Alec Clunes
Alexander "Alec" Demoro Sherriff Clunes (17 May 1912- 13 March 1970) was an English
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

An actor is a person who acts in a dramatic production and who works in film, television, theatre, or radio in that capacity...

 and stage manager.

Among the plays he presented were Christopher Fry
Christopher Fry
Christopher Fry was an English playwright. He is best known for his verse dramas, notably The Lady's Not for Burning, which made him a major force in theatre in the 1940s and 1950s.-Early life:...

's famous play The Lady's Not For Burning
The Lady's Not for Burning
The Lady's Not for Burning is a 1948 play by Christopher Fry.A romantic comedy in three acts, set in verse, it is set in the Middle Ages, it reflects the world's "exhaustion and despair" following World War II, with a war-weary soldier who wants to die, and an accused witch who wants to live...

. He gave the actor
An actor is a person who acts in a dramatic production and who works in film, television, theatre, or radio in that capacity...

 and dramatist Sir Peter Ustinov
Peter Ustinov
Peter Alexander Ustinov CBE was an English actor, writer and dramatist. He was also renowned as a filmmaker, theatre and opera director, stage designer, author, screenwriter, comedian, humourist, newspaper and magazine columnist, radio broadcaster and television presenter...

 his first break with his production The House of Regrets. His film career was brief, but varied. He played Hastings in Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, OM was an English actor, director, and producer. He was one of the most famous and revered actors of the 20th century. He married three times, to fellow actors Jill Esmond, Vivien Leigh, and Joan Plowright...

's Richard III
Richard III (1955 film)
Richard III is a 1955 British film adaptation of William Shakespeare's historical play of the same name, also incorporating elements from his Henry VI, Part 3. It was directed and produced by Sir Laurence Olivier, who also played the lead role. The cast includes many noted Shakespearean actors,...

(1956), and also appeared in wartime films such as One of Our Aircraft Is Missing
One of Our Aircraft is Missing
One of Our Aircraft is Missing is a 1942 British war film, the fourth collaboration between the British writer-director-producer team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger and the first film they made under the banner of The Archers...

(1942), although he was in fact a conscientious objector
Conscientious objector
A conscientious objector is an "individual who has claimed the right to refuse to perform military service" on the grounds of freedom of thought, conscience, and/or religion....

. He also appeared in The Adventures of Quentin Durward
The Adventures of Quentin Durward
The Adventures of Quentin Durward, known also as Quentin Durward, is a 1955 historical film released by MGM. It was directed by Richard Thorpe and produced by Pandro S. Berman...

(1955). Clunes's later stage work included succeeding Sir Rex Harrison
Rex Harrison
Sir Reginald Carey “Rex” Harrison was an English actor of stage and screen. Harrison won an Academy Award and two Tony Awards.-Youth and stage career:...

 as Henry Higgins in the stage musical My Fair Lady
My Fair Lady
My Fair Lady is a musical based upon George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion and with book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe...

in 1959. His final stage appearance was in 1968.

Personal life

Born as Alexander De Moro Sherriff Clunes to a showbusiness family, he was the son of Alexander Sydenham Sherriff Clunes (1881–1960) and Georgina Ada Sumner (1882–1969). He began his stage career with Ben Greet
Ben Greet
Sir Philip Barling "Ben" Greet was a Shakespearean actor, director, and impresario.-Early life:The younger son of Captain William Greet RN and his wife, Sarah Barling, Greet was born on board HMS Crocodile, a Royal Navy recruiting ship tied up at the Tower of London. He was educated at the Royal...

's company, before playing at the Old Vic
Old Vic
The Old Vic is a theatre located just south-east of Waterloo Station in London on the corner of The Cut and Waterloo Road. Established in 1818 as the Royal Coburg Theatre, it was taken over by Emma Cons in 1880 when it was known formally as the Royal Victoria Hall. In 1898, a niece of Cons, Lilian...

 theatre. He played numerous Shakespearian roles, before taking over the management of the Arts Theatre
Arts Theatre
The Arts Theatre is a theatre in Great Newport Street, in Westminster, Central London. It now operates as the West End's smallest commercial receiving house.-History:...

, London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 in 1942, where he remained until 1950.

He was twice married: to actress Stella Richman
Stella Richman
Stella Richman was a British television producer.Originally an actress, she had a bit part in the second episode of The Quatermass Experiment in 1953, Richman was appointed script editor at Lew Grade's Associated TeleVision in 1960 working on single plays. Grade's sole condition was that her...

, later a television producer, and Daphne Gyllian Acott (married 1956-13 March 1970) with whom he had one son.

He died from lung cancer
Lung cancer
Lung cancer is a disease characterized by uncontrolled cell growth in tissues of the lung. If left untreated, this growth can spread beyond the lung in a process called metastasis into nearby tissue and, eventually, into other parts of the body. Most cancers that start in lung, known as primary...

 in 1970, aged 57. He left a widow and a son, actor Martin Clunes
Martin Clunes
Alexander Martin Clunes is an English actor and comedian. Clunes is perhaps best known for his roles as Gary Strang in Men Behaving Badly, Doctor Martin Ellingham in Doc Martin and the title character in Reggie Perrin....

, and a daughter, Amanda Clunes.

Notable TV guest appearances

  • Undermind
    Undermind (TV series)
    Undermind is a science fiction television drama produced by ABC Weekend Television in 1965. It ran for eleven episodes of sixty minutes each, of which only three survive...

    playing "Police Sergeant" in episode: "Onset of Fear" (episode # 1.1) 24 April 1968
  • The Ronnie Barker Playhouse
    The Ronnie Barker Playhouse
    The Ronnie Barker Playhouse was a series of six comedy half hours showcasing the talents of Ronnie Barker. All were broadcast by Associated-Rediffusion in 1968....

    playing "Peregrine" in episode: "The Incredible Mister Tanner" (episode # 1.4) 24 April 1968

In addition to these, Clunes was offered the lead part of Professor Bernard Quatermass
Bernard Quatermass
Professor Bernard Quatermass is a fictional scientist, originally created by the writer Nigel Kneale for BBC Television. An intelligent and highly moral British scientist, Quatermass is a pioneer of the British space programme, heading up the British Experimental Rocket Group...

 in the famous BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 science-fiction serial Quatermass and the Pit
Quatermass and the Pit
Quatermass and the Pit is a British television science-fiction serial, originally transmitted live by BBC Television in December 1958 and January 1959. It was the third and last of the BBC's Quatermass serials, although the character would reappear in a 1979 ITV production simply entitled Quatermass...

in 1958. He declined the offer, and André Morell
André Morell
André Morell was a British actor. He appeared frequently in theatre, film and on television from the 1930s to the 1970s...

 was cast instead.

Selected filmography

  • Melba
    Melba (film)
    Melba is a 1953 musical biographical drama film of the life of Australian-born soprano Nellie Melba, written by Harry Kurnitz and directed by Lewis Milestone for Horizon Pictures, marking the film debut of the Metropolitan Opera's Patrice Munsel....

  • Tiger in the Smoke
    Tiger in the Smoke
    Tiger in the Smoke is a 1956 British crime film directed by Roy Ward Baker and starring Donald Sinden, Muriel Pavlow, Tony Wright, Bernard Miles and Christopher Rhodes. It is based on the 1952 novel The Tiger in the Smoke by Margery Allingham, although the film omits the principal character of...

  • Tomorrow at Ten
    Tomorrow at Ten
    Tomorrow at Ten is a 1964 British thriller film directed by Lance Comfort and starring John Gregson, Robert Shaw, Kenneth Cope and William Hartnell in his final film appearance.-Plot:...


External links

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