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John Neville
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Actor
    (May 2, 1925-November 19, 2011)
    Born in London, United Kingdom
    Member of the Old Vic theater company
    Appeared in the films 'Oscar Wilde' (1960), 'Billy Budd' (1962), 'A Study in Terror' (1965), 'The Adventures of Baron Munchausen' (1988), 'The Road to Wellville' (1994), 'High School High' (1996), 'The Fifth Element' (1997), 'Urban Legend' (1998), 'Crime and Punishment' (2002) and 'Separate Lies' (2005)
    Recurring role as the Well-Maincured Man on X-Files
    Artistic director of the Nottingham Playhouse (1963-72), the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton (1973-78), the Neptune Theatre in Halifax (1978-83) and the Stratford Festival of Canada (1985-89)
    Named an officer of the Order of the British Empire (1965) and a member of the Order of Canada (2006)
    Many critics felt he failed to live up to the promise of his early stage performances, when he was hailed as the next successor to John Geilgud.
    He was a heavy drinker, said to be able to match his Old Vic colleague Richard Burton 'part for part and drink for drink.'
    The Old Vic staged a double act in which he and Burton would alternate the roles of Othello and Iago in successive shows. The pair went out for a liquid lunch before one performance and when they took the stage, both did Iago without ever realizing anything was wrong.
    His return to the British stage in the 1990s prompted the 'Guardian' to observe, 'It was hard to see what the fuss was once all about.'
    He served as a signalman with the Royal Navy during WWII.
    He was married to Caroline Hopper for 62 years until his death.
    While he was working as a warehouse clerk, his performance as Hamlet with a church theater group won him a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.
    He was known for his 'elegant stage presence and flexible, resonant voice.'
    He said he loved working in the theater in Canada because 'One is supposed to stage things not to guarantee good box office but to challenge the audience.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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