Anthony Quayle Poster


Jump to: Overview (5)  | Mini Bio (2)  | Family (2)  | Trivia (13)  | Personal Quotes (4)

Overview (5)

Born in Ainsdale, Southport, Lancashire [now Aindale, Sefton, Merseyside], England, UK
Died in Chelsea, London, England, UK  (liver cancer)
Birth NameJohn Anthony Quayle
Nickname Tony
Height 6' 1" (1.86 m)

Mini Bio (2)

Anthony Quayle was born in Ainsdale in September 1913, the son of a Lancashire lawyer. He completed his education at Rugby School and had a brief spell at RADA, before treading the boards for the first time as the straight man in a music hall comedy act in 1931. Tall, burly, round-faced and possessed of a powerful and resonant voice, he was mentored early on in his career by the well-known stage director Tyrone Guthrie. Letters of introduction led to steady employment with the Old Vic Company by September 1932, and a succession of small roles in classical parts. Quayle's reputation as an actor grew steadily, and, in 1936, he appeared on Broadway opposite Ruth Gordon in 'The Country Wife'. For the next few years, he consolidated his position as a Shakespearean actor. When the Second World War began, he was among the first in his profession to enlist, serving with the Royal Artillery and rising to the rank of major. Some of his wartime experiences, such as co-ordinating operations with Albanian partisans as part of the secret Special Operations Executive, were destined to be paralleled by his fictional post-war screen exploits as incisive army officers or spies. With the war still fresh in his mind, he subsequently published two novels (respectively in 1945, and in 1947), 'Eight Hours from England' and 'On Such a Night'.

In 1946, Quayle also made his debut as a theatrical director with a London production of 'Crime and Punishment'. Between 1948 and 1956, he had a distinguished tenure as director of the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, bringing into the company some of the biggest stars of the stage, including Laurence Olivier and John Gielgud. Though acting in films from 1938, the theatre remained his favourite medium. He played diverse roles with great intensity and professionalism, achieving critical acclaim as Petruchio and Falstaff, Tamburlaine and Galileo (on Broadway) and the original role of Andrew Wyke in Anthony Shaffer's play 'Sleuth' (played in the first screen version by Olivier). In motion pictures Quayle tended to portray tough, dependable authority figures. He was good value for money as Commodore Harwood in Pursuit of the Graf Spee (1956), as the enigmatic Afrikaner captain in Ice Cold in Alex (1958) and as the stuffy, by-the-book Colonel Harry Brighton, who nonetheless appears to have a degree of admiration for Lawrence of Arabia (1962). Due to his classical training, Quayle was often used in historical epics, giving one of his best performances as Cardinal Wolsey in Anne of the Thousand Days (1969), earning him an Academy Award nomination. His voice was heard as narrator of The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1970) and on radio in anything from 'The Ballad of Robin Hood' to Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Purloined Letter'.

The year prior to receiving his knighthood, Quayle founded the touring Compass Theatre Company, and served as its director until a few months before his death from cancer in October 1989.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: I.S.Mowis

During his tenure as director of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre he took the company to Australia and New Zealand in 1949 where they performed Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing and Henry VIII. In addition to playing in many Shakespearean plays he also does many modern one notably St Helena, Pride and Prejudice, Long Days Journey Into Night,, which was his New York debut, Look After Lulu, The Right Honourable Gentleman. He also directed Lady Windermere's Fan which ran in the West End for 6 months. In America he starred in Galileo to great acclaim at the Lincoln Repertoty Theatre, in New York, where he later directed A Tiger at the Gates. He also starred in Halfway up the Tree on Broadway. Durig his time in America he also worked in television, Barefoot in Athens in 1966, and in '67The Waste Places, which was also shown in the UK late that year

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Tonyman 5

Family (2)

Spouse Dorothy Hyson (1947 - 20 October 1989)  (his death)  (3 children)
Hermione Hannen (1934 - 1941)  (divorced)
Children Jenny Quayle
Christopher Quayle
Rosanna Quayle

Trivia (13)

Awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 1952 Queen's Birthday Honours List and made a Knight Bachelor in the 1985 Queen's New Year Honours List for his services to drama.
Was a major in the British army during WW2 and then played one in The Guns of Navarone (1961).
He was nominated for Broadway's 1956 Tony Award as Best Featured or Supporting Actor (Dramatic) for his role in the play, "Tamburlaine the Great.".
Formed his own theatre company, "Compass", which toured the provinces introducing theatre to new audiences.
Ex-son-in-law of Nicholas Hannen.
Played a supporting role in two unrelated films that featured Sherlock Holmes attempting to solve the Jack the Ripper murders: A Study in Terror (1965) and Murder by Decree (1979). He played Dr. Murray in the former and Sir Charles Warren in the latter. In both films, Frank Finlay played Inspector Lestrade.
Appeared in two Best Picture Academy Award winners: Hamlet (1948) and Lawrence of Arabia (1962). He also appeared in three other Best Picture nominees: Pygmalion (1938), The Guns of Navarone (1961) and Anne of the Thousand Days (1969).
Was a devoted and active supporter of Margaret Thatcher's Conservative government. He also narrated party political TV broadcasts on behalf of the Conservative Party.
He narrated a number of documentary films including "This Is Lloyds" (1962) .
Served with writer Anthony Burgess ("A Clockwork Orange") in the British military during WW2.
Discovered Robert Shaw and Barbara Jefford.
His wife gave up her acting career at 30 to help him when he took over the Royal Shakespeare Company at Stratford Upon Avon.
Was very proud of his family's roots in the Isle of Man. For a number of years he was the "voice" of the Manx Museum, guiding tourists around each of the sections. The surname "Quayle" comes from the Manx Gaelic for "son of Paul", and is related to the name MacPhail.

Personal Quotes (4)

If life doesn't have that little bit of danger, you'd better create it. If life hands you that danger, accept it gratefully.
[Of the plays he produced at the Stratford Memorial Theatre] "Some complain that the productions are over-pictorial, others that they are dull, others that they're too long, and others that they've been cut. But the chief complaint seems to be that they can't get in."
The marvellous thing about David Niven was his endless and genuine merriness and lightness of heart. I once said to him, Are you always like this - jokey and buoyant and fun? And he said, As a matter of fact I am, old thing, because life's so miserable that I feel it's one's duty to try and be cheerful and keep spirits up.
I wasn't asked to be a handsome young man in films because I wasn't a handsome young man.

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