- Robert Lang (actor)
name = Robert Lang
caption = Lang in a promotional shot for his final movie "Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont"
September 24 1934
November 6 2004
Robert Lang (
September 24 1934– November 6, 2004) was a versatile English actor who was spotted by Laurence Olivierand earned critical praise in an impressive variety of roles. Before Olivier invited him to join the National Theatre Company (later to become the Royal National Theatre), which he was founding at the Old Vicin the early 1960s, Robert Lang was already earning high praise as an actor.
Lang was born in
Bristol, the son of Lily Violet (née Ballard) and Richard Lionel Lang. [ [http://www.filmreference.com/film/62/Robert-Lang.html Robert Lang Biography (1934-) ] ] He was educated at Fairfield and St Simon’s schools. He had intended to become a meteorologist but then trained for the stage at the Bristol Old Vic.
Lang made his London debut in 1957 as Uncle Ernest in "Oh! My Papa!". With the legendary ’59 Theatre Company at the Lyric, Hammersmith, he won
Kenneth Tynan’s “total admiration” for his performance as Ejnar, a painter, in an important revival of Ibsen’s "Brand"; his performance as Robespierre in Georg Büchner’s " Danton's Death" with the same company was also praised.
In 1962, Olivier “stole” Lang (along with other actors) from the newly established
Royal Shakespeare Company, where Lang had impressed him with his performances as Theseus in " A Midsummer Night's Dream" and as the Actor in Maxim Gorki’s " The Lower Depths". Playing Pierre Cauchon, the Bishop of Beauvais, in George Bernard Shaw’s "Saint Joan" at the National Theatre, Lang drew the praise of critic Caryl Brahmsfor his "quiet grandeur, cogency and gravity".
Lang also showed a finely-judged talent for comic parts. In the deadpan role of diplomat Richard Greatham in celebrated National Theatre revival in 1964 of
Noël Coward’s " Hay Fever", under the author's own direction, Lang showed his acute feeling for what amuses a theatre audience without appearing to seek to do so.
Lang achieved something of a late-career renaissance in film and television. His small-screen credits include ""The Forsyte Saga", ""Our Mutual Friend", ""Heartbeat", "Rumpole of the Bailey", "King Lear", and ""A Dance to the Music of Time". In the cinema he appeared in "
Four Weddings and a Funeral", " Savage Messiah", and "The Great Train Robbery". His final movie appearance was as Mr Osbourne in " Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont" (2005), screened a few months after his death from cancer in November 2004 at the age of 70.
* [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,60-1360446_2,00.html Times obituary]
*imdb name|id=0485894|name=Robert Lang
*Find A Grave|id=9907994
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