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Miles Malleson
British actor

Miles Malleson

Miles Malleson
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro British actor
Was Actor Screenwriter
From United Kingdom
Field Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender male
Birth 25 May 1888, Croydon
Death 15 March 1969, London (aged 80 years)
Family
Spouse: Constance MallesonJoan Malleson
The details (from wikipedia)

Biography

William Miles Malleson (25 May 1888 – 15 March 1969), generally known as Miles Malleson, was an English actor and dramatist, particularly remembered for his appearances in British comedy films of the 1930s to 1960s. Towards the end of his career he also appeared in cameo roles in several Hammer horror films, with a fairly large role in The Brides of Dracula as the hypochondriac and fee-hungry local doctor. Malleson was also a writer on many films, including some of those in which he had small parts, such as Nell Gwyn (1934) and The Thief of Bagdad (1940). He also translated and adapted several of Molière's plays (The Misanthrope, which he titled The Slave of Truth, Tartuffe and The Imaginary Invalid)

Biography

Malleson was born in Croydon, Surrey, England, the son of Edmund Taylor Malleson (1859-1909), a manufacturing chemist, and Myrrha Bithynia Frances Borrell (1863-1931), a descendant of the numismatist Henry Perigal Borrell and the inventor Francis Maceroni. (Miles' cousin and contemporary Lucy Malleson had a long career as a mystery novelist, mostly under the pen name "Anthony Gilbert".)

He was educated at Brighton College and Emmanuel College, Cambridge. At Cambridge, he created a sensation when it was discovered that he had successfully posed as a politician and given a speech instead of the visitor who had failed to attend a debating society dinner.

Malleson made his first appearance on stage as an actor in September 1911, turning professional two months later. He studied acting at Herbert Beerbohm Tree's Academy of Dramatic Art, which later was renamed the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). Here he met his first wife in 1913. In September 1914 he enlisted in the Army, and was sent to Malta, but was invalided home and discharged in January 1915. By June 1916 he was writing in support of conscientious objectors.

He married three times and had many relationships. In 1915, he married writer and aspiring actress Lady Constance Malleson. Like her, he was interested in social reform, one of his plays being on the subject of the Tolpuddle Martyrs. Theirs was an open marriage and they divorced amicably in 1923 so that he could marry Joan Billson; they divorced in 1940. His third wife was Tatiana Lieven, whom he married in 1946 and from whom he had been separated for several years at the time of his death.

He was tall and slender, but with a strongly receding chin and a sharp nose that produced the effect of a double chin like that of Robert Morley, who was not slender. His manner was gentle and absent-minded; his voice, soft and high. He is best remembered for his roles as the Sultan in The Thief of Bagdad (1940), the poetically-inclined hangman in Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) and as Dr. Chasuble in The Importance of Being Earnest (1952).

Failing eyesight led to his being unable to work in his last years. He died in March 1969 following surgery to remove cataracts and was cremated in a private ceremony. A memorial service was held at St Martin-in-the-Fields during which Sybil Thorndike and Laurence Olivier both gave readings.

