characters of low life, and Dustbinmen went straight to the top of the ratings.

Although theatre critics would sometimes wish bigger roles upon him, as say, Uncle Mad in Keith Waterhouse’s fragment of autobiography in a 1970s series, Childhood, Pringle’s art flourished in fragments.

At Joan Littlewood’s Theatre Workshop, for instance, he headed Henry Livings’s Big Soft Nellie (1961), as a mildly demented mother’s boy mocked by workmates; and 30 years later, in Twelfth Night, his Malvolio was arresting. “Large and magnificently pompous, he has an ugly, austere face which labours like a mountain to give birth to a hideous chasm of a smile,” wrote one critic. In a national tour of My Fair Lady, Pringle’s “anarchic, gravel-voiced” Doolittle glumly lit up the stage.

Pringle was born at Glascote, Staffordshire, the son of a clergyman. He trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art before joining the Old Vic, under Michael Benthall, in the mid-1950s. In minimal parts, he shared the stage with Richard Burton, John Neville and Paul Rogers.

But it was in rep at the Nottingham Playhouse that Pringle got his first break. In Willis Hall’s first stage play, The Long And The Short And The Tall, he was the only member of the original cast to be kept for the 1959 London opening, under Lindsay Anderson’s direction. As Private Smith, on patrol in the Malayan jungle of 1942, he was an older married man comforting a frightened youngster. After another minor West End role, as a seaman called China in Beverly Cross’s One More River, Pringle joined Littlewood’s 1960 production of Fings Ain’t Wot They Used T’Be.

What people will remember best, however, is his string of television cameos, and the reliably comic gloom of that deadpan gaze. Apart from Dustbinmen, other television appearances included the pat- ernal police-sergeant in The Growing Pains Of Pc Penrose (otherwise known as Rosie); the local publican and patronising youth-club manager in A Prince Among Men, who held that big heads never shrank; and the ruminative Mr Bebbington, and his slobbering bulldog, in Once Upon A Time. He was also Sgt Match in Joe Orton’s What The Butler Saw; Grimsdale in All Creatures Great And Small; Ben Baker in Rumpole; and the pathologist in Prime Suspect.

All the while, Pringle continued adding to his theatrical credits, last year as an aged, discontented and ultimately assassinated parent in Orton’s Entertaining Mr Sloane. Among his film credits were The Remains Of The Day, The Boy Friend and Lawrence Of Arabia.