Anthony Quayle (1913 - 1989)

Anthony Quayle
1913 - 1989
updated May 28, 2019
Anthony Quayle was born on September 7, 1913 in United Kingdom. He died on October 20, 1989 in United Kingdom at 76 years of age.

I became friends with him during the Broadway run of SLEUTH. He even borrowed books from me and asked my room mate and I to invite him to dinner! He left Cary Grant in his dressing room to come down and meet her! That photo was taken by my friend Manny Greenhouse. We took him to our house for dinner and brought him back to his hotel during a huge blizzard. He told me to be a writer instead of an actress. I took his advice.
My favorite quote from him was, "I am the most ignored man in the world!" So just imagine his surprise when he was knighted.

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Anthony Quayle
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Amanda S. Stevenson
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Anthony Quayle
Born September 7, 1913 in Ainsdale, England, UK
Died October 20, 1989 in Chelsea, London, England, UK (liver cancer)
Birth Name John Anthony Quayle
Nickname Tony
Height 6' 1"
Anthony Quayle was born in Ainsdale in September 1913, the son of a Lancashire lawyer. He completed his education at Rugby School and had a brief spell at RADA, before treading the boards for the first time as the straight man in a music hall comedy act in 1931. Tall, burly, round-faced and possessed of a powerful and resonant voice, he was mentored early on in his career by the well-known stage director Tyrone Guthrie. Letters of introduction led to steady employment with the Old Vic Company by September 1932, and a succession of small roles in classical parts. Quayle's reputation as an actor grew steadily, and, in 1936, he appeared on Broadway opposite Ruth Gordon in 'The Country Wife'. For the next few years, he consolidated his position as a Shakespearean actor. When the Second World War began, he was among the first in his profession to enlist, serving with the Royal Artillery and rising to the rank of major. Some of his wartime experiences, such as co-ordinating operations with Albanian partisans as part of the secret Special Operations Executive, were destined to be paralleled by his fictional post-war screen exploits as incisive army officers or spies. With the war still fresh in his mind, he subsequently published two novels (respectively in 1945, and in 1947), 'Eight Hours from England' and 'On Such a Night'. In 1946, Quayle also made his debut as a theatrical director with a London production of 'Crime and Punishment'. Between 1948 and 1956, he had a distinguished tenure as director of the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, bringing into the company some of the biggest stars of the stage, including Laurence Olivier and John Gielgud. Though acting in films from 1938, the theatre remained his favourite medium. He played diverse roles with great intensity and professionalism, achieving critical acclaim as Petruchio and Falstaff, Tamburlaine and Galileo (on Broadway) and the original role of Andrew Wyke in Anthony Shaffer's play 'Sleuth' (played in the first screen version by Olivier). In motion pictures Quayle tended to portray tough, dependable authority figures. He was good value for money as Commodore Harwood in Pursuit of the Graf Spee (1956), as the enigmatic Afrikaner captain in Ice Cold in Alex (1958) and as the stuffy, by-the-book Colonel Harry Brighton, who nonetheless appears to have a degree of admiration for Lawrence of Arabia (1962). Due to his classical training, Quayle was often used in historical epics, giving one of his best performances as Cardinal Wolsey in Anne of the Thousand Days (1969), earning him an Academy Award nomination. His voice was heard as narrator of The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1970) and on radio in anything from 'The Ballad of Robin Hood' to Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Purloined Letter'.
The year prior to receiving his knighthood, Quayle founded the touring Compass Theatre Company, and served as its director until a few months before his death from cancer in October 1989.
Spouse (2)
Dorothy Hyson (1947 - 20 October 1989) ( his death) ( 3 children)
Hermione Hannen (1934 - 1941) ( divorced)
Father of actress Jenny Quayle
He was awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 1952 Queen's Birthday Honours List and made a Knight Bachelor in the 1985 Queen's New Year Honours List for his services to drama.
He was a British army Major during WW2 and then played one in The Guns of Navarone (1961).
He was nominated for Broadway's 1956 Tony Award as Best Featured or Supporting Actor (Dramatic) for his role in the play, "Tamburlaine the Great.".
He formed his own theatre company, 'Compass' which toured the provinces introducing theatre to new audiences.
He played a supporting role in two unrelated films which featured Sherlock Holmes attempting to solve the Jack the Ripper murders: A Study in Terror (1965) and Murder by Decree (1979). He played Dr. Murray in the former and Sir Charles Warren in the latter. In both films, Frank Finlay played Inspector Lestrade.
He appeared in two Best Picture Academy Award winners: Hamlet (1948) and Lawrence of Arabia (1962). He also appeared in three other Best Picture nominees: Pygmalion (1938), The Guns of Navarone (1961) and Anne of the Thousand Days (1969).
He narrated a number of documentary films including Drums For a Queen (1961), This is Lloyds (1962) and Island Unknown (1969).
He served with writer Anthony 'a clockwork orange' Burgess in the British military during WW2.
Jan 31, 2019 · Reply

