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Archive for July, 2019

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Pauline Collins

Pauline Collins
Pauline Collins
John Alderton & Pauline Collins
John Alderton & Pauline Collins

Pauline Collins (Wikipedia entry)

Pauline Collins is an English actress of stage, television, and film, who first came to prominence portraying Sarah Moffat in Upstairs, Downstairs (1971–73) and its spin-off, Thomas & Sarah (1979). In 1992, she released her autobiography, titled Letter to Louise.

Collins played the title role in the play Shirley Valentine, for which she won an Olivier Award in 1988, and Drama Desk and Tony Awards in 1989. She reprised the role in the 1989 film adaptation, winning the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role and receiving Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations. She also starred in the television dramas  Forever Green (1989–92) and The Ambassador (1998–99). Her other film appearances include City of Joy (1992), Paradise Road (1997), Albert Nobbs (2011), Quartet (2012), and The Time of Their Lives (2017).

Collins was born in ExmouthDevon, the daughter of Mary Honora (née Callanan), a schoolteacher, and William Henry Collins, a school headmaster.[2] She is of Irish extraction, and was brought up as a Roman Catholic in Wallasey near Liverpool.[3] Her great-uncle was Irish poet Jeremiah Joseph Callanan.[4]

Collins was educated at Sacred Heart High School.[5] and studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London. Before turning to acting, she worked as a teacher until 1962. She made her stage debut at Windsor in A Gazelle in Park Lane in 1962 and her West Enddebut in Passion Flower Hotel in 1965. During the play’s run, she made her first film, Secrets of a Windmill Girl, released in 1966. More stage roles followed.

Collins played Samantha Briggs in the 1967 Doctor Who serial The Faceless Ones and was offered the chance to continue in the series as a new companion for the Doctor, but declined the invitation.

Other early TV credits include the UK’s first medical soap Emergency – Ward 10 (1960), and the pilot episode and first series of The Liver Birds, both in 1969.

Collins first became well known for her role as the maid Sarah in the 1970s ITV drama series Upstairs, Downstairs. The character appeared regularly throughout the first two series, the second of which also starred her actor husband, John Alderton, with whom she later starred in a spin-off, Thomas & Sarah (1979), and the sitcom No, Honestly written by Terence Brady and Charlotte Bingham, as well as in a series of short story adaptations called Wodehouse Playhouse (1975–78). She co-narrated the animated British children’s TV series Little Miss with husband John Alderton in 1983.

In connection with her Upstairs, Downstairs role, Collins recorded a 1973 single for Decca: What Are We Going to Do with Uncle Arthur?(performed by her character several times during the series) b/w With Every Passing Day (a vocal version of the show’s theme).[6]

She was a subject of the television programme This Is Your Life in April 1972 when she was surprised by Eamonn Andrews.

In 1988, Collins starred in the one-woman play Shirley Valentine in London, reprising the role on Broadway in 1989 and in the 1989 filmversion. The film won a number of awards and nominations. Both the play and the feature film utilized the technique known as “breaking the fourth wall,” as the character Shirley Valentine directly addresses the audience throughout the story. 

After Shirley Valentine, Collins again starred alongside her husband in the popular ITV drama series Forever Green created and written by Terence Brady and Charlotte Bingham in which the fictitious couple escape the city with their children to start a new life in the country. It ran from 1989 to 1992 over 18 episodes. Collins was voted sexiest woman in Britain in 1990. 

Collins’ film credits include 1992’s City of Joy, 1995’s My Mother’s Courage, 1997’s Paradise Road, and 2002’s Mrs Caldicot’s Cabbage War, which also featured Alderton. In 1999 and 2000, Collins starred as Harriet Smith in the BBC television drama Ambassador, where she played the lead role of the British ambassador to Ireland. Other television credits include The SaintThe Wednesday PlayArmchair TheatrePlay for TodayTales of the UnexpectedCountry Matters and The Black Tower.

In 2002, she guest starred in Man and Boy, the dramatisation of Tony Parsons‘ best-seller. In 2005 she appeared as Miss Flite in the BBC production of Charles Dickens‘ Bleak House

In 2006, she became only the third actor to have been in both the original and new series of Doctor Who, appearing in the episode “Tooth and Claw” as Queen Victoria

Later in 2006, she appeared in Extinct, a programme where eight celebrities campaigned on behalf of an animal to save it from extinction. Collins campaigned to save the Bengal tiger and won the public vote.

