British Knights

by Sylviastel | created - 07 Oct 2012 | updated - 4 months ago | Public

1. Ralph Richardson

Actor | Doctor Zhivago

Sir Ralph Richardson was one of the greatest actors of the 20th Century English-language theater, ascending to the height of his profession in the mid-1930s when he became a star in London's West End. He became the first actor of his generation to be knighted. He became Sir Ralph in 1947, and was ...

2. Ian McKellen

Actor | The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Widely regarded as one of greatest stage and screen actors, both in his native Great Britain and internationally, twice nominated for the Oscar and recipient of every major theatrical award in UK and US, Ian Murray McKellen was born on May 25, 1939 in Burnley, Lancashire, England, to Margery Lois (...

3. John Gielgud

Actor | Arthur

Born in London, England, John Gielgud trained at Lady Benson's Acting School and RADA, London. Best known for his Shakespearean roles in the theater, he first played Hamlet at the age of 26. He worked under the tutelage of Lilian Bayliss with friend and fellow performer Laurence Olivier and other ...

4. Noël Coward

Writer | In Which We Serve

Noel Coward virtually invented the concept of Englishness for the 20th century. An astounding polymath - dramatist, actor, writer, composer, lyricist, painter, and wit -- he was defined by his Englishness as much as he defined it. He was indeed the first Brit pop star, the first ambassador of "cool...

5. Terence Rattigan

Writer | The Browning Version

Terence Mervyn Rattigan was born on June 10, 1911, in London, the son of a career diplomat and serial philanderer whose indiscretions resulted in his being cashiered by the Foreign Office. As a member of the lower upper-middle class in the inter-war period, the young Rattigan received a first-rate ...

6. Andrew Lloyd Webber

Soundtrack | The Phantom of the Opera

Andrew Lloyd Webber is arguably the most successful composer of our time. He is best known for stage and film adaptations of his musicals Jesus Christ Superstar (1973), Cats (1994), Evita (1996), and The Phantom of the Opera (2004).

He was born on March 22, 1948, in South Kensington in London, ...

7. Cameron Mackintosh

Producer | Les Misérables

Born 17 October 1946 in London, sir Cameron Anthony Mackintosh is one of the most influential musical theatre producers in the world, responsible for producing hits such as "Les Misérables", "The Phantom of the Opera", "Miss Saigon", "Cats", and "Hamilton". His father, Ian Robert Mackintosh, was a ...

8. Tim Rice

Soundtrack | Aladdin

A prolific lyricist and librettist, Tim Rice was born in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, in the fall of 1944. Rice pursued his university education at Lancing College and, briefly, at l'Universite de Paris - Sorbonne. He was considering a legal career around the time that he met Andrew Lloyd Webber in ...

9. Bruce Forsyth

Actor | Bedknobs and Broomsticks

Veteran entertainer Sir Bruce Forsyth had a career spanning eight decades, in which he went from struggling variety performer to Saturday night TV stardom. On the way, he became one of the most recognisable entertainers in the business, driven by what appeared to be inexhaustible energy. He became ...

10. Norman Wisdom

Actor | Trouble in Store

Norman Wisdom has become the great British clown very much in the mould of Charles Chaplin with his "little man" in the ill fitting suit and cloth cap. His character is "everyman", much put upon but struggling through to a (usually) happy ending. He was brought up in an orphanage after his mother ...

11. Michael Parkinson

Actor | Love Actually

Michael Parkinson was educated at Barnsley Grammar School. He left at the age of 16 and his ambition of becoming a professional cricketer was dashed when he was rejected by Yorkshire County Cricket Club. He turned to journalism, worked on several local newspapers in Yorkshire before joining the ...

12. Ridley Scott

Producer | The Martian

Described by film producer Michael Deeley as "the very best eye in the business", director Ridley Scott was born on November 30, 1937 in South Shields, Tyne and Wear (then County Durham). His father was an officer in the Royal Engineers and the family followed him as his career posted him ...

13. Michael Caine

Actor | The Dark Knight

Michael Caine was born Maurice Joseph Micklewhite in London, to Ellen Frances Marie (Burchell), a charlady, and Maurice Joseph Micklewhite, a fish-market porter. He left school at age 15 and took a series of working-class jobs before joining the British army and serving in Korea during the Korean ...

14. Roger Moore

Actor | Moonraker

Roger Moore will perhaps always be remembered as the man who replaced Sean Connery in the James Bond series, arguably something he never lived down.

