British Noir Facesby karljhickey14 | created - 04 Aug 2014 | updated - 21 Sep 2016 | Public
The stars and the character actors , the ones with noir qualities , and the ones that just turn up in everything . Their most notable films are listed , but not complete noir appearances .
1. James Mason
Actor | Lolita
James Mason was a great English actor of British and American films. He was born in Yorkshire, and attended Marlborough College and Cambridge University, where he discovered acting on a lark, and abandoned a planned career as an architect. Following 4 years in repertory companies, he joined the Old...
Homme Fatale in the Gainsborough films , in the early I Met A Murderer , Eyes in the Night , and in US Noirs . Best roles Odd Man Out , The Man Between .
Actor | Zulu
Stanley Baker was unusual star material to emerge during the Fifties - when impossibly handsome and engagingly romantic leading men were almost de rigueur. Baker was forged from a rougher mould. His was good-looking, but his features were angular, taut, austere and unwelcoming. His screen persona ...
Doomed crooks , gruff coppers with chips on their shoulder , and the village idiot in Home To Danger . Hell Drivers , The Criminal , Blind Date , Prize of Arms , Hell Is A City , Robbery , The Good Die Young and lots more .
Actor | The Third Man
The son of an insurance underwriter who represented Lloyd's of London in Ceylon, Trevor Wallace Howard-Smith was born in Margate, Kent. He spent his early childhood globetrotting with his mother, frequently left in the care of strangers. After attending private school he went on to study drama at ...
Best known for Brief Encounter , and countless war films , could be very tough and cynical . They Made Me A Fugitive , Malaga , Golden Salamander , The Clouded Yellow , very nasty in Interpol , the near noir Outcast Of The Islands , not to mention The Third Man .
4. Herbert Lom
Actor | The Pink Panther Strikes Again
Herbert Lom was born Herbert Charles Angelo Kuchacevich Schluderpacheru on September 11, 1917. He made his film debut in the Czech film Woman Below the Cross (1937) and played supporting and, occasionally, lead roles. His career picked up in the 1940s and he played, among other roles, Napoleon ...
Czech actor , usually in sinister roles , villains , nazis , dodgy hypnotists .In loads of British Noir , notably Dark Tower , Dual Alibi (twice) , Night And The City , Good Time Girl , Hell Drivers (not a villain for once) , Frightened City , not to mention Louis in The Ladykillers .
Actor | Jurassic Park
Lord Richard Attenborough was born in Cambridge, England, the son of Mary (née Clegg), a founding member of the Marriage Guidance Council, and Frederick Levi Attenborough, a scholar and academic administrator who was a don at Emmanuel College and wrote a standard text on Anglo-Saxon law. The family...
Played British equivalent of juvenile delinquents for years , then a few dodgy middle aged characters . Brighton Rock , Dancing With Crime with his wife , Sheila Sim , pushing Eleanor Summerfield out of a car in London Belongs To Me (" I never done it ! I never done it ! ") , The Man Upstairs , Seance On A Wet Afternoon , and Christie in 10 Rillington Place .
Actor | Ivanhoe
Born George Emlyn Williams in Pen-y-Ffordd, Mostyn, Flintshire in northeast Wales on November 1905, he lived in a rural village in which Welsh was spoken until he was 12 years old, when his family moved to an English-speaking town, Connah's Quay. It changed the course of his life, as it was there ...
Welsh playwright and actor , wrote Night Must Fall , The Man Who Knew Too Much , and They Drive by Night . Shorty Matthews on the run in They Drive By Night , great as a sleazy blackmailer in Friday The Thirteenth , slimey in Hatter's Castle .
Actor | Carry On Sergeant
William Hartnell was born on 8 January 1908, just south of St. Pancras station in London. In press materials in the 1940s he claimed that his father was a farmer and later a stockbroker; it turns out that he had actually been born out of wedlock, as his biography "Who's There?" states.
At age 16 he ...
If he's in it , it's bound to be a noir . Briefly seen as a bus conductor in They Drive By Night , barman in Odd Man Out , circus owner in Dark Tower , ex con after revenge in Appointment With Crime , one of his few lead roles , Brighton Rock of course , the dodgy boss in Hell Drivers . Added touches of noir to a little known series called Doctor Who .
8. John Mills
Actor | The Family Way
Sir John Mills, one of the most popular and beloved English actors, was born Lewis Ernest Watts Mills on February 22, 1908, at the Watts Naval Training College in North Elmham, Norfolk, England. The young Mills grew up in Felixstowe, Suffolk, where his father was a mathematics teacher and his ...
Ubiquitous British actor , not exactly a noir icon , but in the early Green Cockatoo , blacking out in The October Man , bitter ex con after revenge in The Long Memory , Bassett in the weird The Rocking Horse Winner , dead woman in his flat in The Vicious Circle . Plus Ice Cold In Alex , almost a British version of Wages of Fear .
