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: 02/17/1934 in Derbyshire, England, GB


Actor (69)

The Bacchae 2014 (Movie)


Wild Blue Yonder 2012 (Movie)


Hollywood North 2004 (Movie)


Spartacus 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)


Salem Witch Trials 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)


The Statement 2003 (Movie)

Minister Armand Bertier (Actor)

Bertie and Elizabeth 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)


Evelyn 2002 (Movie)

Tom Connolly (Actor)

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


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)


Gosford Park 2001 (Movie)

Jennings (Actor)

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


Arabian Nights 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)


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


Grotesque 1997 (Movie)

Sir Hugo Coal (Actor)

Hard Times 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)


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)


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)


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)


102 Boulevard Haussmann (TV Show)


Doctor Fischer of Geneva (TV Show)


In the Beginning (TV Show)


Nicholas' Gift (TV Show)


Oliver's Travels (TV Show)


Pack of Lies (TV Show)


The Story of Jacob and Joseph (TV Show)


Unnatural Pursuits (TV Show)



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).


Florence Mary Bates


Harold Bates


Benedick Bates

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

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

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


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



featured in "The Statement" with Michael Caine


Appeared in the Richard Gere thriller "Mothman Prophecies"


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Reteamed with director Anderson for "Brittania Hospital"


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


First film with Lindsay Anderson, "In Celebration"


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


Reunited with Frankenheimer for "Impossible Object"


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


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


Interpreted title role of "Hamlet" on British stage


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"


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


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


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


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


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


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


Reprised "Caretaker" role on Broadway


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


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


US TV debut, "Duel For Love"


Broadway debut, "Look Back in Anger"


London stage debut, "The Mulberry Bush"


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


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


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


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


Served in the Royal Air Force (dates approximate)

Bonus Trivia


"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)


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).


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