Sir Anthony Quayle




Quayle went on to perform in some of the best known films of all time, many of them historical epics, including Lawrence of Arabia (1962), The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964), and Anne of the Thousand Days (1969), in which he earned an Academy award nomination for his portrayal of Cardinal Wolsey, Lord Chancellor of England under Henry VIII. In all these roles he brought a certain believability and screen presence that many of todays actors simply lack or try to counterbalance with good looks or over obvious charm.

He also played major roles in important TV miniseries such as Great Expectations (1974), Moses the Lawgiver (1975), The Story of David (1976), and in the epic Masada (1981). Here he played the roman engineer Rubrius Gallus, responsible for the building of the great ramp. Only over shadowed by O’Tooles character, which in my view, rivaled his portrayal of Lawrence (similar characters in many ways). Quayle’s sensitive and pragmatic engineer interacts well with O’Toole and David Warner and he certainly looked the part.

In addition, Quayle narrated films, wrote two books (Eight Hours From England and On Such a Night) and continued to perform in stage productions in London and New York. What made Quayle special was his discipline and intensity. Watch him in any of his films and you will see a man consumed by his role, a man who abandons his own identity to assume another's. In performance, he is always busy, preoccupied, his brow furrowed by the concerns of his character.

Fittingly, he was pronounced a Knight of the Realm in 1985 for his acting achievements and military service. He had started to write his memories when cancer stuck him and the book was cut very short as this great man slowly fell to this dreadful disease. Interestingly throughout these memories he mentioned in passing a definite Christian outlook in much of this thinking. Four years later, on October 20 1989, he died of cancer in London.

He had been married to Dorothy Hysen (1947-1989) for most of his adult life whom in loved very dearly and Hermione Hannen (1934-1941).

'To understand a man, you must know his memories. The same is true of a nation'


'A time to speak' 1990

Suggested films to see:

Masada (1981) TV
Lawernce of Arabia (1962)
The Guns of Navarone (1961)
Ice cold in Alex (1958)


Main Actors                        Page 1


british cinema film movie actors and actresses