In December 2007, she appeared as the fairy godmother in the pantomime Cinderella at the Old Vic in London.

In 2011, she was cast as part of Sky 1‘s new comedy-drama Mount Pleasant. She played the role of Sue, Lisa’s mum, in the first two series running into 2012. She didn’t return to the third series in 2013, and her character was killed off in the fourth series in 2014.

In late 2015, she appeared as Mrs Gamp in the BBC TV series Dickensian.

Collins was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the 2001 Birthday Honours for services to drama.[7]

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Bobby Howes

Bobby Howes

Bobby Howes (Wikipedia entry)

Bobby Howes was a leading musical comedy performer in London’s West End theatres in the 1930s and 1940s.

Born in Battersea, Surrey, his parents were Robert William Howes and Rose Marie Butler. He started his career in revues, but his career was interrupted for the First World War where he soldiered on the Western Front. He suffered a German mustard gasattack but recovered and returned to the stage. He gained a career break through with the role-reversal comedy Mr. Cinders, based on the Cinderella pantomime, also featuring Binnie Hale, with whom he appeared on many occasions subsequently.[3] He reprised his title role in Mr. Cinders in several different productions. In the 1930s, he was with Van Phillips’ Four Bright Sparks whose vocalists included Billy Milton and Ray Starita.[4] Four Bright Sparks recorded at least 60 sides. He was a leading musical comedy performer on the West End in the 1930s and 1940s.[5] He continued on the stage, including Broadway, and in films until he retired in the late 1960s. One of his most acclaimed roles was as the eponymous lead in Finian’s Rainbow when it was revived on Broadway in 1960.

He was the father of actress Sally Ann Howes and Peter Howes, from his marriage to Patricia Malone.[7] He died on 27 April 1972 in London, England.[1]

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Coral Browne

Coral Browne
Coral Browne
Coral Browne
Coral Browne

Coral Browne- An appreciation from ‘The Los Angeles Times’ in 1991.

Coral Browne met Vincent Price while making a wonderfully campy melodrama, “Theatre of Blood,” in London in 1972.

Price was playing a hammy Shakespearean actor driven round the bend by bad reviews and taking his revenge by bumping off the critics in fine Shakespearean fashion, abetted by Diana Rigg as his daughter.

Coral Browne was one of the victims, but she and Price fell in love, were married soon after and had 17 vivid years together.

Browne was a distinguished Australian-born actress, one of whose memorable roles was in “Dream Child,” in which she played the Alice–for whom Lewis Carroll wrote “Alice in Wonderland”–as an elderly woman remembering it all.

More often, Browne played quite worldly ladies with sharp minds and tongues to match, as in “Auntie Mame” and “The Killing of Sister George,” “The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone” (with Vivien Leigh and a young Warren Beatty) and “The Legend of Lylah Clare” with Kim Novak.

She was in Moscow, playing Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother, in a touring production of the play when her dressing room was invaded by the notorious British traitor Guy Burgess, then living in a shabby alcoholic exile. He was messily sick in her wash basin, stole a bottle of her whiskey and peremptorily demanded that she come to lunch.

His motive was to hand her his measurements and ask her to have some suits and other items, including custom-made pajamas, run up for him by his London tailors.

Browne dined out on the story for years until Alan Bennett heard her tell it one evening and wrote a teleplay, “An Englishman Abroad,” which John Schlesinger directed and in which Alan Bates played Burgess and Browne played herself. It was–is–funny, sad and angering in almost equal measure.

Browne was, in fact, a delicious raconteuse, one of those women (not all of them necessarily actresses) who see themselves continually at the center of dramas ranged anywhere between farce and tragedy, depending on events, and who report on them with immense verve and humor.

She kept a wickedly discerning eye on the follies and idiocies of the world but she was just as often amusing as the author of her own mischances.

On a lecture cruise a few years ago, she had left a new and crucial partial bridge at home. There began a port-by-port, consulate-by-consulate, cruise line office-by-cruise line office struggle to get the missing dentistry airshipped to the next port of call. It did not catch up until the cruise was over.

