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Daniel Massey Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (3)  | Trivia (15)

Overview (4)

Born in London, England, UK
Died in London, England, UK  (Hodgkin's disease)
Birth NameDaniel Raymond Massey
Height 6' 3" (1.91 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Daniel Massey was an English actor of Canadian descent, best known for portraying his godfather Noël Coward (1899-1973) in the critically acclaimed film "Star!" (1968). For this role he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. It was his only Academy Award nomination.

Massey was the son of Canadian actor Raymond Massey (1896-1983) and English actress Adrianne Allen (1907-1993). He was raised by his mother, following his parents' divorce. His paternal uncle was Canadian diplomat Vincent Massey (1887-1967), who became the first Canadian-born Governor General of Canada (term 1952-1959).

Massey was educated at Eton College and King's College, Cambridge. He made his film debut as a child actor, in the war film "In Which We Serve" (1942). The film depicted the Battle of Crete (1941) and its aftermath.

Massey did not return to film roles until the late 1950s. His early roles included the comedy film "Girls at Sea" (1958), the military-themed comedy "Operation Bullshine" (1959), the comedy-drama "Upstairs and Downstairs" (1959), the music-hall themed drama and "The Entertainer" (1960). He played the leading role of John Fellowes (Daniel Massey), an officer in the Grenadier Guards, in the military-themed drama "The Queen's Guards" (1961).

His next major role was as an incompetent thief in the crime comedy "Go to Blazes" (1962). He had a supporting role in the historical comedy "The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders" (1965), which was an adaptation of the novel "Moll Flanders" (1722) by Daniel Defoe (c. 1660-1731).

Massey received his best known role in the film "Star!" (1968), and received his nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. The Award was instead won by rival actor Jack Albertson (1907-1981). Massey's next found a critically acclaimed role in television. He played the openly gay character Daniel in the historical drama "The Roads to Freedom" (1970). The series was an adaptation of a trilogy of novels: "The Age of Reason" (1945), "The Reprieve" (1945) and "Troubled Sleep" (1949) by Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980). They depicted the last years of the interwar period in France and the Fall of France (1940) in World War II.

Massey played the historical figure Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester (1532-1588) in the historical film "Mary, Queen of Scots" (1971). In the film. Dudley was depicted as a court favorite of Elizabeth I of England, (played by Glenda Jackson) and as a suitor for Mary I of Scotland (played by .Vanessa Redgrave).

Massey next has a role in the anthology horror film "The Vault of Horror " (1973), which adapted several classic horror stories published by EC Comics. It was his first appearance in a comic book adaptation. He played the French dramatist Victorien Sardou (1831-1908) in the biographical film "The Incredible Sarah" (1976).

Massey was mostly reduced to supporting roles in the religious drama "The Devil's Advocate" (1977), the fantasy film "Warlords of Atlantis" (1978), and the horror comedy "The Cat and the Canary" (1979). He only appeared in a hand full of films in the 1980s, but played the historical judge Mervyn Griffith-Jones (1909-1979) in "Scandal" (1989). The film was loosely based on the political scandal Profumo affair, which had damaged the reputation of the Conservative Party in the early 1960s.

Massey was in poor health in the 1990s, and his career consequently suffered. His last film role was voicing Jesus' disciple Cleopas in the animated Biblical drama "The Miracle Maker" (1999). The film was an an adaptation of the Gospels of the New Testament, and was released following Massey's death.

Massey died in March 1998, suffering from Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer affecting the white blood cells. He was buried at Putney Vale Cemetery in southwest London. The cemetery is located at the small community of Putney Vale, within the London Borough of Wandsworth.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Dimos I

Spouse (3)

Linda Mary 'Lindy' Wilton (21 June 1997 - 25 March 1998) ( his death)
Penelope Wilton (12 December 1975 - 1984) ( divorced) ( 2 children)
Adrienne Corri (30 September 1961 - 1968) ( divorced)

Trivia (15)

Son of actors Raymond Massey, who appeared with him in The Queen's Guards (1961), and Adrianne Allen. Nephew of Vincent Massey. Brother of Anna Massey, who appeared with him in The Vault of Horror (1973). One-time brother-in-law of Jeremy Brett. Has a daughter, Alice (by his second marriage to Penelope Wilton) and a son, Paul.
Godson of Noël Coward.
Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner for Star! (1968), in which he played Noël Coward, his real-life godfather.
Was diagnosed as having Hodgkin's Disease in the early 1990s
Daniel's first film was at age 9 in In Which We Serve (1942) wherein he played the son of Noël Coward, his real-life godfather. A few years later he played Coward in the film Star! (1968) with Julie Andrews for which he was honored with an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe award for Best Supporting Actor.
His parents broke up when he was quite young. Both he and sister Anna Massey were brought up by their British mother, Adrianne Allen. Their father Raymond Massey returned to the US and built a formidable acting career, rarely seeing his children. Anna reported seeing her father perhaps six times during her entire life.
He was awarded a Laurence Olivier Theatre Award in 1982 (1981 season) for Best Actor in a Revival for "Man and Superman".
He was awarded the 1995 London Critics Circle Theatre Award (Drama Theatre) for Best Actor for his performance in Taking Sides.
He divorced his actress/wife Penelope Wilton, his co-star on stage in such stage productions as "Bloomsbury" (1974), "The Betrayal" (1978), "The Philanderer" (1979) and "Man and Superman" (1981) (for which he won a Laurence Olivier Award), and almost immediately married her sister, Lindy Wilton.
Daniel Massey's parents, Raymond Massey and Adrianne Allen, were seeking a divorce and hired longtime friend and international lawyer, William Dwight Whitney, who was divorced from his wife, Dorothy Whitney. In 1939, Dorothy married Raymond, and Adrianne married William Whitney. Both couples lived "happily ever after". Daniel and his sister, Anna Massey, spent most of their childhood time in London with Adrianne and Bill and, during WWII, enjoyed many visits with their uncle, Roger Sherman Baldwin Whitney, M.D.
Was bitten by the acting bug after seeing Ralph Richardson perform on stage in the role of "Falstaff".
Was educated at Eton and Cambridge University, where he first acted in amateur plays and revues. Made his Broadway debut in 1956 and had a long career as a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre.
Had an uncle, Vincent Massey, who was, at one-time, Governor General of Canada.
He had several estrangements from both his parents and his sister Anna. He refused to appear opposite his father Raymond Massey in the play "I Never Sang For My Father", and the two had earlier had a difficult working relationship in the 1961 film, "The Queen's Guards"; its director, Michael Powell, later said it had been a mistake to cast them as father and son. His sister reported in her autobiography that he had frequently refused to speak to her when they worked together, or else was openly vituperative for no apparent reason. His worst relationship, though, was with his mother Adrianne Allen; he reviled her frequently in interviews, both before and after her death, and refused to attend her funeral. He also once likened her (in complete seriousness) to the notorious murderess Myra Hindley.
He, his father Raymond Massey and his younger sister Anna Massey all worked with Laurence Olivier: Raymond in Fire Over England (1937) and 49th Parallel (1941), Daniel in The Entertainer (1960) and Anna in Bunny Lake Is Missing (1965), David Copperfield (1970) and A Little Romance (1979).

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