Alec McCowen Biography

Birthday: 1925-05-26
Place of Birth: Tunbridge Wells, Kent
Wiki Biography: Alec McCowen, the English actor, was born on May 26, 1925 in Tunbridge Wells, England. After studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, he made his professional debut in 1942. He established his reputation in classical stage roles, appearing in the ensemble of Laurence Olivier's famed duo-production of William Shakespeare's "Anthony & Cleopatra" and George Bernard Shaw's "Caesar & Cleopatra" at the 1951 Festival of Britain. McCowen transferred with the productions to New York that same year, making his Broadway debut. McCowen made his film movie debut in The Cruel Sea (1953) (1953) and, but for his turn as "Police Inspector Oxford" in Alfred Hitchcock's Frenzy (1972) (1972), his reputation is rooted in his stage work. "Frenzy" led to his one lead role in a major motion picture, that of "Henry Pulling" in George Cukor's adaptation of 'Graham Greene's Travels with My Aunt (1972) (1972). Though the film won an Oscar for Costume Design and a Best Actress nod for co-star Maggie Smith (among its total of four nominations), the movie did not advance McCowen's career. Over a decade later, he played the title role in the Thames Television series "Mr. Palfrey of Westminster" (1984), which ran for two season on British TV from 1984 to 1985. His last cinema appearance was in a small role in Gangs of New York (2002) for director Martin Scorsese; he had earlier appeared in Scorsese's The Age of Innocence (1993). Though his services were in demand in movies and on TV, McCowen remained wedded to the stage; he regards the character of "Astrov" in Anton Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya" as his favorite role. From 1967 through 1992, McCowen appeared nine times on Broadway, for which he garnered two Drama Desk Awards (out of 4 nominations) and three Tony Award nominations. One of his Tony Award nominations was for his magisterial solo performance in "St. Mark's Gospel", which debuted on Broadway in 1978 and had a return engagement on the Great White Way in 1981.

Alec McCowenPhotos & Pictures


TV Title Appeared As Year Genre
Mr Palfrey of Westminster 1984
Shakespeare: The Animated Tales 1992 Animation
Movies Title Appeared As Year Genre
The Cruel Sea 1953 Drama
Time Without Pity 1957
The One That Got Away 1957 Adventure, Drama
The Silent Enemy 1958 Action, History
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner 1962 Drama, Sport
The Hawaiians 1970 Drama
Travels with My Aunt 1972
Frenzy Chief Inspector Oxford 1972 Comedy, Game Show
Hanover Street 1979 0, Biography, Romance
Never Say Never Again 'Q' Algy 1983 0
The Young Visiters J. M. Barrie 1984 Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
The Assam Garden 1985
Forever Young Father Vincent 1986 Drama
Personal Services 1987 Comedy
Henry V Bishop of Ely 1989 Biography, Romance, 0, 0
Shakespeare: the Animated Tales 1992 Animation, Comedy, Drama
The Age of Innocence Sillerton Jackson 1993 Biography
Gangs of New York Reverend Raleigh 2002 0, Comedy, 0, 0