The sequence could have been played in rage–she was forced to eschew some of the ship’s most ravishing and chewable cuisine–but her bulletins made it all seem to be a hilarious and suspenseful slapstick misadventure.

Someone like the late Cornelia Otis Skinner could have written a whole book out of it.

Browne was a remarkably beautiful woman who could manage an elegant hauteur and a madcap insouciance with equal conviction. Yet the hauteur seemed more a pose than the insouciance, which, combined with a warm generosity of spirit, earned her a wonderful circle of friends in and out of the theater.

The peril of being a gifted international actress of strong character is that you may well play character roles to great acclaim and enduring respect, as Gertrude to someone’s starry Hamlet, but miss the kind of superstardom that moguls understand.

Then again, the high respect of one’s peers, which Coral Browne earned during a long career, is sometimes denied the superstars. Her credits are secure.

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Charlie Hunnah

Charlie Hunnah, Aidan Gillen & Craig Kelly
Charlie Hunnah, Aidan Gillen & Craig Kelly

Charlie Hunnam (Wikipedia)

Charlie Hannah is best known for roles as Jackson “Jax” Teller in the FX drama series Sons of Anarchy(2008–2014) for which he was twice nominated for the Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series, Pete Dunham in Green Street (2005), Nathan Maloney in the Channel 4 drama Queer as Folk (1999–2000), Lloyd Haythe in the Fox comedy series Undeclared (2001–2002), the title role in Nicholas Nickleby (2002), Raleigh Becket in Pacific Rim (2013), Percy Fawcett in The Lost City of Z (2017), and in the title role of Guy Ritchie‘s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017).

Hunnam was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, on April 10, 1980. His father, William “Billy” Hunnam (1952–2013), was a junk seller  who left the house when Charlie was 2 years old. His mother is Jane Bell, a ballet dancer and business owner, Hunnam has said that his mother did a very good job at being a single mother.[2][3][4][5][6] He has an older brother named William and two younger half brothers on his mother’s side named Oliver and Christian.[7][8] At age 12, when his mother remarried, he moved to the village of Melmerby, Cumbria. He is of Scottish, English and Irish descent. One of his grandmothers painted portraits.[9] Hunnam is diagnosed with dyslexia, which makes it difficult for him to read and write and suffers from misophobia, fear of germs and dirt in general. During his adolescence, he played rugby and fought with his classmates, so he was expelled from Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Penrith, Cumbria, which forced him to study and to take exams from his home.[10][11][12] After that, instead of going to University, he decided to go to the Cumbria College of Art and Design in Carlisle (now part of the University of Cumbria) to study Performing Arts, and graduated with a degree in the theory and history of filmwith a side in performing arts,[13][14] with the idea of writing and directing his own films.

Hunnam has been dating artist Morgana McNelis since 2005.[50][51][52][53]

In 2016 Hunnam began training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and went on to receive his blue belt in October 2018.

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Ian McNeice

Ian McNeice
Ian McNeice

Ian McNeice (Wikipedia)

Ian McNeice found fame portraying government agent Harcourt in the 1985 television series Edge of Darkness, and went on to feature in popular films such as The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a MountainAce Ventura: When Nature Calls and Frank Herbert’s Dune

He played the Newsreader in historical drama Rome (2005–2007) and currently plays Bert Large in the comedy drama series Doc Martin (2004–present).

McNeice’s television breakthrough was as Harcourt in the award-winning series Edge of Darkness. He played the alcoholic sous chef Gustave LaRoche on the television series Chef!, and went on to appear in the 2000 miniseries Frank Herbert’s Dune as the evil Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, a role he later reprised for the 2003 sequel Children of Dune. His television appearances have included all seven series of Doc Martin, in which he plays Bert Large, as well as the third episode of the second series of Lewis. He appears as the Newsreader in the HBO/BBC production Rome. Also in Midsomer Murders in 2001 Series 4 Episode 4.