9. Leslie Banks
Actor | The Most Dangerous Game
Leslie Banks was born on June 9, 1890 in West Derby, England as Leslie James Banks. He was an actor, known for The Most Dangerous Game (1932), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934) and Haunted Honeymoon (1940). He was married to Gwendoline Haldane Unwin. He died on April 21, 1952 in London, England.
10. Eric Portman
Actor | A Canterbury Tale
With his clipped delivery, aristocratic if somewhat ominous manner and suave, urbane demeanor, Eric Portman was so good at playing German and/or Nazi officers that many believed he actually was German, or at least Austrian. The fact is that he was British to the core, having been born and raised in...
11. Robert Newton
Actor | Around the World in 80 Days
Robert Newton was one of the great character actors -- and great characters -- of the British cinema, best remembered today for playing Long John Silver in Treasure Island (1950) and its sequel in 1954. His portrayal of Long John Silver and of Blackbeard, the Pirate (1952) created a persona that ...
One of the great eye rollers , apart from Bill Sykes in the almost noir Oliver Twist , the tyrannical father in Hatter's Castle , Lukey the painter in Odd Man Out , Temptation Harbour , foiled in a perfect murder plot in Obsession , the bad dad in Waterfront .Small parts in The Green Cockatoo , Gaslight . Also appeared in American Noir , Kiss The Blood Off My Hands , and some TV series like Climax , Alfred Hitchcock Presents .
12. Dirk Bogarde
Actor | The Servant
Sir Dirk Bogarde, distinguished film actor and writer, was born Derek Jules Gaspard Ulric Niven van den Bogaerde on March 28, 1921, to Ulric van den Bogaerde, the art editor of "The Times" (London) newspaper, and actress Margaret Niven in the London suburb of Hampstead. He was one of three children...
13. David Farrar
Actor | The Small Back Room
London-born David Farrar dropped out of school at 14 and became a writer for the Morning Advertiser newspaper; but it wasn't long before he decided to change careers and become an actor. He started out on the stage in 1932, and five years later made his film debut. Appearing at first in low-budget ...
14. Deborah Kerr
Actress | The King and I
Deborah Jane Trimmer was born on 30 September 1921 in Glasgow, Scotland, the daughter of Captain Arthur Kerr Trimmer. She was educated at Northumberland House, Clifton, Bristol. She first performed at the Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park, London. She subsequently performed with the Oxford ...
15. Jean Simmons
Actress | Guys and Dolls
Demure British beauty Jean Simmons was born January 31, 1929 in Crouch End, London. As a 14-year-old dance student, she was plucked from her school to play Margaret Lockwood's precocious sister in Give Us the Moon (1944), and she went on to make a name for herself in such major British productions ...
16. Diana Dors
Actress | The Long Haul
Diana Dors was born Diana Mary Fluck on October 23, 1931 in Swindon, Wiltshire, England. She and her mother both nearly died from the traumatic birth. Because of the trauma, her mother lavished on Diana anything and everything she wanted--clothes, toys and dance lessons were the order of the day. ...
17. Joan Collins
Actress | Dynasty
Joan Collins is an English actress from Paddington, London. She is most famous for playing the role of vengeful schemer Alexis Carrington Colby in the soap opera "Dynasty" (1981-1989). In 1997, Collins was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to drama. In 2015,...
18. Stewart Granger
Actor | Scaramouche
Stewart Granger was born James Leblanche Stewart in London, the grandson of the actor "Luigi Lablache". He attended Epsom College but left after deciding not to pursue a medical degree. He decided to try acting and attended Webber-Douglas School of Dramatic Art, London. By 1935, he made his stage ...
19. Kenneth Griffith
Actor | Four Weddings and a Funeral
Kenneth went to a grammar school in South Wales where the English literary teacher had the class read out parts in plays which was the one thing he enjoyed resulting in him, being put in a play about Richard II. A local critic wrote ' If this boy chooses to make the stage a career he should do well...
Great character actor , and political documentary maker . Often dodgy and sleazy , The Shop at Sly Corner , Forbidden , Frightened City , Rag Doll , Terror Street ; the weak link , Monty , in Pay Roll .
20. Harold Lang
Actor | Garry Halliday
Harold Lang was born in 1923 in London, England as Harold Richard Lang. He was an actor and writer, known for Garry Halliday (1959), World Theatre (1959) and The Franchise Affair (1951). He died on November 16, 1970 in Cairo, Egypt.
Sleazy characters , grasses , blackmailers . Great in Cairo Road , also West 11 , Blackout , Spider and the Fly .
21. Jimmy Hanley
Actor | Don't Ever Leave Me
Good-natured British actor Jimmy Hanley was groomed by the Rank Studio system during his teen years and earned stardom as the "boy next door" type in exuberant musicals and likeable comedies. He married actress Dinah Sheridan in 1942 and they appeared together in a number of featherweight war-era ...