Roger George Moore was born on October 14, 1927 in Stockwell, London, England, the son of Lillian (Pope) and George Alfred Moore, a policeman. His ...

15. Sean Connery

Actor | The Rock

The tall, handsome and muscular Scottish actor Sean Connery is best known for being the original actor to portray the character of James Bond in the hugely successful movie franchise, starring in seven films between 1962 and 1983. Some believed that such a career-defining role might leave him ...

16. Michael Redgrave

Actor | The Lady Vanishes

Sir Michael Redgrave was of the generation of English actors that gave the world the legendary John Gielgud, Ralph Richardson and Laurence Olivier, Britain three fabled "Theatrical Knights" back in the days when a knighthood for thespian was far more rare than it is today. A superb actor, Redgrave ...

17. Kenneth Branagh

Actor | Henry V

Kenneth Charles Branagh was born on December 10, 1960, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, to parents William Branagh, a plumber and carpenter, and Frances (Harper), both born in 1930. He has two siblings, William Branagh, Jr. (born 1955) and Joyce Branagh (born 1970). When he was nine, his family ...

18. Richard Branson

Actor | Superman Returns

Richard Branson was born on July 18, 1950 in Blackheath, London, England as Richard Charles Nicholas Branson. He is a producer and actor, known for Superman Returns (2006), Around the World in 80 Days (2004) and Electric Dreams (1984). He has been married to Joan Templeman since December 20, 1989. ...

19. John Clements

Actor | The Four Feathers

John Clements hailed from southern England and was educated at St Paul's School in London and St John's College, Cambridge. His acting aspiration prompted his first stage appearance at the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith in 1930 in the play "Out of the Blue". Through the 1930s, he continued to develop ...

20. Robert Atkins

Actor | Black Magic

Robert Atkins was born on August 10, 1886 in Dulwich, England as Alexander Robert Atkins. He was an actor and writer, known for Black Magic (1949), A Midsummer Night's Dream (1946) and Peg of Old Drury (1935). He was married to Ethel Gladys Davey and Mary Sumner (actress, 1888-1956). He died on ...

21. Antony Sher

Actor | Shakespeare in Love

Born in 1949, Antony Sher was raised in South Africa before going to London to study at the Webber-Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art between 1969 and 1971. After performing for the theatre group "Gay Sweatshop" in "Thinking Straight" (1975), "The Fork" (1976) and "Stone" (1976), Sher joined the Royal...

22. Patrick Stewart

Actor | Logan

Sir Patrick Stewart was born in Mirfield, Yorkshire, England, to Gladys (Barrowclough), a textile worker and weaver, and Alfred Stewart, who was in the army. He was a member of various local drama groups from about age 12. He left school at age 15 to work as a junior reporter on a local paper; he ...

23. Elton John

Soundtrack | Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Sir Elton John is one of pop music's great survivors. Born 25 March, 1947, as Reginald Kenneth Dwight, he started to play the piano at the early age of four. At the age of 11, he won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music. His first band was called Bluesology. He later auditioned (...

24. Paul McCartney

Actor | A Hard Day's Night

Sir Paul McCartney is a key figure in contemporary culture as a singer, composer, poet, writer, artist, humanitarian, entrepreneur, and holder of more than 3 thousand copyrights. He is in the "Guinness Book of World Records" for most records sold, most #1s (shared), most covered song, "Yesterday," ...

25. Tom Stoppard

Writer | Shakespeare in Love

Tom Stoppard was born on July 3, 1937 in Zlín, Czechoslovakia as Tomas Straussler. He is a writer and producer, known for Shakespeare in Love (1998), Brazil (1985) and Anna Karenina (2012). He has been married to Sabrina Guinness since 2014. He was previously married to Miriam Stoppard and Jose ...

26. Bob Geldof

Soundtrack | Pink Floyd: The Wall

Bob Geldof was frontman for the late '70s to mid '80s Irish punk rock band the Boomtown Rats. He also conceived and co-wrote Band Aid's tune "Do They Know It's Christmas?" with his friend, musician Midge Ure of Ultravox, which became the 1984 Christmas number one in the UK and the best-selling ...

27. Steven Spielberg

Producer | Schindler's List

One of the most influential personalities in the history of cinema, Steven Spielberg is Hollywood's best known director and one of the wealthiest filmmakers in the world. He has an extraordinary number of commercially successful and critically acclaimed credits to his name, either as a director, ...

28. Edward R. Murrow

Producer | See It Now

Pioneering radio and TV reporter who was the dominant figure in American broadcast journalism during its early years. His dramatic, in-person coverage of the 1938 German occupation of Austria, the 1939 German blitzkrieg against Czechoslovakia and the 10-month-long Battle of Britain, fought in the ...