McNeice has also appeared in a number of films, including 84 Charing Cross RoadDay of the DeadNo EscapeFrom Hell and The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain. His breakthrough into American films occurred when he played Fulton Greenwall in Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (1995). He played the Nazi Gerhard Klopfer in the 2001 BBC/HBO television film Conspiracy. Since then, he has been in Around the World in 80 Days (2004) and the 2005 supernatural thriller White Noise. He also appeared as Potiphar in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

McNeice gave his distinctive voice and accent to voice-acting roles like the Vogoncharacter Kwaltz, director of the Vogon Constructor Fleet, in the 2005 film adaptationof Douglas Adams‘ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. In 2007, he made his Doctor Who debut when he guest-starred as villain Zeus in the Big Finish BBC Digital Radio 7 drama Immortal Beloved. He had a cameo role as Joachim von Kortzfleisch, a German general who refused to put his troops under the command of officers plotting to depose Hitler’s government, in Valkyrie.

McNeice was initially cast in the role of Illyrio Mopatis in the HBO pilot of Game of Thrones, but because of scheduling conflicts the role was then given to Roger Allam.[1] McNeice appeared as Winston Churchill[2] in four episodes of Doctor Who in 2010 and 2011; he had previously played Churchill in the 2008 premiere production of the Howard Brenton play Never So Good, and later played him again in the 2012 stage version of The King’s Speech.[3]

McNeice also stars as The Architect in the independent feature film, The House of Screaming Death, set to be released in 2017.[4][5][6]


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Robert Beatty

Robert Beatty
Robert Beatty

Robert Beatty (Wikipedia).

Robert Beatty was a Canadian actor who worked in filmtelevision and radio for most of his career and was especially known in the UK.

Beatty joined the Players’ Guild of Hamilton after graduation from the University of Toronto. He went to London, England, in 1936 and joined the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. It was with the RADA that he made his English stage debut.[4]

Beatty’s film credits include: San Demetrio London (1943), Another Shore (1948), “Against the Wind” (1948),Captain Horatio Hornblower R.N. (1951), The Square Ring (1953), The Amorous Prawn (1962), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Where Eagles Dare (1968), The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976), Superman III (1983), Minder on the Orient Express (1985) and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987).[1]

Beatty appeared in two “critically acclaimed war propaganda films” in 1942 – 49th Parallel and One of Our Aircraft Is Missing.[4]

He appeared in British television shows such as Dial 999 (a co-production between Britain’s ABCand the US company Ziv), Doctor Who (“The Tenth Planet” as General Cutler), Blake’s 7 (“The Way Back” as Bran Foster), The Gathering StormThe New Avengers, and Minder.[5] He was in Franco Zeffirelli‘s TV mini-series Jesus of Nazareth and the American series of Ray Bradbury‘s The Martian Chronicles.[6][4] He portrayed Ronald Reagan in Breakthrough at Reykjavik (Granada Television UK 1987).[7] Also well known for “Saturday Night Out (BBC)

Beatty reported descriptions of the Blitz from London to North America via the BBC during World War II.[8] He played Philip Odell, a fictional Irish detective created by Lester Powell, between 1947 and 1961. The series debuted on BBC radio with the story “Lady in a Fog” in October 1947.[9] The series was made available to overseas broadcasters by the BBC Transcription Services. His other radio credits included Shadow of Sumuru on the BBC Home Programme in 1945–46, Shadow Man on Radio Luxembourg in 1955, Destination – Fire!Stories of a Fire Investigator on the BBC Light Programme (1962-1966), General Sternwood in a BBC version of Raymond Chandler‘s The Big Sleep (1977), Pay Any Price (BBC 1982), The Mystery of the Blue Train (BBC 1985/1986), and as Henry Hickslaughter in Elizabeth Troop’s Sony Award winning adaptation of Graham Greene‘s short story Cheap In August (1993).

Beatty died March 3, 1992, in London[8] and was cremated at Putney Vale Crematorium.[10]

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Adam Best

Adam Best
Adam Best

Adam Best (Wikipedia)

Adam Best is an Irish actor who trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama for 3 years. He attended Donaghadee Primary School and Bangor Grammar School and gained experience with the Ulster Youth Theatre and Drama School.

He is probably most famous for his role as Matt Parker on the BBC One drama Holby City. He has also appeared in episodes of Silent WitnessThe Bill and Waking the Dead as well as The Catherine Tate Show 2007 Christmas Special. In 2011, Best took part in an advertisement for Meteor. More recently Adam starred as celebrity guest on Ainsley Harriot’s Ready Steady Cook alongside singer Pete Burns.

Best was in the play Truckstop with the Company of Angels touring and at the Hampstead Theatre.