Anthony Quayle Obituary

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Sir Anthony Quayle, British Actor And Theater Director, Dies at 76

October 21, 1989, Page 001010
The New York Times Archives
Sir Anthony Quayle, a versatile actor and director who helped establish Stratford-on-Avon as a major center of British theater, died of cancer yesterday at his home in London. He was 76 years old.

Sir Anthony, who performed on the stage, on television and in more than 30 films, was an Academy Award nominee in 1970 for his supporting role as Cardinal Wolsey in the historical film ''Anne of the Thousand Days.'' He was knighted in 1985. In a career that lasted more than a half century, Sir Anthony may be best remembered for his film roles in ''The Wrong Man,'' (1957), ''The Guns of Navarone'' (1961) and ''Lawrence of Arabia'' (1963).
On the stage, Sir Anthony was an accomplished Shakespearean actor whose roles ranged widely across the classical repertory. On Broadway he was celebrated for his performances in the title roles of ''Tamburlaine the Great,'' in 1956, and ''Galileo,'' in 1967.
And in 1970, he kept Broadway theatergoers on the edge of their seats as a bloody-minded author of detective stories in Anthony Shaffer's play ''Sleuth.'' Planned Return to Stage
Sir Anthony stepped down in July as director of Compass, a touring company he founded in 1984, and was succeeded by Tim Pigott-Smith. He was to have returned to the London stage this fall in ''Never the Sinner,'' a courtroom drama by a Chicago playwright, John Logan, but bowed out prior to rehearsals because of poor health.
John Anthony Quayle was born on Sept. 7, 1913, in Ainsdale, England. His father, a Lancashire lawyer who loved the theater, made sure that the family went to see all the touring companies as they came through town.
''I was supposed to go into the family drug business,'' Sir Anthony once recalled, ''but I had absolutely no aptitude for chemistry or physics. In school I knew I would only be good at acting or writing.''
At a young age, Sir Anthony once recalled, his ambition awoke to ''that most marvelous thing - how a man could suddenly be someone else.'' Straight Man in Vaudeville
After completing his secondary education at the Rugby School in 1930, Sir Anthony studied briefly at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. His ''first sort of a job,'' as he put it, was as straight man to a vaudeville comic in 1931. ''You had to deliver the goods or get off quick,'' he said.
In his early years, one of his mentors was the director Tyrone Guthrie, who had seen him at the academy and given him an introduction that got him a job.
That introduction, in 1931, was the beginning of a career that would test him in Shakespeare and most of the classical repertory. ''I've often thought that if I'd been an American actor, I'd have gravitated into Western or action films,'' he said. ''In England, you see, I was suitable for other roles - Tanner in 'Man and Superman,' Laertes, Henry V - in fact, an enormously varied lot of parts.''
In September 1932, Sir Anthony joined the Old Vic Company, with which he played a variety of small parts for the next few years. He made his Broadway debut in 1936, as Mr. Harcourt in ''The Country Wife,'' starring Ruth Gordon. 'Wasn't Asked to Be Handsome'
Sir Anthony's feature-film career began in 1938, in ''Pygmalion.'' ''I wasn't asked to be a handsome young man in films because I wasn't a handsome young man,'' he once said.
Throughout his career, he always had to supplement his stage income with work in television and films. ''I was in the Tarzan films and 'Fall of the Roman Empire,' and one dreary thing after another,'' he said.
His other films included ''Hamlet,'' (1948), ''Pursuit of the Graf Spee'' (1957), ''The Man Who Wouldn't Talk'' (1958), ''It Takes a Thief'' (1960), ''MacKenna's Gold'' (1969), ''Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex, but Were Afraid to Ask'' (1972), ''Great Expectations'' (1975) and ''Murder by Decree'' (1979).
A burly 6-footer, Sir Anthony was one of the first actors to enlist in the British Army during World War II, serving in the Royal Artillery from 1939 to 1945 and rising to the rank of major. After directing partisan forces in guerrilla operations against the German Army, he became a member of the headquarters staff on Gibraltar. Sir Anthony wrote two novels based on his wartime experiences: ''Eight Hours From England'' (1945) and ''On Such a Night'' (1947). Married Twice
Sir Anthony's first marriage, to Hermione Hannen, ended in divorce. He married the former American actress Dorothy Hyson in 1947, and they had three children.
He made his debut as a director in 1946 with a London production of ''Crime and Punishment'' starring John Gielgud, Peter Ustinov and Edith Evans.
From 1948 to 1956, Sir Anthony also served a highly praised tenure as director of the Shakespeare Memorial Theater at Stratford-on-Avon, later to be known as the Royal Shakespeare Theater.
He performed in or staged more than a score of Stratford productions. In his first season, he appeared as Petruchio in ''The Taming of the Shrew.'' Subsequently he played Falstaff in both parts of ''Henry IV'' in 1951 and in ''The Merry Wives of Windsor'' in 1955.
During those years, he secured the theater's reputation by luring Laurence Olivier, Ralph Richardson, John Gielgud, Margaret Leighton and other stars to Stratford, despite the minimal wages they were given.
Although Sir Anthony said that acting was one of his greatest loves, he also once said that ''if you're an actor, you walk a tightrope between two extremes, between justifiable pride and humility.''
''You have to cultivate a complete carelessness of yourself, in a way,'' he said, ''or else become an egotistical, introspective monster.''
Sir Anthony is survived by his wife, Dorothy, and his children, Rosanna, Jennie and Christopher.

