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James Laurenson

James Laurenson

New Zealand actor
James Laurenson
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro New Zealand actor
Is Actor
From New Zealand
Type Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender male
Birth 17 February 1940, Marton, New Zealand
Age 81 years
The details (from wikipedia)


James Laurenson (born 17 February 1940) is a New Zealand-born stage and screen actor.

Early life

Laurenson was born in Marton, North Island, New Zealand. He was a student at Canterbury University College in Christchurch (now University of Canterbury) where he was directed by Ngaio Marsh, notably in the title role in Macbeth at the Civic Theatre Christchurch in 1962.

He moved to the UK in the mid-1960s and made his film debut in 1969 with a small part in Women in Love, although he also had an uncredited part (as an Oxford rower, playing alongside Graham Chapman) in The Magic Christian.


He has appeared in numerous British Shakespearean productions, notably Richard II, as Rosencrantz in Hamlet, and on radio in the marathon series, Vivat Rex. He also appeared as Piers Gaveston in the 1970 production of Christopher Marlowe's Edward II, opposite Ian McKellen who later recalled that kissing Laurenson "was a bonus throughout the run". Other costume roles included a French courtier in Elizabeth R and the Earl of Lincoln in Shadow of the Tower (1972). In the same year, he took on a more modern role starring as Det. Inspector Napoleon "Bony" Bonaparte in the Australian TV drama series Boney, playing a half-Aboriginal detective. This would be his most high-profile part, although the casting of a non-Aboriginal in the role was attacked by some Australian critics. In 1974 he took the lead role in the TV film The Prison, based on the novel by Georges Simenon, the first instalment in the Thames Television/Euston Films series Armchair Cinema. He also starred as Pink's Father in the 1982 film, Pink Floyd—The Wall.

An accomplished singer, Laurenson took the lead role of Julian Marsh in Gower Champion's musical 42nd Street at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London, and appeared at Greenwich Theatre in Falling Over England with Charlotte Cornwell.

Throughout his career, Laurenson has had guest roles in numerous popular TV series such as Z-Cars, Space: 1999, The Professionals, Armchair Thriller, Hammer House of Horror, Remington Steele, Cagney and Lacey, Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense, Inspector Morse, Bergerac, Boon, Lovejoy, Prime Suspect, Sharpe, A Touch of Frost, Heartbeat, Silent Witness, Taggart, Midsomer Murders, State of Play, Hustle and Spooks.

In 2012, he played the Earl of Westmoreland in the BBC Two adaptations of Henry IV, Parts I and II, and in 2013 he appeared as Professor Hilary Ambrose in Season 2, Episode 5 of the BBC One's Father Brown series. In 2016, he played the role of John Weir in the Netflix series The Crown.

Personal life

Laurenson has made his long-term home in the English market-town of Frome in Somerset.

Acting roles

  • Women in Love (1969)
  • The Magic Christian (1969)
  • Elizabeth R (1971, TV)
  • Assault (1971)
  • Boney (1971–72, TV series)
  • The Shadow of the Tower (1972, TV)
  • Hammer House of Horror: Rude Awakening (1980, TV)
  • The Monster Club (1980)
  • Pink Floyd – The Wall (1982)
  • Heartbreakers (1984)
  • Inspector Morse: The Dead of Jericho (1987, TV)
  • The Man Who Fell to Earth (1987, TV movie)
  • The Bourne Identity (1988, TV)
  • Countdown to War (1989, TV)
  • The Man Inside (1990)
  • Sharpe (1993, TV)
  • A House in the Hills (1993)
  • Midsomer Murders: Beyond the Grave (1998, TV)
  • Henry IV, Parts I and II (2012, TV)
  • The Crown (2016, TV)
  • Father Brown (2017, TV) as Professor Hilary Ambrose, episode 5.10 "The Alchemist's Secret"

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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