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David Hedison & Brett Halsey

Brett Halsey & David Hedison
Brett Halsey & David Hedison
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Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Wikipedia)

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau studied at the Danish National School of Performing Arts in Copenhagen in 1993. Coster-Waldau’s breakthrough performance in Denmark was his role in the film Nightwatch (1994). Since then he has appeared in numerous films in his native Scandinavia and Europe in general, including Headhunters (2011) and A Thousand Times Good Night (2013).

In the U.S, his debut film role was in the war film Black Hawk Down (2001), playing Medal of Honor recipient Gary Gordon. He then played Detective John Amsterdam in the short-lived Fox television series New Amsterdam (2008), as well as appearing as Frank Pike in the 2009 Fox television film Virtuality, originally intended as a pilot. He became widely known for his role as Jaime Lannister in the HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones, for which he received Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series in 2018 and 2019. He is a UNDP Goodwill Ambassador, drawing attention to critical issues such as gender equality and climate change.

Coster-Waldau was born in Rudkøbing, Denmark, the son of Hanne Søborg Coster, a librarian,[1] and Jørgen Oscar Fritzer Waldau (died 1998). He has spoken in interviews about his father’s problems with alcohol, as well as his parents’ divorce.[1] He has two older sisters, and was raised mainly by his mother.[2] He grew up in Tybjerg, a small village between Ringsted and Næstved in southern Zealand.[1][2] Coster-Waldau was the youngest actor to enter the Danish National School of Theatre and Contemporary Dance (Danish: Statens Teaterskole), where he was educated from 1989 to 1993.

Coster-Waldau made his stage debut as Laertes in Hamlet at the Betty Nansen Theater. His role in the film Nightwatch (1994) brought him fame in his native country.[3] He then went on to play in Simon Staho’s Wildside (1998), which he also cowrote, and starred in Danish films such as Misery Harbour (1999). He made his British début alongside Clive Owen, Jude Law and Mick Jagger in Bent(1997).

In 2001, he began his U.S. career in Ridley Scott‘s Black Hawk Down as Medal of Honor recipient Gary Gordon. Coster-Waldau says “My first U.S. movie was Black Hawk Down and a friend helped me put myself on tape up on the attic over my apartment in Copenhagen. We shipped it out and I got lucky.”[5]

Coster-Waldau used his success to take roles on both sides of the Atlantic, particularly his native Scandinavia.[6]

He later landed a lead role in Michael Apted‘s Enigma and also appeared as a villain in the action film My Name is Modesty (based upon the Modesty Blaise comic strip). Scott brought Coster-Waldau back for his 2005 film Kingdom of HeavenRichard Loncraine, who cast the actor in Wimbledon in 2004, cast him in Firewall two years later, in 2006.[3] In 2007, he played John Amsterdam, an immortal New York homicide detective who will become mortal after he finds his true love, in the short-lived Fox television series New Amsterdam.[7] As a result of filming that series’ pilot, Coster-Waldau obtained his Screen Actors Guildcard. He later recalled in a 2015 interview in TV Guide, “Finally getting my SAG card was huge for me…I got so excited I went straight to the SAG online shop and bought four mugs with SAG logo. [I] still have those mugs!”

Coster-Waldau at the premiere of the third season of Game of Thronesin March 2013

From 2011 to 2019, Coster-Waldau played Jaime Lannister in the HBO hit series Game of Thrones, based on George R. R. Martin‘s best-selling A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy novel series. He commented about the character “What’s not to like about Jaime? As an actor I couldn’t ask for a better role”.[5] For his role as Jaime Lannister he has received several accolades, including Primetime Emmy AwardScreen Actors Guild AwardCritics’ Choice Television Award,[9] Saturn Award[10] and People’s Choice Award nominations.[11]

In 2011, he also starred alongside Sam Shepard in Mateo Gil’s feature Blackthorn, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.[12] Later the same year he starred in Morten Tyldum’s Headhunters. The film went on to be the highest-grossing Norwegian film of all-time[13] and received very positive reviews including a BAFTA Award nomination for Best Foreign Film.[14] Coster-Waldau starred in the 2013 horror film Mama alongside Jessica Chastain, which then debuted at number one in the US box office[15] and grossed over $140 million worldwide.[16] He went on to play Sykes, a military weapons expert in the science fiction action thriller film Oblivion. The same year he co-starred with Juliette Binoche in Erik Poppe’s drama A Thousand Times Good Night. In 2014, he starred in Susanne Bier‘s Danish thriller A Second Chance as Andreas, a police officer forced to make a difficult choice. In 2016, Coster-Waldau appeared in the action-fantasy film Gods of Egypt as Horus.

