Denis Quilley Biography

Birthday: 1927-12-26
Place of Birth: London, England
Wiki Biography: Noted British classical theatre actor Denis Quilley distinguished himself on the Shakespearean stage alongside Laurence Olivier and John Gielgud, among others. His sturdy handsomeness was slightly offset by a relatively prominent proboscis. As in the case of Jeremy Northam and Liam Neeson, it only accentuated his looks and added to the uniqueness of his characters. Educated at Bancroft's School in Essex, he made his first appearance in 1945 with the Birmingham Repertory Company and replaced Richard Burton in "The Lady's Not for Burning" in his London debut in 1950. Following roles in "Twelfth Night" and "The Merchant of Venice," Quilley took a marked departure from his classical reputation and made a resounding hit for himself in musicals and satirical revues, notably "Airs on a Shoestring" (1953) and "Grab Me a Gondola."(1956). In the early 60s he took his London role in "Irma La Douce" to Broadway and met with great success. Over his nearly six-decade career, he would grace the Old Vic, Royal Shakespeare, Regent's Park and Drury Lane stages in a wide range of roles. Highlights have included his Lopakhim in "The Cherry Orchard" and Claudius in "Hamlet." In the 70s he joined Laurence Olivier's National Theatre Company for its last seasons at the Old Vic. He played Jamie to Olivier's James Tyrone in "Long Day's Journey Into Night" (also a TV version), Hildy Johnson in "The Front Page" and Caliban in "The Tempest" with John Gielgud. He continued impressively in musicals winning kudos for his "Sweeney Todd" and for "La Cage Aux Folles." He ended his career with "Anything Goes" in 2003, the year of his death. A less frequent but still familiar face on television ("Masada" (1981)) as well as in film intrigue (Murder on the Orient Express (1974) and Evil Under the Sun (1982)), the versatile Quilley was a gifted, cerebral player who could display strength as well as vulnerability and weakness.

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TV Title Appeared As Year Genre
Contrabandits Chief Inspector Ted Hallam 1967 Crime
Timeslip Commander Charles Traynor 1970 Family
You're On Your Own John Ryder 1975 - 1975
Saturday Night Thriller 1982 Thriller
Foreign Body Prime Minister 1986 Comedy
Rich Tea and Sympathy 1991 Comedy
Movies Title Appeared As Year Genre
Anne of the Thousand Days 1969 Drama, History
The Black Windmill 1974 Thriller
Masada 1981 Action, Drama, History
Evil Under the Sun Kenneth Marshall 1982 0, Game Show
Memed My Hawk Rejeb 1984 Drama
King David Samuel 1985 0
Foreign Body Prime Minister 1986
Mister Johnson 1990
Storia di una capinera Baron Cesaro 1994 Drama