22. Jack Warner
Actor | Scrooge
Jack Warner started acting with the Sutton Amateur Dramatics Club after the end of World War I. From 1935, performed in cabaret at the London West End as half of the double act of Warner & Darnell. In addition to starring as Dixon of Dock Green (1955), which ran for over 20 years, he achieved ...
Forever known as PC George Dixon , killed by Dirk Bogarde in The Blue Lamp , started as a comic , moved to playing spivs , then Scotland Yard inspectors before demotion to sergeants . Dear Murderer , It Always Rains on Sunday , The Square Ring , Jigsaw , not to mention The Quatermass Experiment , and The Ladykillers .
23. Sean Connery
Actor | The Untouchables
The tall, handsome and muscular Scottish actor Sean Connery is best known as the original actor to portray James Bond in the hugely successful movie franchise, starring in seven films between 1962 and 1983. Some believed that such a career-defining role might leave him unable to escape it, but he ...
Before his career faded into obscurity ... , a regular in tough crime films . Hell Drivers , No Road Back , Time Lock , The Frightened City . Noirish films later on , Marnie , The Hill , The Offence , not to mention the remake of The Untouchables .
24. Tom Bell
Actor | The L-Shaped Room
Tom Bell was one of the UK's finest actors but he never achieved the star billing or recognition he so richly deserved. His career spanned some 50 years. Time and time again, Bell gave memorable performances. From the able seaman ordered to be flogged by a sadistic officer, played by Dirk Bogarde, ...
25. Guy Rolfe
Actor | Puppet Master 4
Gaunt and saturnine British character actor of stage and screen, Guy Rolfe made his stage debut in 1936, the same year he had a small uncredited bit part in Knight Without Armor (1937). Rolfe had spent his early twenties as a professional race car driver and boxer before making the move into films....
26. Nigel Patrick
Actor | The League of Gentlemen
This droll, urbane, dry-witted gent was born Nigel Dennis Patrick Wemyss-Gorman in London on May 2, 1912. Coming from a family of actors, his parents were actors Charles Wemyss and Dorothy Turner.
Nigel made his stage debut in the 1932 play "The Life Machine" and continued on the stock and repertory...
27. Dennis Price
Actor | Kind Hearts and Coronets
This urbane, sourly handsome British actor was born to privilege and most of his roles would follow suit. Born Dennistoun John Franklyn Rose-Price in Berkshire in 1915, Dennis Price, the son of a brigadier-general, was expected to abide by his family wishes and make a career for himself in the army...
28. Bernard Lee
Actor | The Man with the Golden Gun
Best remembered as 'M' in the James Bond films, Bernard Lee was a popular character player in British films throughout the 1950s and 1960s. Born into a theatrical family, he made his stage debut at age six and later attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. He first appeared on the West End stage...
29. Sidney James
Actor | Carry On Cleo
The star of the Carry On series of films, Sid James originally came to prominence as sidekick to the ground breaking British comedy actor Tony Hancock, on both radio and then television. Born in Johannesburg, South Africa and named Solomon Joel Cohen, James arrived in England in 1946, second wife ...
Before Hancock and Carry On , he was one of the trio of working class characters with Alfie Bass and Bill Owen , or playing Yanks when no Canadians were available . Hell Drivers , Black Memory , The October Man briefly , No Orchids For Miss Blandish , House Across the Lake , The Flanagan Boy , Yellow Balloon , The Glass Tomb , and the comic heist in The Lavender Hill Mob .
30. Alfie Bass
Actor | Dance of the Vampires
Alfie Bass was born on April 8, 1916 in Bethnal Green, London, England as Abraham Basalinksy. He was an actor, known for The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967), Moonraker (1979) and The Bespoke Overcoat (1955). He was married to Margaret Beryl Bryson. He died on July 15, 1987 in Barnet, London.
Cockneys with a touch of Jewishness , comic and serious . It Always Rains on Sunday , Pool of London , Blackout , Hell Drivers , Lavender Hill Mob .
31. Bill Owen
Actor | Last of the Summer Wine
This English actor was born of humble, working class beginnings and became well-known for playing the same kind of blokes on both film and TV. Born William Rowbotham, he was the son of a tram driver and laundress. He knew early on that entertaining was the life for him. He worked in odd jobs as a ...
32. Robert Beatty
Actor | 2001: A Space Odyssey
Robert Beatty graduated with a B.A. from the University of Toronto and started in amateur dramatics with the Hamilton Player's Guild. For a while, he made a living as a cashier for a gas and fuel company. In order to further hone his acting skills, he made his way to London in 1936 (on the advice of...
Canadian actor who often played Americans , or Irish gunmen . Odd Man Out , The Gentle Gunman , The Square Ring .