29. Trevor Nunn

Director | Twelfth Night or What You Will

Trevor Nunn was born on January 14, 1940 in Ipswich, Suffolk, England as Trevor Robert Nunn. He was previously married to Imogen Stubbs, Sharon Lee Hill and Janet Suzman.

30. Peter Blake

Actor | Battle of Britain

Peter Blake was born on June 25, 1932 in Dartford, Kent, England as Peter Thomas Blake. He is an actor and writer, known for Battle of Britain (2000), Eric Clapton: 24 Nights (1991) and Art for All (1971). He was previously married to Jann Haworth.

31. George Shearing

Soundtrack | The Muppets

George Shearing was born on August 13, 1919 in Battersea, London, England as George Albert Shearing. He was married to Eleanor Geffert and Beatrice Bayes. He died on February 14, 2011 in New York City, New York, USA.

32. Steve Redgrave

Actor | Midsomer Murders

Sir Steven Geoffrey Redgrave is a retired British rower who won gold medals at five consecutive Olympic Games from 1984 to 2000. He has also won three Commonwealth Games gold medals and nine World Rowing Championships golds. He is regarded as one of Britain's greatest-ever Olympians, the most ...

33. Anthony Hopkins

Actor | The Silence of the Lambs

Anthony Hopkins was born on December 31, 1937, in Margam, Wales, to Muriel Anne (Yeats) and Richard Arthur Hopkins, a baker. His parents were both of half Welsh and half English descent. Influenced by Richard Burton, he decided to study at College of Music and Drama and graduated in 1957. In 1965, ...

34. Antony Hopkins

Composer | Decameron Nights

Antony Hopkins was born on March 21, 1921 in Bush Hill Park, Edmonton, London, England as Ernest William Antony Reynolds. He is known for his work on Decameron Nights (1953), Billy Budd (1962) and Child's Play (1954). He was married to Beatrix Taylor and Muriel Alison Purves. He died on May 6, 2014...

35. Tom Courtenay

Actor | 45 Years

Acting chameleon Sir Tom Courtenay, along with Sirs Alan Bates and Albert Finney, became a front-runner in an up-and-coming company of rebel upstarts who created quite a stir in British "kitchen sink" cinema during the early '60s. An undying love for the theatre, however, had Courtenay channeling a...

36. Laurence Olivier

Actor | Sleuth

Laurence Olivier could speak William Shakespeare's lines as naturally as if he were "actually thinking them", said English playwright Charles Bennett, who met Olivier in 1927. Laurence Kerr Olivier was born in Dorking, Surrey, England, to Agnes Louise (Crookenden) and Gerard Kerr Olivier, a High ...

37. Cecil Beaton

Costume_designer | My Fair Lady

Cecil Beaton was born on January 14, 1904 in London, England as Cecil Walter Hardy Beaton. He is known for his work on My Fair Lady (1964), Gigi (1958) and On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (1970). He died on January 18, 1980 in Broadchalke, Salisbury, Wiltshire, England.

38. David Frost

Producer | Retreat

David Frost was born on April 7, 1939 in Tenterden, Kent, England as David Paradine Frost. He was a producer and writer, known for Retreat (2011), The Slipper and the Rose: The Story of Cinderella (1976) and Leadbelly (1976). He was married to Lady Carina Fitzalan-Howard and Lynne Frederick. He ...

39. Richard Attenborough

Actor | Jurassic Park

Lord Richard Attenborough was born in Cambridge, England, the son of Mary (née Clegg), a founding member of the Marriage Guidance Council, and Frederick Levi Attenborough, a scholar and academic administrator who was a don at Emmanuel College and wrote a standard text on Anglo-Saxon law. ...

40. David Attenborough

Self | Blue Planet II

Born 8 May 1926, the younger brother of actor Lord Richard Attenborough. He never expressed a wish to act and, instead, studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge University, graduating in 1947, the year he began his two years National Service in the Royal Navy. In 1952, he joined BBC Television at ...

41. Alec Guinness

Actor | Star Wars

Alec Guinness was an English actor. He is known for his six collaborations with David Lean: Herbert Pocket in Great Expectations (1946), Fagin in Oliver Twist (1948), Col. Nicholson in The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor), Prince Faisal in Lawrence...