In early 2017, he starred in E.L. Katz‘s dark comedy Small Crimes which premiered at South by Southwest film festival on 11 March 2017, to positive reviews. Coster-Waldau then appeared in the Danish film 3 Things, a thriller about a prime suspect of a bank robbery who negotiates the terms of his witness protection deal. He starred in Roman Waugh’s prison film Shot Caller, which premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival on 16 June 2017. Since January 2018 he has been the L’Oréal Paris global spokesperson for the company’s Men Expert line of products.

In May 2017, it was announced that he is attached to star in Domino, a film directed by Brian De Palma. The film was released on May 31, 2019.

Coster-Waldau is set to star in The Silencing, a thriller directed by Robin Pront, and Suicide Tourist by Jonas Alexander Arnby. He filmed in secret the upcoming movie Notat by Ole Christian MadsenNotat is based on events surrounding the 2015 Copenhagen shootings and is due for release by the end of 2019. In late 2019 he will portray Macbeth in a production of Shakespeare’s tragedy directed by Matt Shakman at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles.

Although Coster-Waldau is not religious, he was baptized and confirmed as a Lutheran in the Danish National Church during his youth, like the vast majority of Danes, and viewed his confirmation as a big moment in his life when he first identified as becoming an adult.

He married Nukâka, a Greenlandic actress and singer, in 1997, and they live in Kongens Lyngby with their two daughters as well as two dogs.

Their daughter Filippa has starred in a Danish short filmThe Girl and the Dogs, which was shown at the Cannes Film Festival in 2014. Their other daughter, Safina has starred in a Danish Christmas TV-series named Theo og Den Magiske Talisman in December 2018 as the main character Simone. The TV-series was watched by more than 700,000 people in December 2018.

His father-in-law is Josef Motzfeldt, a member of the Parliament of Greenland and former leader of the Community of the People party.

He is a supporter of English football club Leeds United and he is a member of the Leeds United Supporters’ Trust.

In September 2017, Coster-Waldau has signed on to narrate one of the fairytales for GivingTales, the celebrity storytelling app for children and adults alike. He is going to narrate “The Steadfast Tin Soldier“, on which he commented, “I am from Denmark and Hans Christian Andersen is part of our culture and I am very proud being part of this project. ‘The Steadfast Tin Soldier’ is a beautiful love story which we can all relate to.”

Coster-Waldau has been supporting the Danish Red Cross since 2003. In 2016, he announced a Game of Thrones campaign-contest in order to support the RED foundation which aims to raise awareness and fight AIDS.”My main mission as UNDP Goodwill Ambassador will be to raise awareness and support for the Global Goals for a better future for all, which cannot be achieved without empowering women and protecting our planet,”

—Coster-Waldau on his mission as UNDP Goodwill Ambassador in 2016

Since September 2016 he has been appointed a UNDP Goodwill Ambassador to raise awareness and support the United Nations‘ Sustainable Development Goals, an action to end poverty, fight inequality and stop climate change. In 2017 Coster-Waldau partnered with Google, using Street View to document the impact of global warming in Greenland, in order to increase awareness and highlight climate change. After participating in a female empowerment initiative in Kenya, on the occasion of International Women’s Day in 2017, he wrote a pledge calling for all fathers to support gender equality and women’s empowerment, including those women who live in extreme poverty and are exposed to practises like child marriage.[49] In September 2017 he was one of the speakers in The Spotlight Initiative, a European UnionUnited Nations action to eliminate violence against women and girls, after kicking off the women’s amateur World Cup.[51] In October 2017, he traveled to Maldives to report the global warming effects resuming his role as a United Nations Development Program Goodwill Ambassador.

In early 2018, he and several other Danish artists signed a manifesto demanding zero tolerance for sexism, sexual harassment and sexual assault in the Danish film and stage arts industry.  In June 2018, he kicked off The Lion’s Share fund’s launch, an action in which when an advertising campaign uses an image of an animal, the advertiser will donate 0.5% of the paid media spending of that campaign to the fund.