33. Albert Lieven
Actor | The Guns of Navarone
Albert Lieven was born on June 23, 1906 in Hohenstein, Germany as Albert Fritz Liévin-Liévin. He was an actor, known for The Guns of Navarone (1961), Frieda (1947) and Sleeping Car to Trieste (1948). He was married to Petra Peters, Susan Shaw, Valerie White and Tania Lieven. He died on December 22,...
34. Patrick McGoohan
Actor | The Prisoner
Though born in America, Irish actor Patrick McGoohan rose to become the number-one British TV star in the 1950s to 1960s era. His parents moved to Ireland when he was very young and McGoohan acquired a neutral accent that sounds at home in British or American dialogue. He was an avid stage actor ...
35. Terence Morgan
Actor | Hamlet
Terence Morgan was born on December 8, 1921 in London, England as Terence Ivor Grant Morgan. He was an actor, known for Hamlet (1948), Captain Horatio Hornblower R.N. (1951) and Piccadilly Third Stop (1960). He was married to Georgina Jumel. He died on August 25, 2005 in Brighton, East Sussex, ...
36. John Gregson
Actor | The Holly and the Ivy
A former telephone engineer who dabbled in amateur dramatics, John Gregson served aboard a minesweeper with the Royal Navy during World War II. After demobilisation, he joined the Liverpool Old Vic, making his stage debut in 'The Knight of the Burning Pestle'. Freshly married, he moved to London ...
37. Roland Culver
Actor | Thunderball
Roland Culver was born on August 21, 1900 in Crouch End, Middlesex, England as Roland Joseph Culver. He was an actor, known for Thunderball (1965), Dead of Night (1945) and The Emperor Waltz (1948). He was married to Nan Hopkins and Daphne Rye. He died on March 1, 1984 in Henley-on-Thames, ...
Scotland Yard Inspector in countless films , great as a villain in The Ship That Died of Shame .
38. Jack Hawkins
Actor | Lawrence of Arabia
In Britain, special Christmas plays called pantomimes are produced for children. Jack Hawkins made his London theatrical debut at age 12, playing the elf king in "Where The Rainbow Ends". At 17, he got the lead role of St. George in the same play. At 18, he made his debut on Broadway in "Journey's ...
Mainstay of British films . A reporter in the 1932 remake of The Lodger , the detective in The Fallen Idol , Colonel Hyde in the comic heist film The League of Gentlemen .
39. Eric Pohlmann
Actor | Mogambo
Born in Vienna. Studied at Max Reinhardt School. Early years as entertainer at Reiss Bar in Vienna. Often appeared at still-existing Raimund-Theater. Met wife, Liselotte, on stage in Brno (now Czech Republic). She escaped to London in 1938, he in 1939, where they married that year. Frequent ...
In loads of British crime films , often ethnic , Egyptians , Russians , Arabs , Italians , Mexicans . The Third Man , Cairo Road , a Greek taxidermist in The Clouded Yellow , The Long Dark Hall , The Gambler And The Lady , Terror Street , The Glass Tomb , Interpol , Across The Bridge , Cairo and loads more .
40. Danny Green
Actor | The Ladykillers
Heavy , often comical , immortal as One Round in The Ladykillers . Gangsters in No Orchids For Miss Blandish , Good Time Girl , Dancing With Crime , the bartender in Interpol , in Web Of Evidence , Hidden Homicide and others
41. Donald Pleasence
Actor | Halloween
Balding, quietly-spoken, of slight build and possessed of piercing blue eyes -- often peering out from behind round, steel-rimmed glasses -- Donald Pleasence had the necessary physical attributes which make a great screen villain. In the course of his lengthy career, he relished playing the ...
42. Warren Mitchell
Actor | The Trollenberg Terror
Warren Mitchell was born on January 14, 1926 in Stoke Newington, London, England as Warren Misell. He was an actor, known for The Crawling Eye (1958), Jabberwocky (1977) and Carry on Cleo (1964). He was married to Constance Wake. He died on November 14, 2015 in Highgate, London.
43. Griffith Jones
Actor | Miranda
Griffith Jones was born on November 19, 1909 in London, England as Griffith Harold Jones. He was an actor, known for Miranda (1948), The Face Behind the Scar (1937) and Wife of General Ling (1937). He was married to Robin Isaac. He died on January 30, 2007 in London.
Actress | The Barefoot Contessa
Hazel-eyed Glaswegian Elizabeth Sellars enrolled at Lincoln's Inn (in central London) to study law with the intention of becoming a barrister. Somehow, this fell through, though she continued to nurture a lifelong interest in the legal profession which kept her reading law books well into her ...
45. Ernest Thesiger
Actor | Bride of Frankenstein
Although he made nearly 60 films in a 50-year acting career, it is for the two he made with director James Whale that Ernest Thesiger will be best remembered. Born Ernest Frederic Graham Thesiger in London on January 15, 1879, he was the grandson of the first Baron of Chelmsford. Educated at ...
