Alan Bates

Actor, Stage manager
Versatile, good-looking British actor Alan Bates came to prominence as one of the chief proponents of the angry young man school, along with fellow RADA alums Albert Finney and Tom Courtenay. Since his London stage ... Read more »
Born: 02/16/1934 in Derbyshire, England, GB

Filmography

Actor (69)

The Bacchae 2014 (Movie)

(Actor)

Wild Blue Yonder 2012 (Movie)

(Actor)

Hollywood North 2004 (Movie)

(Actor)

Spartacus 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

Salem Witch Trials 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)

Actor

The Statement 2003 (Movie)

Minister Armand Bertier (Actor)

Bertie and Elizabeth 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Evelyn 2002 (Movie)

Tom Connolly (Actor)

Love in a Cold Climate 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

The Cherry Orchard 2002 (Movie)

Gaev (Actor)

The Mothman Prophecies 2002 (Movie)

Doctor Alexander Leek (Actor)

The Sum of All Fears 2002 (Movie)

Richard Dressler (Actor)

Changing Stages 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Gosford Park 2001 (Movie)

Jennings (Actor)

The Prince and the Pauper 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Arabian Nights 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

Saint Patrick, the Irish Legend 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

Grotesque 1997 (Movie)

Sir Hugo Coal (Actor)

Hard Times 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

Silent Tongue 1994 (Movie)

Eamon McCree (Actor)

Secret Friends 1992 (Movie)

John (Actor)

Shuttlecock 1991 (Movie)

James Prentis (Actor)

Docteur M. 1990 (Movie)

(uncredited) Guru (Actor)

Hamlet 1990 (Movie)

King Claudius (Actor)

Mister Frost 1990 (Movie)

Felix Detweiller (Actor)

Force Majeure 1989 (Movie)

Malcolm Forrest (Actor)

The Entertainer 1989 (Movie)

Frank (Actor)

We Think the World of You 1988 (Movie)

Frank Meadows (Actor)

A Prayer for the Dying 1987 (Movie)

Dandy Jack Meehan (Actor)

Duet For One 1986 (Movie)

David Cornwallis (Actor)

Separate Tables 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Actor

An Englishman Abroad 1982 (Movie)

Guy Burgess (Actor)

The Wicked Lady 1982 (Movie)

Captain Jerry Jackson (Actor)

Quartet 1981 (Movie)

H J Heidler (Actor)

The Return of the Soldier 1981 (Movie)

Captain Chris Baldry (Actor)

Nijinsky 1980 (Movie)

Sergei Diaghilev (Actor)

An Unmarried Woman 1978 (Movie)

Saul Kaplan (Actor)

The Rose 1978 (Movie)

Rudge (Actor)

The Shout 1978 (Movie)

Charles Crossley (Actor)

Royal Flash 1976 (Movie)

Rudi Von Starnberg (Actor)

In Celebration 1975 (Movie)

Andrew Shaw (Actor)

Butley 1974 (Movie)

Ben Butley (Actor)

Impossible Object 1973 (Movie)

Harry (Actor)

A Day in the Death of Joe Egg 1972 (Movie)

Bri (Actor)

The Go-Between 1970 (Movie)

Ted Burgess (Actor)

Three Sisters 1969 (Movie)

Colonel Vershinin (Actor)

Women in Love 1969 (Movie)

Rupert Birkin (Actor)

The Fixer 1968 (Movie)

Yacov Bok (Actor)

Far From the Madding Crowd 1967 (Movie)

Gabriel Oak (Actor)

Hands Up! 1967 (Movie)

(Actor)

King of Hearts 1967 (Movie)

Private Charles Plumpick (Actor)

Georgy Girl 1966 (Movie)

Jos (Actor)

Nothing But the Best 1964 (Movie)

Jimmy Brewster (Actor)

The Caretaker 1964 (Movie)

Mick (Actor)

Zorba the Greek 1964 (Movie)

Basil (Actor)

The Running Man 1963 (Movie)

Stephen Maddox (Actor)

A Kind of Loving 1962 (Movie)

Vic Brown (Actor)

Whistle Down the Wind 1961 (Movie)

The Man (Actor)

It's Never Too Late 1955 (Movie)

(Actor)

102 Boulevard Haussmann (TV Show)

Actor

Doctor Fischer of Geneva (TV Show)

Actor

In the Beginning (TV Show)

Actor

Nicholas' Gift (TV Show)

Actor

Oliver's Travels (TV Show)

Actor

Pack of Lies (TV Show)

Actor

The Story of Jacob and Joseph (TV Show)

Narrator

Unnatural Pursuits (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

Versatile, good-looking British actor Alan Bates came to prominence as one of the chief proponents of the angry young man school, along with fellow RADA alums Albert Finney and Tom Courtenay. Since his London stage debut in "The Mulberry Bush" (1956), he has been closely associated with playwrights John Osborne, Harold Pinter and Simon Gray, both on the boards and in film. Bates originated the role of Cliff in Osborne's "Look Back in Anger" (1956) and made his Broadway debut the following year in the play. He won tremendous acclaim for his portrayal of Edmund Tyrone in a production of Eugene O'Neill's "Long Day's Journey into Night" (1958) before making his feature debut in the film version of Osborne's "The Entertainer" (1960), starring Laurence Olivier. He then created the role of Mick in Pinter's "The Caretaker" (1960), playing it on Broadway (1961) and in the Clive Donner movie version (also known as "The Guest" 1964).

