This actor of stage and screen has devoted himself largely to period roles. Terry appeared in his native England with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Round House Theatre, the Royal Court Theatre and others, in such shows as "Romeo and Juliet" (1972), "'Tis Pity She's a Whore" and "Henry VI, Part III" (both 1977), "Pericles" and "Julius Caesar" (both 1979), and "The Duchess of Malfi" (1989).
The dark-haired, handsome Terry made his film debut as the twitchy Prince John in the Katharine Hepburn/Peter O'Toole vehicle "The Lion in Winter" (1968), but did not appear onscreen again for thirteen years. His comeback was as King Arthur in John Boorman's sprawling epic "Excalibur" (1981). Terry was supported by such worthies as Helen Mirren as Morgana, Nichol Williamson as Merlin, Gabriel Byrne as Uther Pendragon, Liam Neeson as Sir Gawain, Patrick Stewart as Leondegrance and Corin Redgrave as the Duke of Cornwall. After appearing in the New Zealand-made biopic "Sylvia" and the thriller "Deja Vu" (both 1984), Terry teamed up with avant-garde director Derek Jarman for the 1986 drama "Caravaggio". Starring as the 16th-century painter, Terry was the centerpiece of this richly-shot, anachronistic and eccentric film.
After a smaller role in "Song of Experience" (a 1986 coming-of-age tale), Terry re-teamed with Jarman to narrate "The Last of England" (1987), a bleak, dark look at Margaret Thatcher's post-industrial society. Next came Jarman's "War Requiem" (1988), which dealt with poet Wilfred Owen's experiences in WWI. That war again figured in "The Orchid House" (1991), in which Terry was the wounded veteran father of a family living in Dominica. He next played Mortimer, the bete noir of "Edward II" (1991), in Jarman's experimental, sexually explicit tale of the 13th-century King who was deposed and murdered with the help of his wife. Very freely adapted from Christopher Marlowe's 16th-century play, the film caused a sensation. Terry's next film, "Christopher Columbus" (1992) was a box office and critical disappointment, despite a marketable cast including Marlon Brando and Tom Selleck. Jarman again rode to the rescue with "Blue" (1993), his personal journal of his struggle with AIDS, narrated by Terry and others.
Terry has appeared on such British TV series and movies as "Kenilworth", "The Golden Age", "Alexander", "Sherlock Holmes", "The Merry Wives of Windsor", "A Guilty Thing Surprised" and "Zorro". But he is best-known in the US for starring in the Thames Television International series "Covington Cross", which was shown on ABC in 1992. Terry played Sir Thomas Gray, a widowed knight in medieval England.