46. Peter Cushing
Actor | Star Wars
Peter Wilton Cushing was born on May 26, 1913 in Kenley, Surrey, England, to Nellie Maria (King) and George Edward Cushing, a quantity surveyor. He and his older brother David were raised first in Dulwich Village, a south London suburb, and then later back in Surrey. At an early age, Cushing was ...
Horror icon , played Winston Smith in the great BBC version of 1984 . Noirs include Time Without Pity , Violent Playground , The Naked Edge , the bank manager in Cash On Demand , and the Diabolique rip off Fear In The Night , married to Joan Collins no less .
47. Christopher Lee
Sir Christopher Frank Carandini Lee was perhaps the only actor of his generation to have starred in so many films and cult saga. Although most notable for personifying bloodsucking vampire, Dracula, on screen, he portrayed other varied characters on screen, most of which were villains, whether it ...
The other great horror icon , small bit in Corridor of Mirrors , John Preston in the odd Alias John Preston , Port Afrique , Too Hot To Handle , the dodgy doctor in Taste Of Fear .
48. Anton Diffring
Actor | Where Eagles Dare
Anton Diffring was a character actor who worked continuously in motion pictures due to his aristocratic face and cool, clipped diction, making him ideal for typecasting in British and later American motion pictures as Nazis and other vile, despicable characters. What was ironic about his ...
49. Ferdy Mayne
Actor | Where Eagles Dare
His father was the Judge of Mayence (Mainz) and his mother, who was half-English, was a singing teacher. Since the family was Jewish, the teenage Ferdinand was sent to England to stay with his aunt Lee Hutchinson, a noted photographer and sculptress. His parents were briefly interned in Buchenwald,...
50. Ewen Solon
Actor | The Message
Ewen Solon was born on September 7, 1917 in Auckland, New Zealand as Peter Ewen Solon. He was an actor, known for The Message (1976), The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959) and A Mask for Alexis (1959). He was married to Vicki Woolf. He died on July 7, 1985 in Addlestone, Surrey, England.
52. Paul Carpenter
Actor | The Hornet's Nest
Paul Carpenter was born on December 8, 1921 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada as Patrick Paul Lane Charpentier. He was an actor and writer, known for The Hornet's Nest (1955), The Unholy Four (1954) and Maigret voit rouge (1963). He was married to Kim Parker and Pauline Black. He died on June 12, 1964 in...
Another Canadian pretending to be a Yank ,
53. Michael Gough
Actor | Batman
Tony Award-winning English actor Michael Gough, best known for playing the butler Alfred Pennyworth in the first four Batman (1989, 1992, 1995 & 1997) movies and for playing the arch-criminal Dr. Clement Armstrong in The Avengers (1961) episode "The Cybernauts", was an accomplished performer on ...
54. André Morell
Actor | Ben-Hur
André Morell was born on August 20, 1909 in St. Pancras, London, England as Cecil André Mesritz. He was an actor, known for Ben-Hur (1959), The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) and The Message (1976). He was married to Joan Greenwood. He died on November 28, 1978 in London.
55. Maurice Denham
Actor | The Day of the Jackal
Born in Beckenham, Kent, English character actor Maurice Denham first came to public notice in the 1940s on radio, appearing on many of the most popular comedy series of the day in a variety of characters. His debut in films came in 1947 with The Smugglers (1947). His talents came to the forefront ...
Authority figures , policemen , army officers , doctors . Great as a sleazy private eye in Hysteria .
56. Geoffrey Keen
Actor | The Spy Who Loved Me
Geoffrey Keen was born on August 21, 1916 in Wallingford, Oxfordshire, England as Geoffrey Ian Keen. He was an actor, known for The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Moonraker (1979) and For Your Eyes Only (1981). He was married to Doris Groves, Madeline Howell and Hazel Terry. He died on November 3, 2005 ...
Authority figures , government men , army officers , judges etc . Small roles in Odd Man Out , Fallen Idol , The Third Man , the chaplain in Yield To The Night . Dodgy in The Glass Tomb , the reporter in The Long Memory .
57. Sam Kydd
Actor | Crane
Sam was a very well known, un-sung, British Actor from 1946 to his death in 1982. He was originally born in Northern Ireland but came over to London England as a boy with his mother and her brothers, setting up home in Bayswater, then Shepherd's Bush, then Chiswick. He was sent to Dunstable school....
In virtually every British film ever made (!) , a familiar face in small parts , often uncredited . Noir appearances include They Made Me A Fugitive , Forbidden , The Blue Lamp , Cage Of Gold , The Clouded Yellow , Pool of London , Secret People , Radio Cab Murder , Glass Tomb , The Quatermass Xperiment , The Long Haul , Clue of The Silver Key etc etc etc
58. Michael Redgrave
Actor | The Lady Vanishes
Sir Michael Redgrave was of the generation of English actors that gave the world the legendary John Gielgud, Ralph Richardson and Laurence Olivier, Britain three fabled "Theatrical Knights" back in the days when a knighthood for thespian was far more rare than it is today. A superb actor, Redgrave ...