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John Philip Law

John Philip Law
John Philip Law

John Philip Law obituary in “The Guardian” in 2008

In recent years, the rediscovery of popular 1960s culture by the young has led to the elevation to cult status of actor John Phillip Law, who has died aged 70. This is mainly due to two psychedelic films he made back to back in 1968, Roger Vadim’s Barbarella and Mario Bava’s Danger Diabolik, though the interest may be as much to do with what he was wearing and not wearing than his performances.

In the former, as blond, bronzed, bare-chested blind angel Pygar, sprouting enormous white wings, he wears nothing but baggy, white feathery underwear. In the latter, in the title role as a superbaddie, he wears a skin-tight, head-to-toe black leather suit from which he emerges to make love to his beautiful assistant (Marisa Mell) under a blanket of stolen dollar bills. Although Law went on to make films until recently, he would always be associated with these kitsch movies and others of the 60s. Many years later, he said: “At that time I had no idea that these films could have such a lasting influence on people’s imagination.”

Born in Los Angeles, he decided at an early age to become an actor like his mother, Phyllis Sallee, and not a policeman like his father, who was LA County deputy sheriff. In 1960, Law moved to New York, where he trained at the Neighborhood Playhouse before landing small roles on Broadway. But it was in Italy that he got his first film roles, beginning what was to become a truly international career. Law, who spoke Italian, Spanish, French and German, later claimed that he had made more than 50 films in 24 countries.

He had the opportunity in his three debut films – Smog (1962), High Fidelity and Three Nights of Love (both 1964) – of working with Franco Rossi, and was lucky enough to have been spotted by Norman Jewison, who cast him as the juvenile lead, a Russian boy in love with an American girl, in the cold-war comedy The Russians Are Coming the Russians Are Coming (1966), which brought him a Golden Globe nomination as most promising newcomer.

Then it was back to Italy for the spaghetti western The Devil Rides a Horse (1967), which perfectly suited Law’s 6ft 5in frame, steely blue eyes and minimalist acting style as he exacted revenge on the bandits that killed his parents. Subsequently, he had roles in two of Otto Preminger’s worst films, Hurry Sundown (1967), an overblown melodrama in which Law played a southern “white trash” farmer married to an overheated Faye Dunaway, and Skidoo (1968), where he played a hippie called Stash among a stoned cast that included Groucho Marx as God.

Law had few problems playing a hippie, because he had only to study his older brother Tom, who also appears in the picture. Tom was road manager for Peter, Paul and Mary, and at one stage the brothers shared a 1924 mansion, where they rented rooms to up-and-coming artists including Bob Dylan, Andy Warhol and Tiny Tim. This period was documented in Flashing on the Sixties, a 1987 collection of photos and text by Tom’s former wife, Lisa Law.

One good thing to come from Hurry Sundown was that Law met the co-star, Jane Fonda, then married to Vadim, who suggested him for the role of Pygar in Barbarella. Set in the 40th century, it gave a double meaning to the words “comic strip” as Fonda does a weightless striptease during the credit titles. The film follows the adventures of space traveller Fonda in search of a mad professor called Duran Duran. On the way, she seduces the angel Law, who regains his will to fly after sex with her. “You’re soft and warm. We’re told earth beings are cold,” he tells her without much emotion. “An angel does not make love … an angel is love.”

In the same year, Law made John Flynn’s The Sergeant, the film he was most proud of, although he just has to look blank and handsome as a private soldier unaware that his bullying sergeant Rod Steiger is secretly attracted to him. He has little to do either as a powerful television executive, appropriately named Robin Stone, in order to attract a string of women and a gay photographer (David Hemmings) in The Love Machine (1971), a rather tacky adaptation of the Jacqueline Susann bestseller.

In Roger Corman’s The Red Baron (1971), as first world war German flying ace Manfred von Richthofen, he was overshadowed by the dogfights, filmed in the air, and as the hero of the British-made The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1974), he had to play second fiddle to Ray Harryhausen’s special effects.

During the following decades, Law travelled around the globe, appearing in small roles in films and on television, though nothing he did effaced the memory of his glory days as a sex symbol in the 1960s.

He is survived by his daughter.

· John Phillip Law, actor, born September 7 1937; died May 13 2008