Alec McCowen

Actor, Director, Writer
British stage actor Alec McCowen paid his dues in the provinces throughout the 1940s, finally taking his first London bow in 1950, then traveled to NYC with Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh for his Broadway debut in ... Read more »
Born: 05/26/1925 in Kent, England, GB

Filmography

Actor (36)

Gangs of New York 2002 (Movie)

Reverend Raleigh (Actor)

The Electric Vendetta 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

David Copperfield 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

The American 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Voice

King Richard III 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Narrator

Cruel Train 1994 (Movie)

(Actor)

Macbeth 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Narrator

The Age of Innocence 1993 (Movie)

Sillerton Jackson (Actor)

Maria's Child 1991 (Movie)

Eugene McCarthy (Actor)

Henry V 1989 (Movie)

Ely (Actor)

Cry Freedom 1987 (Movie)

Acting High Commissioner (Actor)

Personal Services 1987 (Movie)

Wing Commander Morton (Actor)

The Secret Adversary 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Forever Young 1986 (Movie)

Father Vincent (Actor)

The Assam Garden 1984 (Movie)

Mr Philpott (Actor)

Never Say Never Again 1983 (Movie)

Q 'Algy' Algernon (Actor)

The Young Visitors 1983 (Movie)

J M Barrie (Actor)

Twelfth Night 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Actor

Hanover Street 1979 (Movie)

Major Trumbo (Actor)

Stevie 1978 (Movie)

Freddy (Actor)

Travels With My Aunt 1972 (Movie)

Henry (Actor)

Frenzy 1971 (Movie)

Inspector Oxford (Actor)

The Hawaiians 1970 (Movie)

Micah Hale (Actor)

In the Cool of the Day 1963 (Movie)

Dickie Bayliss (Actor)

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner 1961 (Movie)

Brown (Actor)

A Night to Remember 1958 (Movie)

Cottan (Actor)

The Doctor's Dilemma 1958 (Movie)

Redpenny (Actor)

The Silent Enemy 1958 (Movie)

Able Seaman Morgan (Actor)

The One That Got Away 1957 (Movie)

Duty Officer--Hucknall (Actor)

Time Without Pity 1956 (Movie)

Alec Graham (Actor)

The Deep Blue Sea 1955 (Movie)

Ken Thompson (Actor)

A Dedicated Man (TV Show)

Actor

The Cruel Sea (Movie)

Tonbridge (Actor)

The Good Companions (Movie)

Albert (Actor)

The One That Got Away (Movie)

Duty Officer Hucknall (Actor)

Victoria & Albert (TV Show)

Actor
Director (1)

The Cruel Sea (Movie)

(Director)

Biography

British stage actor Alec McCowen paid his dues in the provinces throughout the 1940s, finally taking his first London bow in 1950, then traveled to NYC with Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh for his Broadway debut in "Anthony and Cleopatra" (1951) before appearing in his initial film, "The Cruel Sea" (1953). The highlight of two seasons at the Old Vic was his portrayal of Mercutio in Franco Zeffirelli's production of "Romeo and Juliet" (1960-61), and when he moved to the Royal Shakespeare Company, he played the Fool to Paul Scofield's "King Lear" (1962), roles the two would reprise on Broadway in 1964. McCowen sealed his reputation with two enormous hits at the end of the decade, Peter Luke's "Hadrian VII" (1967-69) and Christopher Hampton's "The Philanthropist" (1970-71), bringing both plays to Broadway, earning Tony Award nominations and winning Drama Desk Awards as Best Actor for each.

Relationships

Duncan McCowen

Father

Mary McCowen

Mother

EDUCATION

Royal Academy of Dramatic Art

London , England

Milestones

2000

Made cameo appearance in the BBC adaptation of "David Copperfield"

2000

Had supporting role in the acclaimed British miniseries "Longitude"

1996

Narrated HBO's "Shakespeare: The Animated Tales" version of "King Richard III"

1995

Last feature film to date, Malcolm McKay's "Cruel Train"

1993

Provided narration for HBO's "Shakespeare: The Annimated Tales" version of "Macbeth"

1993

Portrayed Sillerton Jackson in Martin Scorsese's "The Age of Innocence", adapted from the Edith Wharton novel

1989

Interrupted tour of his one-man-show "Shakespeare, Cole and Company" to play the Bishop of Ely in Kenneth Branagh's film version of "Henry V"

1987

Delivered a thoroughly enjoyable turn as the Wing Commander, one of Julie Walters' bizarre menage, in the film "Personal Services"

1987

Played Acting High Commissioner in Richard Attenborough's "Cry Freedom"

1983

As Q, 007's favorite science expert, displayed the latest gadgetry to Sean Connery in "Never Say Never Again"

1978

Starred in one-man-show, "St Mark's Gospel", in both London and NYC; reprised show in 1981 and 1990; adapted the script and directed all incarnations; received third Tony nomination

1977

Performed the role of Martin Dysart on Broadway in "Equus", reprising the role he had played at the Old Vic in 1973

1975

Reprised Alceste for Broadway production of "The Misanthrope"

1973

Partnered opposite Diana Rigg in Tony Harrison's inspired reworking of Moliere's "The Misanthrope"

1972

Acted in the films of two giants, George Cukor's "Travels With My Aunt" and Alfred Hitchcok's "Frenzy"

1972

Directed London stage production of "While the Sun Shines"

1969

Played title role in Birmingham Repertory Theatre production of "Hamlet"

1964

Reprised "Lear" role opposite Scofield in RSC production at NYC's State Theatre

1962

Delivered a nice turn as a psychiatrist in Tony Richardson's "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner", adapted to the screen by Alan Silitoe from his short story

1962

Joined the Royal Shakespeare Company, playing the Fool to Paul Scofield's Lear in "King Lear"

1958

Appeared as a passenger on board the Titanic in "A Night to Remember"

1954

Portrayed Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Barnaby Tucker in English stage versions of "Moulin Rouge" and Thornton Wilder's "The Matchmaker"

1953

Film debut in "The Cruel Sea"

1951

Accompanied Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh to New York, making his Broadway debut as a messenger in "Anthony and Cleopatra"

1950

First role in London, Maxim in "Ivanov"

1944

Toured Indian and Burmese cities in "Love in a Mist"

1941

Stage debut as Micky in "Paddy, the Next Best Thing"

Originated the role of Father William Rolfe in Peter Luke's "Hadrian VII", eventually playing it on Broadway; earned Tony nomination

Played Mercutio in Franco Zeffirelli's production of "Romeo and Juliet" at the Old Vic; during same season, acted the title role in "Richard II", Malvolio in "Twelfth Night" and Oberon in "A Midsummer Night's Dream", all at the Old Vic

Appeared in various British repertory productions

Portrayed Philip in Christopher Hampton's "The Philanthropist" on the London stage and later on Broadway; received second Tony nomination

Bonus Trivia

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Named Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

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