59. Derek Farr
Actor | The Vicious Circle
Derek Farr was born on February 7, 1912 in London, England as Derrick Capel Farr. He was an actor, known for The Circle (1957), London Belongs to Me (1977) and Nightingale's Boys (1975). He was married to Muriel Pavlow and Carole Lynne. He died on March 21, 1986 in London.
60. Ronald Lewis
Actor | Helen of Troy
Ronald Lewis was born on December 11, 1928 in Port Talbot, West Glamorgan, Wales. He was an actor, known for Helen of Troy (1956), Robbery Under Arms (1957) and Storm Over the Nile (1955). He was married to Elizabeth Phillips and Norah Gorsen. He died on January 11, 1982 in Pimlico, London, England.
61. Anton Walbrook
Actor | The Red Shoes
This dark, debonair, dashing and extremely distinguished Austrian actor was christened Adolf Wohlbrück in Vienna, the scion of a family of circus clowns. He broke away easily from generations of tradition as the circus life had no appeal whatsoever to Walbrook.
Trained by the legendary director Max ...
62. Frank Pettingell
Actor | Gaslight
Frank Pettingell was born on January 1, 1891 in Liverpool, England as Frank Edmund George Pettingell. He was an actor, known for Gaslight (1940), The Good Companions (1933) and Yes, Madam (1933). He was married to Ethel Till. He died on February 17, 1966 in London, England.
63. Marius Goring
Actor | The Red Shoes
The son of Dr. Charles Buckman Goring M.D. and Kate Winifred (nee MacDonald). Marius Goring was educated at Perse School, Cambridge, England and at the Universities of Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna and Paris. He studied for the stage under Harcourt Williams at the Old Vic dramatic school, London. His ...
64. Mervyn Johns
Actor | Dead of Night
Mervyn Johns was born on February 18, 1899 in Pembroke, Wales as David Mervyn Johns. He was an actor, known for Dead of Night (1945), A Christmas Carol (1951) and The Master of Ballantrae (1953). He was married to Diana Churchill and Alice Maud Steele Wareham. He died on September 6, 1992 in ...
65. Felix Aylmer
Actor | Hamlet
British character actor Felix Aylmer was educated at Oxford and later studied drama, making his stage debut at the London Coliseum in 1911. During World War I he served in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve and resumed his stage career after the war ended. He entered films in 1930 and stayed in them...
66. Jean Kent
Actress | Caravan
Vivacious, hazel-eyed, strawberry-haired Jean Kent was a popular star of British films in the 1940's and early 50's. The daughter of variety performers Norman Field and Nina Norre, she was convent-educated. By the age of ten, she accompanied her mother on tour, then spent several years in the ...
Actress | The Lady Vanishes
Karachi-born Margaret Lockwood, daughter of a British colonial railway clerk, was educated in London and studied to be an actress at the Italia Conti Drama School. Her first moment on stage came at the age of 12, when she played a fairy in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in 1928. She had a bit part in ...
68. Phyllis Calvert
Actress | Mandy
Phyllis Hannah Bickle was born in Chelsea in 1915 and studied dancing at the Margaret Morris school of dance, until an injury forced her to give up dancing and turn instead to acting. Her 70 year film career began with a bit part in The Arcadians (1927) when she was just 12 years old. Along with ...
69. Greta Gynt
Actress | Take My Life
Glamourous, blonde, Norwegian actress who added a sparkle to British movies.
Greta Gynt usually played a leading part, and remained at the top of the British cinema from the late 1930s through to the 40s. An opportunity for Greta to experience a Hollywood career came in the early 1950s, but it was ...
70. Bonar Colleano
Actor | Eight Iron Men
Bonar Colleano was born in New York City. His name was Bonar Sullivan, but he took on his family's stage name when he joined the Colleano family acrobatic circus act at 5, then at 12 moved to England. Bonar's mother, part of the Colleano family act in her role as a comely contortionist met his ...
72. Alfred Burke
Alfred Burke was born on February 28, 1918 in Peckham, London, England. He was an actor and writer, known for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), The Avengers (1961) and Public Eye (1965). He was married to Barbara Bonelle Burke. He died on February 16, 2011 in Barnes, London.
73. Googie Withers
Actress | One of Our Aircraft Is Missing
Googie Withers began her acting career at the age of 12. She was dancing in the chorus in a West End revue when she was spotted by a Warner Brothers casting director. She went to do a screen test for them at the Riverside Studios and was invited to become an extra. On her first day at the filming of...
Actress | Wuthering Heights
Geraldine Fitzgerald was the only actress to appear as both Laurence Olivier's wife and Rodney Dangerfield's mother-in-law, which surely qualifies her as running the gamut (if not the gauntlet, in the latter case) of A to Z for co-starring with cinema immortals. The Irish lass appeared in many ...