Relationships

Florence Mary Bates

Mother

Harold Bates

Father

Benedick Bates

Son
twin born c. 1971 mother, Victoria Ward acted in the feature "Deadly Advice" (1994) and on stage with father in "Fortune's Fool" in 1998

Tristan Bates

Son
twin born c. 1971 died of a heart attack brought on by freak asthma attack in January 1990, aged 18 mother, Victoria Ward Bates endowed a theater in honor of his son

Victoria Ward

Wife
married in 1970 born c. 1940 died on June 22, 1992 at age 52, while on vacation in Sardinia after an illness, refusing medicinal help, relying on nature and, most significantly, alone and absent from her husband

EDUCATION

Royal Academy of Dramatic Art

London , England
accepted at age 17; postponed enrollment due to mandatory military service; entered at age 19; classmates included Albert Finney, Peter O'Toole and Tom Courtenay; studied with Claude W Gibson and voice with Gladys Lea

Milestones

2003

featured in "The Statement" with Michael Caine

2002

Appeared in the Richard Gere thriller "Mothman Prophecies"

2002

Appeared in the Tom Clancy thriller "The Sum of All Fears"

2002

Returned to Broadway opposite Frank Langella in "Fortune's Fool"

2001

Gave a sterling performance as the head butler at "Gosford Park" in Robert Altman's ensemble murder mystery

2000

Returned to the NYC stage in the Off-Broadway production of "The Unexpected Man"

1998

Starred opposite Jamie Lee Curtis in CBS movie "Reginald's Gift", the true story of Maggie and Reginald Green who donated the organs of their brain-dead son, enhancing or saving the lives of seven people

1997

Embarked on West End Show "Life Support", his 11th collaboration with playwright Gray, directed by Pinter

1996

Appeared as Oliver in four-part "Oliver's Travels" for "Mystery!" (PBS)

1995

Played Josiah Bounderby in PBS' "Masterpiece Theatre" production of Charles Dickens' "Hard Times"

1994

Starred as obsessive English writer Hamish Partt in A&E movie "Unnatural Pursuits" (screenplay by Simon Gray)

1991

Portrayed Marcel Proust in A&E movie "102 Boulevard Haussman"

1990

Turned in a solid portrayal as King Claudius in Franco Zeffirelli's "Hamlet", starring Mel Gibson as the Melancholy Dane

1984

Second TV film with Schlesinger, "Separate Tables" (HBO)

1983

Earned a BAFTA Award for his portrayal of exiled traitor Guy Burgess in "An Englishman Abroad", a TV-movie (BBC) directed by John Schlesinger

1982

Came home shell-shocked to wife Julie Christie after World War I in "The Return of the Soldier"

1982

Reteamed with director Anderson for "Brittania Hospital"

1978

Was outstanding as Jill Clayburgh's ultimate lover (after abandonment by weak-willed husband Michael Murphy) in Paul Mazursky's "An Unmarried Woman"

1975

First film with Lindsay Anderson, "In Celebration"

1973

Reprised Tony-winning role from Simon Gray's stage play "Butley" in film version directed by Pinter

1973

Reunited with Frankenheimer for "Impossible Object"

1972

Portrayed Petruccio in "The Taming of the Shrew" for the Royal Shakespeare Company

1970

Starred as farmer opposite aristocratic Julie Christie in Joseph Losey's "The Go-Between"; screenplay written by Harold Pinter

1969

Interpreted title role of "Hamlet" on British stage

1968

Engaged in now famous nude wrestling scene with Oliver Reed in Ken Russell's film adaptation of the D H Larwence novel "Women in Love"

1968

Received a Best Actor Oscar nomination for John Frankenheimer's "The Fixer", adapted by Dalton Trumbo from the Bernard Malamud novel

1967

Reteamed with Schlessinger for "Far From the Madding Crowd"; first screen teaming with Julie Christie

1966

Played the lover who left Lynn Redgrave in the lurch in "Georgy Girl"

1964

Portrayed Anthony Quinn's intellectual British cohort in "Zorba the Greek"

1964

Again reprised stage role in feature film "The Caretaker/The Guest", directed by Clive Donner

1962

First collaboration with director John Schlesinger, "A Kind of Loving"

1961

Reprised "Caretaker" role on Broadway

1960

Feature film debut in movie version of Osborne's "The Entertainer"

1960

Originated part of Mick in Harold Pinter's "The Caretaker" on the English stage

1959

US TV debut, "Duel For Love"

1957

Broadway debut, "Look Back in Anger"

1956

London stage debut, "The Mulberry Bush"

1956

Played Cliff in the original production of John Osborne's "Look Back in Anger"

1956

First film appearance, a one-minute impersonation of King Lear in "It's Never Too Late"

1956

Joined English Stage Society at the Royal Court in London (date approximate)

1955

Joined Frank Dunlop's Midland Theatre Company, Coventry, England, where he stage-managed and made stage acting debut in "You and Your Wife"

1951

Served in the Royal Air Force (dates approximate)

Bonus Trivia

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"Alan Bates has it in his nature to play tormented and self-divided characters with emotional truth and technical finesse." --Peter Roberts' 1970 review of Bates's Hamlet (PLAYS AND PLAYERS)

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Bates received the Best Actor Award from the Variety Club of Great Britain for his stage portrayals in "Otherwise Engaged" (1975) and "A Patriot for Me" (1983-84).

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Both his wife Victoria and son Tristan died under tragic circumstances: "When people are alive they can be horrible to each other and let each other down, but that doesn't mean they don't love each other. You remember all the good things when they're gone, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that . . . as long as you keep your feet on the ground . . . I had pure ambition, but when terible things happen in your life, your priorities are changed--not sharply, but subtly and slowly. You think about somebody like Tristan and think he would probably have been an extremely good actor. I've already had 40 years and he wasn't allowed that, why should I have any more? And then you think, hey, wait a minute: he was one of the main inspirations of my life. I'm going to do it for him." --Alan Bates quoted in the London Times, August 3, 1997

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