Partial filmography

As actor

  • The Headmaster (1921) ... Palliser Grantley
  • The W Plan (1930) ... Minor Role (British Version) (uncredited)
  • The Yellow Mask (1930) ... Minor Role (uncredited)
  • Night Birds (1930) ... Minor Role (uncredited)
  • Children of Chance (1930) ... Minor Role (uncredited)
  • City of Song (1931) ... Theater Watchman
  • The Woman Between (1931) ... Minor Role (uncredited)
  • Sally in Our Alley (1931) ... Minor Role (uncredited)
  • Night in Montmartre (1931) ... Minor Role (uncredited)
  • The Blue Danube (1932) ... Minor Role (uncredited)
  • Frail Women (1932) ... The Registrar
  • The Water Gipsies (1932) ... Minor Role (uncredited)
  • The Sign of Four (1932) ... Thaddeus Sholto
  • The Mayor's Nest (1932) ... Clerk
  • Love on Wheels (1932) ... Academy of Music Porter
  • Thark (1932)
  • The Love Contract (1932) ... Peters
  • Money Means Nothing (1932) ... Doorman
  • Strange Evidence (1933) ... (uncredited)
  • Perfect Understanding (1933) ... Announcer
  • Bitter Sweet (1933) ... The Butler
  • Summer Lightning (1933) ... Beach
  • The Queen's Affair (1934) ... The Chancellor
  • Evergreen (1934) ... Minor Role (uncredited)
  • Nell Gwynn (1934) ... Chiffinch
  • Falling in Love (1934) ... Minor Role (uncredited)
  • Brewster's Millions (1935) ... Hamilton Higginbottom Button (uncredited)
  • Lazybones (1935) ... Pessimist
  • The 39 Steps (1935) ... Palladium Manager (uncredited)
  • Vintage Wine (1935) ... Henri Popinot
  • Peg of Old Drury (1935) ... Minor Role (uncredited)
  • Rhodes of Africa (1936) ... Minor Role (uncredited)
  • Tudor Rose (1936) ... Jane's Father
  • Knight Without Armour (1937) ... Drunken Red Commissar
  • Victoria the Great (1937) ... Sir James the Physician
  • The Rat (1937) ... Minor Role (uncredited)
  • Action for Slander (1938) ... Minor Role (uncredited)
  • A Royal Divorce (1938) ... Minor Role (uncredited)
  • Sixty Glorious Years (1938) ... Wounded Soldier (uncredited)
  • Q Planes (1939) ... Minor Role (uncredited)
  • The Lion Has Wings (1939) ... Minor Role (uncredited)
  • For Freedom (1940) ... Minor Role
  • The Thief of Bagdad (1940) ... Sultan
  • Major Barbara (1941) ... Morrison
  • This Was Paris (1942) ... Watson, Newspaper Librarian
  • They Flew Alone (1942) ... Vacuum Salesman
  • Unpublished Story (1942) ... Farmfield
  • The First of the Few (1942) ... Vickers Representative (uncredited)
  • Thunder Rock (1942) ... Chairman of Directors
  • The Gentle Sex (1943) ... Guard
  • The Demi-Paradise (1943) ... Theatre Cashier
  • Dead of Night (1945) ... Hearse Driver
  • Journey Together (1945) ... (uncredited)
  • While the Sun Shines (1947) ... Horton
  • The Mark of Cain (1947) ... Mr. Burden (uncredited)
  • One Night with You (1948) ... Jailer
  • The Idol of Paris (1948) ... Offenbach
  • Bond Street (1948) ... Minor Role (uncredited)
  • Saraband for Dead Lovers (1948) ... Lord of Misrule
  • Woman Hater (1948) ... Vicar
  • The History of Mr. Polly (1949) ... Old gentleman on punt
  • Cardboard Cavalier (1949) ... Judge Gorebucket
  • The Queen of Spades (1949) ... Tchybukin
  • The Perfect Woman (1949) ... Prof. Ernest Belman
  • Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) ... The Hangman
  • Adam and Evelyne (1949) ... Undetermined Supporting Role (uncredited)
  • Train of Events (1949) ... Johnson, the timekeeper (segment "The Engine Driver")
  • Golden Salamander (1950) ... Douvet
  • Stage Fright (1950) ... Mr. Fortesque
  • The Man in the White Suit (1951) ... The Tailor
  • Scrooge (1951) ... Old Joe
  • The Magic Box (1951) ... Orchestra Conductor
  • The Woman's Angle (1952) ... A. Secrett
  • The Happy Family (1952) ... Mr. Thwaites
  • Treasure Hunt (1952) ... Mr. Walsh
  • The Importance of Being Earnest (1952) ... Canon Chasuble
  • Venetian Bird (1952) ... Grespi
  • Trent's Last Case (1952) ... Burton Cupples
  • Folly to Be Wise (1953) ... Dr. Hector McAdam
  • The Captain's Paradise (1953) ... Lawrence St. James
  • Geordie (1955) ... Lord Paunceton
  • King's Rhapsody (1955) ... Jules
  • Private's Progress (1956) ... Mr. Windrush Snr.
  • The Man Who Never Was (1956) ... Scientist
  • The Silken Affair (1956) ... Mr. Blucher
  • Dry Rot (1956) ... Yokel
  • Three Men in a Boat (1956 film) ... Baskcomb, 2nd Old Gentleman
  • Brothers in Law (1957) ... Kendall Grimes QC
  • The Admirable Crichton (1957) ... Vicar
  • Campbell's Kingdom (1957) ... Minor Role (uncredited)
  • Barnacle Bill (1957) ... Angler
  • The Naked Truth (1957) ... Rev. Cedric Bastable
  • Happy Is the Bride (1958) ... 1st Magistrate
  • Gideon's Day (1958) ... The Judge
  • Dracula (1958) ... Undertaker
  • Behind the Mask (1958) ... Sir Oswald Pettiford
  • Bachelor of Hearts (1958) ... Dr. Butson
  • Kidnapped (1959) ... Mr. Rankeillor
  • The Captain's Table (1959) ... Canon Swingler
  • Carlton-Browne of the F.O. (1959) ... Resident Advisor Davidson
  • The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959) ... Bishop
  • I'm All Right Jack (1959) ... Windrush Snr.
  • And the Same to You (1960) ... Bishop
  • Peeping Tom (1960) ... Elderly Gentleman Customer
  • The Day They Robbed the Bank of England (1960) ... Assistant Curator
  • The Brides of Dracula (1960) ... Dr. Tobler
  • The Hellfire Club (1961) ... Judge
  • Fury at Smugglers' Bay (1961) ... Duke of Avon
  • Double Bunk (1961) ... Reverend Thomas
  • Postman's Knock (1962) ... Psychiatrist
  • Go to Blazes (1962) ... Salesman
  • The Phantom of the Opera (1962) ... 2nd Cabby
  • The Brain (1962) ... Dr. Miller
  • Call Me Bwana (1963) ... Psychiatrist (uncredited)
  • Heavens Above! (1963) ... Rockeby
  • Circus World (1964) ... Billy Hennigan
  • First Men in the Moon (1964) ... Dymchurch Registrar
  • Murder Ahoy! (1964) ... Bishop Faulkner
  • A Jolly Bad Fellow (1964) ... Dr. Woolley
  • You Must Be Joking! (1965) ... Salesman (Last appearance)