75. Patrick Allen
Actor | Dial M for Murder
Patrick Allen was born on March 17, 1927 in Nyasaland as John Keith Patrick Allen. He was an actor, known for Dial M for Murder (1954), Glencannon (1959) and Masterpiece Theatre: Lord Mountbatten - The Last Viceroy (1986). He was married to Sarah Lawson. He died on July 28, 2006 in London, England.
76. Maxwell Reed
Actor | Blackout
After a short time working as a merchant seaman, followed by a few appearances on stage, Maxwell Reed moved to London and was signed by the Rank Organisation. He made many British films during the 40s and 50s, rotating between leads in B movies and supporting roles in major productions. He also ...
77. Nigel Green
Actor | Zulu
The character actor Nigel Green, born in Pretoria, South Africa, in 1924, was educated in England and studied chemical engineering before winning a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. By age 24, he was appearing on stage at both the Old Vic and Stratford-on-Avon, and in the ...
78. Hazel Court
Actress | The Curse of Frankenstein
Born in Birmingham, England, Hazel Court carried on a love affair with the world of movies and make-believe that made her a leading student at her hometown's School of Drama and later helped her land a contract with the J. Arthur Rank Organisation. Graduating from bits to supporting roles to leads,...
79. Peggy Cummins
Actress | Gun Crazy
Peggy Cummins was an Irish actress, appearing in several films between 1940 and 1961. Her best known role was that of trigger-happy bank robber Annie Laurie Starr in the film "Gun Crazy".
In December, 1925, Cummins was born under the name of "Augusta Margaret Diane Fuller" in Prestatyn, Denbighshire...
80. John Van Eyssen
Actor | Dracula
John van Eyssen (1922-1995) John van Eyssen wore several hats during his long professional career -- including that of Shakespearean thespian, movie actor, literary agent, producer and studio executive. Born and raised in South Africa, van Eyssen did not come to Great Britain until after WW II. ...
81. Harry H. Corbett
Actor | Carry On Screaming!
Harry H Corbett (he added the "H" to avoid being confused with Sooty's friend) was born in Burma in 1925. His father was an officer in the army. His mother died when he was very young and he moved to England as a child and was brought up in Manchester by an aunt.
After his war service, he joined a ...
82. Billie Whitelaw
Actress | The Omen
Billie Whitelaw first appeared on the radio aged 11. She made her theatrical debut in 1950 and in films from 1953. She has made a speciality of playing intense, single-purposed women. Also, (on stage), she has appeared in many of the stranger plays by Samuel Beckett.
83. Oskar Homolka
Actor | The Seven Year Itch
Because of his heavy generically "European" accent and Slavic-sounding surname (not an uncommon one among Czechs or Slovaks), many people assumed Oscar Homolka was Eastern European or Russian. In fact, he was born in Vienna (then Austria-Hungary), the multicultural capital of a large multi-ethnic ...
84. Barry Foster
Actor | Frenzy
John Barry Foster's acting career began and ended on the stage. At the age of 20 he won a scholarship to the Central School of Speech and Drama where he befriended future playwright Harold Pinter. After two years training, Barry went on tour with Andrew McMaster and fellow actors Patrick Magee and ...
85. Roger Delgado
Actor | Doctor Who
Born of a Spanish father and French mother in Whitechapel. Although most often called upon to play the villain (due to his dark good looks and sinister beard), he also had a career as a voice actor on BBC Radio appearing on such programs as the "Morning Story". He was a notable 'The Master' in many...
The Master in Doctor Who , played villains , or ethnics ( he was part Spanish ) , Man In The Shadow , Third Party Risk , Blood Orange .
86. Gordon Jackson
Actor | The Great Escape
Gordon Cameron Jackson was born on December 19, 1923, in Glasgow, Scotland, the youngest of five children, whose father taught painting in the city. His interest in acting began during his school years, when he took part in many amateur productions. This led to him being spotted by the BBC, and ...
87. David McCallum
Actor | The Great Escape
Since David McCallum's father, David McCallum Sr., was first violinist for the London Philharmonic and his mother, Dorothy Dorman, was a cellist, it's not surprising that David was originally headed for a career in music, playing oboe. He studied briefly at the Royal Academy of Music. He left that,...
88. Alexander Knox
Actor | Wilson
A Presbyterian minister's son, softly-spoken, intellectual-looking Alexander Knox received his education from the University of Western Ontario where he studied English literature. An excellent elocutionist (a member of the university's Hesperian Club) he had his first fling with dramatic acting ...
89. Victor Maddern
Actor | Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Victor Maddern was born on March 16, 1928 in Seven Kings, Ilford, Essex, England as Victor Jack Maddern. He was an actor, known for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968), Four Desperate Men (1959) and I'm All Right Jack (1959). He was married to Joan Neuville. He died on June 22, 1993 in London, England.
