Hugh Griffith (1912 - 1980)

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Hugh Griffith
1912 - 1980
May 30, 1912
Wales United Kingdom
May 14, 1980
London, England United Kingdom
Other Names
Hugh Emrys Griffith
Hugh Griffith was born on May 30, 1912 in Wales. He died on May 14, 1980 in London, England United Kingdom at age 67.
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Updated: June 22, 2021
Hugh Griffith Welsh film actor Hugh Emrys Griffith was a Welsh film, stage and television actor. He is best remembered for his role in the film Ben-Hur, which earned him critical acclaim and an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Some of his other notable credits include Exodus, Mutiny on the Bounty, Tom Jones, and Oliver!. Wikipedia Born: May 30, 1912, Marian-glas, United Kingdom Died: May 14, 1980, London, United Kingdom Spouse: Margaret Beatrice von Dechend (m. ?–1980) Parents: William Griffith, Mary Griffith Siblings: Elen Roger Jones
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Hugh Griffith
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Hugh Griffith
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Hugh Emrys Griffith
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Hugh Griffith was born on in Wales United Kingdom
Hugh Griffith died on in London, England United Kingdom
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Career Between 1946 and 1976, Griffith won acclaim for many stage roles, in particular for his portrayals of Falstaff, Lear, and Prospero. Griffith performed on both sides of the Atlantic, taking leading roles in London, New York City, and Stratford. In 1952, he starred in the Broadway adaption of Legend of Lovers, alongside fellow Welsh actor Richard Burton. In 1958, he was back in New York, this time taking a lead role in the opening production of Look Homeward, Angel, alongside Anthony Perkins. Both he and Perkins were nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play. Griffith began his film career in British films during the late 1940s, and by the 1950s was also working in Hollywood. He won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Ben-Hur (1959), and was nominated for his performance in Tom Jones (1963). In 1968, he appeared as the magistrate in Oliver!. His later career was often blighted by his chronic alcoholism. He played the funeral director Caradog Lloyd-Evans in the 1978 comedy Grand Slam. While visibly unwell at the time of the shooting (years of alcohol abuse had clearly taken their toll), Griffith's portrayal received widespread acclaim and helped the movie attain cult status. On television, he had major roles in Quatermass II (1955), a miniseries adaptation of A. J. Cronin's The Citadel (1960) and Clochemerle (1972).

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He joined the British Army, serving for six years with the Royal Welch Fusiliers in India and the Burma Campaign during the Second World War.

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Hugh Griffith passed away on May 14, 1980 in London, England United Kingdom at age 67. He was born on May 30, 1912 in Wales. There is no information about Hugh's surviving family.

1912 - 1980 World Events

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In 1912, in the year that Hugh Griffith was born, the Girl Scouts of the USA was started by Juliette Gordon Low with the help of Sir Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of Boy Scouts in Great Britain. She said after a meeting with Baden-Powell, "I've got something for the girls of Savannah, and all of America, and all the world, and we're going to start it tonight!" And she did.

In 1931, he was 19 years old when in March, “The Star Spangled Banner” officially became the national anthem by congressional resolution. Other songs had previously been used - among them, "My Country, 'Tis of Thee", "God Bless America", and "America the Beautiful". There was fierce debate about making "The Star Spangled Banner" the national anthem - Southerners and veterans organizations supported it, pacifists and educators opposed it.

In 1953, Hugh was 41 years old when on January 20th, Dwight D. Eisenhower became the 34th President of the United States. Formerly the 1st Supreme Allied Commander Europe in World War II, Eisenhower had never previously held a political office.

In 1960, he was 48 years old when on May 1st, an American CIA U-2 spy plane, piloted by Francis Gary Powers, was shot down by a surface-to-air missile over the Soviet Union. Powers ejected and survived but was captured. The U.S. claimed that the U-2 was a "weather plane" but Powers was convicted in the Soviet Union of espionage. He was released in 1962 after 1 year, 9 months and 10 days in prison.

In 1980, in the year of Hugh Griffith's passing, on December 8th, ex-Beatle John Lennon was shot and killed by Mark David Chapman in front of his home - the Dakota - in New York City. Chapman was found guilty of murder and still remains in jail.

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