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1913 - 1989 World Events

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In 1913, in the year that Anthony Quayle was born, Henry Ford installed the first moving assembly line for the mass production of an entire automobile. It had previously taken 12 hours to assemble a whole vehicle - now it took only two hours and 30 minutes! Inspired by the production lines at flour mills, breweries, canneries and industrial bakeries, along with the disassembly of animal carcasses in Chicago’s meat-packing plants, Ford created moving belts for parts and the assembly line was born.

In 1940, he was 27 years old when on July 27th, the cartoon character Bugs Bunny debuted in his first film A Wild Hare - voiced by Mel Blanc. He has since appeared in more short films, feature films, compilations, TV series, music records, comic books, video games, award shows, amusement park rides, and commercials than any other cartoon character. He even has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. "What's up, Doc?"

In 1957, when he was 44 years old, on September 24th, the "Little Rock Nine" (nine African-American students) entered Little Rock High School. Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus had previously prevented the students from entering the school at the beginning of the term with the Arkansas National Guard - they blocked the door. President Eisenhower ordered federal troops - the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army - to guard the students and allow them entry.

In 1977, at the age of 64 years old, Anthony was alive when on January 20th, Jimmy Carter became the 39th President of the United States. Running against incumbent Gerald Ford, he won 50.1% of the popular vote to Ford's 48.0%. He was elected to only one term.

In 1989, in the year of Anthony Quayle's passing, on January 20th, George Herbert Walker Bush became the 41st President of the United States. Previously Ronald Regan's Vice President, he ran against Michael Dukakis and won the popular vote by 53.4% to 45.6%.

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