Mostly played soldiers in comedies , including Carry On's . Superb as Limpy in Street of Shadows , small bits in Pool Of London , Seven Days To Noon , Footsteps In The Fog , Face In The Night amongst others .
90. Ann Todd
Actress | The Passionate Friends
Ann Todd was a beautiful English actress best known as Gregory Peck's wife in Alfred Hitchcock's The Paradine Case (1947). Her third husband was the legendary director David Lean, for whom she appeared in three films, The Passionate Friends (1949), Madeleine (1950), and The Sound Barrier (1952).
91. Leo Genn
Actor | Quo Vadis
Leo Genn was the son of a successful jewelry merchant Woolfe (William) Genn and his wife Rachel Asserson. He attended the City of London School as a youth and went on to study law at Cambridge. He received his law degree as a qualified barrister (which in English law tradition is a lawyer who is a ...
92. Harry Fowler
Actor | The Pickwick Papers
Harry Fowler was born on December 10, 1926 in Lambeth, London, England as Henry James Fowler. He is known for his work on The Pickwick Papers (1952), Hue and Cry (1947) and Went the Day Well? (1942). He was married to Catherine Palmer and Joan Dowling. He died on January 4, 2012 in London.
Cockney character actor , mostly comedies . Started as a kid , the evacuee in Went The Day Well . In She Shall Have Murder , The Dark Man , Scarlet Thread , The Last Page , one of the prisoners in the barn in Clash By Night .
93. George Cole
Actor | Cleopatra
George Cole OBE was a veteran British film, television and stage actor whose impressive career spanned over 60 years. For many, he will perhaps be best remembered for playing one of the most endearing characters of recent times on British television, "Arthur Daley", the shifty but very likable "...
Arthur Daley himself , started as a child actor , the cockney evacuee in Cottage To Let for example . Appeared in The Spider And The Fly , The Intruder , A Prize Of Gold .
94. Alastair Sim
Actor | Scrooge
The son of Alexander Sim JP and Isabella McIntyre, Alastair Sim was educated in Edinburgh. Always interested in language (especially the spoken word) he became the Fulton Lecturer in Elocution at New College, Edinburgh University from 1925 until 1930. He was invited back and became the Rector of ...
Great comic actor , good character bits in London Belongs To Me , Stage Fright .
95. Jane Hylton
Actress | My Brother's Keeper
Jane Hylton was born on July 16, 1927 in London, England as Audrey Gwendolene Clark. She was an actress, known for My Brother's Keeper (1948), Here Come the Huggetts (1948) and Passport to Pimlico (1949). She was married to Peter Dyneley and Euan Lloyd. She died on February 28, 1979 in Glasgow, ...
96. Conrad Phillips
Actor | The Dark Angel
Conrad Phillips was born on 13th April 1925 and, after serving in the Royal Navy (having forged the birth date on his ration book to make himself appear older and thus eligible to enlist) during the Second World War, turned to acting as a career. He 'trod the boards', appearing in films (TV and ...
97. John McCallum
Actor | A Tailor-Made Man
Googie Withers bit of rough in It Always Rains on Sunday and Derby Day , they were married in real life . Copper in The Long Memory .
98. Dora Bryan
Actress | A Taste of Honey
Dora Bryan was born on February 7, 1923 in Parbold, Lancashire, England as Dora May Broadbent. She was an actress, known for A Taste of Honey (1961), The Fallen Idol (1948) and Last of the Summer Wine (1973). She was married to Bill Lawton. She died on July 23, 2014 in Hove, East Sussex, England.
Better known in old age , first film appearance is "Woman In Phone Box" in Odd Man Out , then the prostitute in the police station in Fallen Idol , first of a long line of tarts , Street Corner , Both Sides of the Law , Women of Twilight etc etc . When she's not walking the streets , she's a barmaid .
Actor | Dracula
George Woodbridge was born on February 16, 1907 in Exeter, Devon, England as George Arthur Woodbridge. He was an actor, known for Horror of Dracula (1958), Murder in the Cathedral (1951) and Son of Robin Hood (1958). He died on March 31, 1973 in Barnet, London, England.
Best remembered as a police sergeant , usually in a police station , The Fallen Idol , Double Confession , Cloudburst . Also in I See A Dark Stranger , Temptation Harbour , Blanche Fury , The Flanagan Boy promoted to inspector for a change , also in many of the classic Hammer Horrors .
100. Raymond Huntley
Actor | Night Train to Munich
Birmingham-born Raymond Huntley was one of those instantly recognisable, mannered types that popped up in classic British films of the 1940's and 50's. Tall and austere, he had a somewhat mean, sour-faced look, accentuated whenever staring with icy disdain from behind horn-rimmed spectacles. This, ...
Authority figure in tons of films , especially comedies . A nazi in Night Train To Munich , a nazi agent in I See A Dark Stranger , So Evil My Love , inspector in The Long Dark Hall , the book shop manager in The Lost Page , even a journalist in Godard's Breathless .