- John Neville (actor)
name = John Neville
caption = Neville as the "Well Manicured Man" in the TV-series "
May 2 1925(age 83)
spouse = Caroline Hopper (1949-present)
John Neville, CM, OBE (born
May 2 1925) is an English theatreand film actorwho moved to Canada in 1972. He enjoyed a resurgence of international attention in the 1980s as a result of his starring role in Terry Gilliam's "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen".
Neville was born in
Willesden, London, the son of Mabel Lillian (née Fry) and Reginald Daniel Neville, a truck driver. [ [http://www.filmreference.com/film/51/John-Neville.html John Neville Biography (1925-) ] ] He was educated at Chiswick County School for Boys, and after war service in the Royal Navytrained as an actor at RADA, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, before starting his professional career as a member of Trent Players.
During the 1950s he was a leading member of London's
Old VicCompany, playing many classical leading roles including Romeo in Shakespeare's " Romeo and Juliet" (a role he repeated on American television for the anthology series " Producers' Showcase") and an acclaimed Richard in "Richard II", with Virginia McKennaas Queen Anne. He also alternated with Richard Burton the parts of Othello and Iago in " Othello". He was a frequent visiting player at the Bristol Old Vic. He received good reviews in an otherwise disastrous musical adaptation of " Lolita", called " Lolita, My Love", which closed in Bostonen route to Broadway.
In the 1960s he was artistic director at the
Nottingham Playhouse, another of Britain's leading provincial repertory theatres, before leaving for Canada in 1972, taking up the post of artistic director at the Citadel Theatrein Edmonton Alberta. He has since taken similar positions with other Canadian theatre companies (including as artistic director of the Stratford Festival of Canadafrom 1985-1989) as well as continuing his acting career.
Noted for his classical good looks and distinctive voice, the young Neville was frequently described as the young
John Gielgud's natural successor—though his acting style was in fact quite different and certainly more natural than that of the early-to-mid period Gielgud—and was consequently often cast in romantic leads, though he always regarded himself primarily as a character actor. He was, however, not averse to the occasional foray into other areas and for a while took over the leading role of Nestor Le Fripé from Keith Michel in the original West End production of the musical " Irma La Douce", playing opposite Elizabeth Sealas Irma.
From 1995-1998, Neville had a prominent recurring role in "
The X-Files" television series as the Well-Manicured Man, and in 1998, he reprised his role in the feature film "". Although he has had numerous other television appearances and occasional film roles, the main focus of Neville's career has always been the theatre.
Neville was cast as
Baron Munchausenby Gilliam when in his mid-sixties, as Gilliam thought he brought the necessary ambience to the role and could be aged or made younger with clever make-up. In the film, Neville plays the character at three different stages of his life; in his thirties, his fifties, and his seventies. In recent years, Neville has had numerous cameo appearances and minor parts in a variety of films, including Primate of the Anglican Church in Australia in " The Man Who Sued God" and an Admiral in the Earth Space Navy in " The Fifth Element". He also had a small but effective role as "Terrence" in David Cronenberg's 2002 "Spider".
He was appointed to the
Order of Canada, that nation's highest civilian honour, in 2006. [ [http://gg.ca/media/doc.asp?lang=e&DocID=4828 Governor General announces new appointments to the Order of Canada ] ]
He currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife Caroline Hooper. They have been married since 1949 and have six children.
*imdb name|id=0627453|name=John Neville
* [http://tceplus.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0005693 John Neville] at The Canadian Encyclopedia
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