As screenwriter

  • Night Birds (1930)
  • The W Plan (1930)
  • Two Worlds (1930)
  • Night in Montmartre (1931)
  • Children of Fortune (1931)
  • Sally in Our Alley (1931)
  • The Water Gipsies (1932)
  • Strange Evidence (1933)
  • Lorna Doone (1934)
  • Nell Gwyn (1934)
  • Tudor Rose (1936)
  • Victoria the Great (1937)
  • Action for Slander (1937)
  • The Thief of Bagdad (1940)
  • The First of the Few (1942)
  • Squadron Leader X (1943)
  • The Adventures of Tartu (1943) (uncredited)
  • They Met in the Dark (1943)
  • Yellow Canary (1943)

As playwright

  • Youth A Play in Three Acts
  • The Little White Thought A Fantastic Scrap
  • Paddly Pools A Little Fairy Play
  • Black 'Ell (1916); Malleson's anti-war play was refused permission for performance in 1916, and not produced in the UK until 1925
  • Molière: Three Plays (1960); contains The Slave of Truth (Le Misanthrope), Tartuffe and The Imaginary Invalid
  • "Yours Unfaithfully" (1933); Performed off-Broadway in New York City for a limited run in early-2017 starring Max von Essen.

Malleson's only published work as screenwriter appears to be "Lawrence of Arabia from Revolt in the Desert by T.E. Lawrence; Scenario by Miles Malleson, Brian Desmond Hurst and Duncan Guthrie October 4th 1938" in Filming T.E. Lawrence: Korda's Lost Epics; Edited and introduced by Andrew Kelly, James Pepper and Jeffrey Richards. London/New York: I.B. Tauris Publishers, 1997.

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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