Henry Woolf

Henry Woolf

Henry Woolf (born 1930) is a British actor, theatre director, and teacher of acting, drama, and theatre who lives in Canada, and a longtime friend and collaborator of 2005 Nobel Laureate Harold Pinter, having stimulated Pinter to write his first play, "The Room" (1957) in 1956. Woolf served as a faculty member at the University of Saskatchewan from 1983 to 1997 and as artistic director of Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan from 1991 until 2001.

Personal history and educational background

Born to Jewish parents in London in 1930, Henry Woolf was educated at Hackney Downs School, where he met Harold Pinter; he and Pinter have been friends and collaborators for over 60 years.Henry Woolf, [http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2007/jul/12/theatre.haroldpinter "My 60 Years in Harold's Gang"] , "The Guardian", July 12, 2007, Stage, accessed August 21, 2008.] He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of London and then pursued a postgraduate course in directing at the University of Bristol, Bristol, England, before going to the United States, to earn a postgraduate diploma from the College of William and Mary, in Williamsburg, Virginia.fact|date=August 2008 While doing his directing course at Bristol, he commissioned and directed Harold Pinter's first play, "The Room" (1957), in which he also originated the role of Mr. Kidd.

In 1978, with his wife, actress/director Susan Williamson, whom he married in 1965, Woolf moved to Canada, eventually settling in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, where they currently reside. They have four children.

Professional career

Woolf is described as "a living icon of the theatrical avant-garde, an actor who throughout the 1960s would appear (for pitiful pay) in any play that broke new boundaries" (Eyre and Wright 229). During the 60s, he acted in theatre companies in London, leading to various tours in New York and elsewhere, working alongside such contemporaries as Laurence Olivier, Orson Welles and Ralph Richardson.fact|date=August 2008

His film credits include "Marat/Sade" (1967), "The Lion in Winter" (1968), "Steptoe and Son" (1972), "Steptoe and Son Ride Again" (1973), "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" (1975), "Gorky Park" (1983), "Superman III" (1983). He still makes occasional film appearances, most recently in the 2004 short film, "Of Note". In "All You Need Is Cash", a film by The Rutles (a fictional mock-Beatles band jointly created by Eric Idle and Neil Innes), Woolf played a character named Arthur Sultan, a fictional spoof of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

On British television he played the Man in Harold Pinter's one-man play "Monologue" (1973); parts in "Rutland Weekend Television" (1975) and "The Sweeney" (1975); the the Collector in the "Doctor Who" serial "The Sun Makers"; served as the host of the 1970s pre-school British educational series "Words and Pictures"; and performed the role of Doctor Cornelius in the BBC adaptation of "Prince Caspian" (1989).

Woolf joined the faculty of the University of Saskatchewan in 1983, was promoted to professor in 1990, also serving as head of its Drama department, and received the University's Master Teacher Award in 1994, before retiring in 1997, at the Canadian mandatory retirement age of 67. [http://www.neilinnes.org/articles/henry/henry.htm "An Exclusive Neilinnes.org Interview with Henry Woolf (Arthur Sultan)"] , "neilinnes.org" (Official Website of Neil Innes), May 26, 2005, updated July 25, 2005, accessed August 23, 2008.] Woolf also served as artistic director of the annual summer Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan festival, in Saskatoon, from 1991 until his retirement from that position in 2001.

In March 2003, Woolf directed an all-female production of "Twelfth Night", by William Shakespeare, at the University of Winnipeg. [http://www.uwinnipeg.ca/index/media-twelfth_night Media Release: Renowned British Actor Henry Woolf Directs All-Female Twelfth Night at UWinnipeg"] , "uwinnipeg.ca" (University of Winnipeg), March 10, 2003, accessed August 23, 2008.]

In April 2007, he reprised his roles as Mr. Kidd in a production of Pinter's "The Room" (1957), marking the 50th anniversary of the original production, and as the Man in Pinter's "Monologue" (1973), both of which occurred at the University of Leeds conference . [http://www.leeds.ac.uk/theatre/pinter/ "Artist and Citizen: 50 years of Performing Pinter"] , Workshop Theatre, School of English, University of Leeds, April 12–14, 2007. (Includes hyperlinked " [http://www.leeds.ac.uk/theatre/pinter/schedule2.htm Conference Schedule"] .)]



*Andrews, Jamie. [http://www.bl.uk/projects/theatrearchive/theroom.html "Interviews: Harold Pinter's 'The Room' "] . Theatre Archive Project (British Library, the University of Sheffield, and AHRC). Accessed August 21, 2008. (Transcripts of interviews with Susan Engel, James Severns, Auriol Smith, and Henry Woolf.)
* [http://www.neilinnes.org/articles/henry/henry.htm "An Exclusive Neilinnes.org Interview with Henry Woolf (Arthur Sultan)"] . "neilinnes.org" (Official Website of Neil Innes). May 26, 2005. Updated July 25, 2005. Accessed August 23, 2008.
*Eyre, Richard, and Nicholas Wright. "". London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2000. New York: Knopf, 2001. ISBN 0375412034 (10). ISBN 978-0375412035 (13).

*Merritt, Susan Hollis. "Talking about Pinter". "The Pinter Review: Collected Essays 2001 and 2002". Ed. Francis Gillen and Steven H. Gale (Tampa: U of Tampa P, 2002). 144–67. (On the Lincoln Center 2001: Harold Pinter Festival Symposia; Woolf participated in "Actors on Pinter", along with Blythe Danner and Liev Schreiber, as quoted.)
*–––. "Monologue" at Lincoln Center". "Pinter Review" (2002): 171–82. (Extended performance rev. (19 July 2001) incorporating interview with Woolf (the Man) and director Gari Jones, conducted in New York City, on 29 July 2001.)
*Nathan, David. " [http://archive.thejc.com/search/dt4?&u=602424691227&s=henry%20woolf&m=and&refno=%2Farchive%2Foutput%2F2000%2F2000-2-+-+0395.pdf First Impressions: Room for a Little One"] . "Jewish Chronicle", March 17, 2000: 43. (Lead: "Actor Henry Woolf went to school with Harold Pinter and helped him get his [break?] in the theatre with 'The Room'. Now, Henry and Harold are working together again, David Nathan reports.") [Includes interview with Woolf. Viewable and printable version accessible only to paid subscribers.]
*Woolf, Henry. [http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2007/jul/12/theatre.haroldpinter "My 60 Years in Harold's Gang"] . "The Guardian", July 12, 2007, Stage. Accessed August 21, 2008.

External links

*Imdb|id=0941146|name=Henry Woolf.
*" [http://www.haroldpinter.org/plays/title_monologue.shtml Monologue] " at "haroldpinter.org".
*" [http://www.haroldpinter.org/plays/title_room.shtml The Room] " at "haroldpinter.org".

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