Warren Mitchell

British actor Warren Mitchell's turn as a cantankerous Cockney bigot on the BBC series "Till Death Do Us Part (1966-1975) provided him with a lengthy career on the English stage and in features, and inspired one of the ... Read more »
Born: 01/14/1926 in Stoke Newton, London, UK

Filmography

Actor (32)

Crackers 1997 (Movie)

Albert (Actor)

Kokoda Crescent 1988 (Movie)

Stan (Actor)

Knights and Emeralds 1987 (Movie)

(Actor)

Waterfront 1987 (Movie)

(Actor)

Foreign Body 1986 (Movie)

I Q (Actor)

Man of Letters 1984 (Movie)

Sir Dorton Serry (Actor)

The Chain 1984 (Movie)

Bamber (Actor)

The Dunera Boys 1984 (Movie)

Mr Baum (Actor)

Norman Loves Rose 1981 (Movie)

Norman's Father (Actor)

The Plague Dogs 1981 (Movie)

Wag (Actor)

The Plague Dogs 1981 (Movie)

of Tyson (Voice)

Meetings With Remarkable Men 1979 (Movie)

Gurdjieff's Father (Actor)

Jabberwocky 1977 (Movie)

Mr Fishfinger (Actor)

Stand Up Virgin Soldiers 1976 (Movie)

Morris-Morris (Actor)

Innocent Bystanders 1971 (Movie)

Omar (Actor)

All the Way Up 1969 (Movie)

Fred Midway (Actor)

The Assassination Bureau 1969 (Movie)

Herr Weiss (Actor)

The Best House in London 1969 (Movie)

Count Pandolfo (Actor)

Till Death Do Us Part 1968 (Movie)

Alf Garnett (Actor)

Arrivederci, Baby! 1966 (Movie)

Conte DeRienzi/Maxmilian (Actor)

Promise Her Anything 1966 (Movie)

Frank Focus--Panel Moderator (Actor)

Carry on Cleo 1965 (Movie)

Spencius (Actor)

Help! 1965 (Movie)

Abdul (Actor)

Don't Bother to Knock 1964 (Movie)

Waiter (Actor)

We Joined the Navy 1962 (Movie)

Marcel (Actor)

The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone 1961 (Movie)

Giorgio (Actor)

Surprise Package 1960 (Movie)

Klimatis (Actor)

The Boy Who Stole a Million 1960 (Movie)

Pedro (Actor)

The Curse of the Werewolf 1960 (Movie)

Pepe Valiente (Actor)

All at Sea 1957 (Movie)

Artie White (Actor)

Stowaway Girl 1957 (Movie)

Moss (Actor)

Gormenghast (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

British actor Warren Mitchell's turn as a cantankerous Cockney bigot on the BBC series "Till Death Do Us Part (1966-1975) provided him with a lengthy career on the English stage and in features, and inspired one of the best American sitcoms in television history, "All in the Family" (CBS, 1971-79). Born Warren Misell in the Stoke Newington neighborhood of London, England on January 14, 1928, he was interested in acting from an early age, and studied at a dramatic arts academy in his early adolescence. Mitchell shifted his interest towards chemistry as a student at Oxford, but upon meeting fellow student Richard Burton, he decided to make performing his profession. After completing his training as a navigator with the Royal Air Force shortly before the end of World War II, Mitchell attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art while gaining practical experiences with the Unity Theatre. Roles in radio dramas and comedies led to appearances on television and in feature films like "The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone" (1961) and Richard Lester's "Help!" (1965) with the Beatles.  That same year, he made his first appearance in the role that would make him famous: the bigoted, hypocritical Alf Garnett on "Till Death Do Us Part." Loudmouthed and opinionated, Garnett was frequently at odds with his family and neighbors, who ridiculed him for his wrongheaded tirades; the character became an audience favorite for decades, and earned Mitchell a TV Actor BAFTA in 1967. More significantly, the character and series served as the inspiration for Norman Lear's groundbreaking American sitcom "All in the Family." Mitchell would reprise Garnett numerous times throughout his career, most notably in two feature films, two follow-up series ("Till Death," ATV, 1981, and "In Sickness and in Health, BBC, 1982-85), and an award-winning one-man theatrical production, "The Thoughts of Chairman Alf" in 1976. The popularity of the character never conflicted with other roles, and Mitchell enjoyed a long and fruitful career in British features, television series and on stage, including an Olivier Award-winning turn as Willy Loman in a production of "Death of a Salesman" in 1979. Mitchell reprised Garnett one final time in the ITV series "A Word with Alf" (1997), but requested that the series be cancelled after the death of producer Johnny Speight, who had created the character. Mitchell continued to act in the subsequent decade, netting another Olivier in 2004 for Arthur Miller's "The Price." He suffered a mild stroke during the latter play's theatrical run in 2004, but returned to the show after a week of recuperation. Mitchell made his last screen appearance in the short film "The 10th Man" in 2006, but remained active in theater until 2008; he died after a long illness on November 14, 2015.

EDUCATION

The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art

University College, Oxford University

Milestones

2004

Won second Olivier for "The Price"

1997

Made final appearance as Alf on "A Word with Alf"

1985

Landed third series as Alf on "In Sickness and In Health"

1981

Reprised Alf on "Till Death

1979

Won Olivier for "Death of a Salesman

1966

Began nine-year run as Alf on "Till Death Do Us Part"

1965

Made first appearance as Alf Garnett on "Comedy Playhouse"

1954

Landed first credited screen appearance in the 1954 TV series "The Children of the New Forest"

Bonus Trivia

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The Monkees' 1967 song "Randy Scouse Git," penned by drummer and singer Mickey Dolenz, was named for Alf Garnett's frequent insult lobbed at his son-in-law Mike. The band's British record label insisted on changing what it considered an offensive title, so Dolenz suggested the song be called "Alternate Title" on its UK release.

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Though Mitchell's personal beliefs and politics were more liberal than Alf Garrett's, he was frequently called upon to defend the character's more incendiary remarks. His wife, Constance Wake, once said that off camera, he was a bit like Garrett, only, as she said, "he's funny, and you're not."

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Worked as a DJ on Radio Luxembourg

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Arthur Miller described Mitchell's performance as Willy Loman as one of the best interpretations he'd ever seen.

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Held British and Australian citizenship.

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Mitchell often spoke of his amusement that his most famous role was that of right-wing reactionary Alf Garnett in "Til Death Do Us Part," given that he was himself a Jewish socialist.

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