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Tim Pigott-Smith Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trade Mark (1)  | Trivia (11)  | Personal Quotes (2)

Overview (4)

Born in Rugby, Warwickshire, England, UK
Died in Northampton, England, UK  (natural causes)
Birth NameTimothy Peter Pigott-Smith
Height 6' (1.83 m)

Mini Bio (1)

A familiar patrician-looking face both here and abroad, blue-eyed, fair-haired classical stage and TV actor Tim Pigott-Smith, the son of a journalist, was born on in Rugby, Warwickshire, on May 13, 1946. The Britisher attended King Edward VI School in Stratford-upon-Avon, graduated from Bristol University in 1967, and then receiving his acting training at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. In later years, he would return to Bristol University as a lecturer.

Tim made his professional debut in 1969 with the Bristol Old Vic under the stage name of "Tim Smith" and was predominantly a stage player in both regional and repertory companies. He focused quite strongly on Shakespeare and Greek plays and went on to play Balthazar in "Much Ado About Nothing" for the Prospect touring company as well as Posthumus in a 1974 production of "Cymbeline" for the Royal Shakespeare Company. He made his Broadway debut that same year in "Sherlock Holmes" as Dr. Watson opposite John Wood. Over the years, he would act alongside most of England's grande dame royalty including Judi Dench, Helen Mirren, Geraldine James, Margaret Tyzack, Peggy Ashcroft, Maggie Smith and Penelope Wilton.

A charming, distinguished presence on stage, Tim was invited by an ailing Anthony Quayle to take over the running of the Compass theatre company founded by him in 1984 and served as its artistic director from 1989-1992. A theatre director as well ("Hamlet," and "A Royal Hunt of the Sun"), he would take several Shakespearean classics later to BBC-TV. He, in fact, started his small screen career in secondary Shakespeare roles as Laertes in Hamlet (1970) opposite Ian McKellen in the title role and Proculeius in Antony and Cleopatra (1974) starring Richard Johnson and Janet Suzman. He transitioned into more prominent BBC roles with his Angelo in Measure for Measure (1979) and Hotspur in Henry IV Part I (1979).

Aside from Tim's theatre work, quality TV remained an extremely successful venue for decades with impressive performances in such prestigious min-series as North & South (1975), The Glittering Prizes (1976), The Lost Boys (1978), Danger UXB (1979), Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years (1981), Fame Is the Spur (1982), I Remember Nelson (1982), The Jewel in the Crown (1984) (BAFTA-TV as sadistic villain Ronald Merrick) and The Challenge (1986). He enjoyed recurring roles on the TV series Doctor Who (1963), Hannah (1980) and regular roles in the short-lived comedy Struggle (1983), the drama The Chief (1990) and with The Vice (1999). His mellifluous voice was also popular on many BBC radio productions, in audio books, as well as serving as a narrator on such documentary series as Serial Killers (2006) and Doomsday (2013)

Film work began in the 1970's but remained far and few and less distinguished with his minor participation in Aces High (1976), Joseph Andrews (1977), Sweet William (1980), Clash of the Titans (1981), Richard's Things (1980), Victory (1981) and The Remains of the Day (1993). He did enjoy a prime role in the nuclear drama A State of Emergency (1986) starring opposite Martin Sheen and Peter Firth.

Pigott-Smith remained a strong, vibrant present on the stage throughout his career. In later years, he played in such contemporary plays as "Benefactors" (1984), "Coming in to Land" (1987) opposite Ms. Smith and "Amadeus" as composer Salieri. He also portrayed Leontes in "The Winter's Tale" (1988) and scored critical acclaim in the 1999 version of "The Iceman Cometh" (both London and Broadway) and with Ms. Mirren in an over four-hour production of "Mourning Becomes Electra." Into the millennium, he was seen in "Julius Caesar" (as Cassius, 2001), "A Christmas Carol" (as Scrooge, 2002), "Women Beware Women" (2006), "Enron" (2009), "Educating Rita" (2010), "A Delicate Balance" (2011), "King Lear" (title role, 2011), "The Tempest" (as Prospero, 2012), the Chorus in "Henry V" in 2013, and earned both Olivier and Tony nominations here and abroad for his powerful portrayal of King Charles III (2015). Tim became an RSC Associate Artist in 2012, and served on both the RSC board (from 2005 until 2011) and as a governor from 2005 until his retirement in 2016.

On film in later years, he often appeared in official high-ranking parts. His list of movies include Martin Scorsese's Gangs of New York (2002), The Four Feathers (2002), the historical Greek biopic Alexander (2004) starring Colin Farrell, V for Vendetta (2005), Flyboys (2006), Quantum of Solace (2008), Alice in Wonderland (2010), RED 2 (2013), Jupiter Ascending (2015) and Whisky Galore (2016). He also graced such TV shows as "Downtown Abbey" and recreated his stage triumph in the title role of King Charles III (2017) which earned him a second BAFTA-TV nomination.

Tim was in rehearsals for an upcoming stage performance of "Death of a Salesman" as Willy Loman in London when he died suddenly of natural causes on April 7, 2017, at age 70. He was survived by his actress wife Pamela Miles and their son Tom Pigott Smith, a concert/studio violinist.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Spouse (1)

Pamela Miles (1972 - 7 April 2017) ( his death) ( 1 child)

Trade Mark (1)

He frequently played military officers and other authority figures

Trivia (11)

His son, Tom Pigott Smith, is a concert violinist.
Doctor Who: The Claws of Axos: Episode Two (1971) was his television acting debut, for which he was paid 60 pounds.
He acted in both the Doctor Who franchise and the Eon James Bond film series.
In North & South (1975) he played the son, Frederick Hale. In North & South (2004) he played the father, Richard Hale.
He was considered for the roles of Col. Colin Caine, Dr. Bukovsky, Dr. Armstong, Kelly and Lamson in Lifeforce (1985).
He was awarded the OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2017 Queen's New Years Honours List for services to Drama.
He appeared in two films that were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar: The Remains of the Day (1993) and Gangs of New York (2002).
Following the death of the actor and theatre manager Anthony Quayle, Piggott-Smith took over the running of the Compass Theatre Company then based at Dean Clough in Halifax.
He died on the same day as Christopher Morahan, who directed him in his most famous television role in The Jewel in the Crown (1984).
Timothy Peter Pigott-Smith passed away on April 7, 2017, 37 days from what would have been his 71st birthday on May 13.
The Remains of the Day (1993) marks as his only performance on a theatrical film released in the 1990's.

Personal Quotes (2)

[on playing villains] I never think of the people that I play as being bad, because I don't think most people, even if they are terrible, think of themselves as being bad. I think that may be part of the trick of it.
I'd pay the licence fee for Radio 4 alone.

See also

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