42. Peter Jackson

Producer | The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Peter Jackson was born as an only child in a small coast-side town in New Zealand in 1961. When a friend of his parents bought him a super 8 movie camera (because she saw how much he enjoyed taking photos), the then eight-year-old Peter instantly grabbed the thing to start recording his own movies,...

43. Michael Balcon

Producer | Kind Hearts and Coronets

Michael Balcon started in films as a distributor, then a producer from the early 1920s, helping to launch the career of Alfred Hitchcock. In the 1930s, Balcon was prominent in building up a huge annual production programme of films for both Gainsborough and Gaumont-British. Head of MGM-British, ...

44. Michael Gambon

Actor | Gosford Park

Sir Michael Gambon was born in Cabra, Dublin, Ireland, to Mary (Hoare), a seamstress, and Edward Gambon, an engineer. After joining the National Theatre, under the Artistic Directorship of Sir Laurence Olivier, Gambon went on to appear in a number of leading roles in plays written by Alan Ayckbourn...

45. Ludovic Kennedy

Writer | 10 Rillington Place

He was educated at Eton College and at Oxford University (Christs Church), Oxford, England. He gained the rank of Lieutenant in the service of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. He fought in the Second World War between 1939 and 1945. He wrote the book "Sub-Lieutenant", published in 1942. He ...

46. Nigel Hawthorne

Actor | The Madness of King George

Born in Coventry, England on 5 April 1929. Raised in South Africa. Returned to the UK in the 1950s. Extensive theatre work in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. His portrayal of "Sir Humphrey Appleby" in the BBC comedy Yes Minister (1980) won him international acclaim in the 1980s. In 1992, he was awarded...

47. Herbert Beerbohm Tree

Actor | King John

Herbert Beerbohm Tree was born on December 17, 1852 in Kensington, London, England as Herbert Draper Beerbohm. He was an actor and director, known for King John (1899), Henry VIII (1911) and The Tempest (1905). He was married to Lady Tree. He died on July 2, 1917 in Marylebone, London.

48. Alfred Hitchcock

Director | Psycho

Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was born in Leytonstone, Essex, England. He was the son of Emma Jane (Whelan; 1863 - 1942) and East End greengrocer William Hitchcock (1862 - 1914). His parents were both of half English and half Irish ancestry. He had two older siblings, William Hitchcock (born 1890) and ...

49. Charles Chaplin

Writer | The Great Dictator

Considered to be one of the most pivotal stars of the early days of Hollywood, Charlie Chaplin lived an interesting life both in his films and behind the camera. He is most recognized as an icon of the silent film era, often associated with his popular character, the Little Tramp; the man with the ...

50. Alan Bates

Actor | Gosford Park

Alan Bates decided to be an actor at age 11. After grammar school in Derbyshire, he earned a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. Following two years in the Royal Air Force, he joined the new English Stage Company at the Royal Court Theatre. His West End debut in 1956, at 22...

51. Alan Parker

Director | Evita

Prior to moving into film, Alan was noted as one of London's most talented advertising copywriters. He worked for the Collet Dickinson Pearce (CDP) ad agency in the 1960's and early 1970's, and began directing his own tvc scripts in their basement. Formed a partnership with David Puttnam as his ...

52. André Previn

Music_department | My Fair Lady

German-American pianist, composer, arranger and conductor André George Previn (born Andreas Ludwig Priwin, in Berlin) was for eight decades a hugely influential and prolific figure in jazz, as well as classical and film music. Being Jewish, Previn's family was forced to leave Hitler's Germany in ...

53. Arthur Conan Doyle

Writer | Sherlock Holmes

Arthur Conan Doyle was born on May 22, 1859 in Edinburgh, Scotland as Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle. He was a writer and producer, known for Sherlock Holmes (2009), Sherlock (2010) and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1984). He was married to Jean Leckie and Louisa Hawkins. He died on July 7, 1930 ...

54. Anthony Quayle

Actor | Lawrence of Arabia

Anthony Quayle was born in Ainsdale in September 1913, the son of a Lancashire lawyer. He completed his education at Rugby School and had a brief spell at RADA, before treading the boards for the first time as the straight man in a music hall comedy act in 1931. Tall, burly, round-faced and ...

55. Ben Kingsley

Actor | Gandhi

Ben Kingsley was born Krishna Bhanji on December 31, 1943 in Scarborough, Yorkshire, England. His father, Rahimtulla Harji Bhanji, was a Kenyan-born medical doctor, of Gujarati Indian descent, and his mother, Anna Lyna Mary (Goodman), was an English actress. Ben began to act in stage plays during ...

56. Dirk Bogarde

Actor | The Servant

Sir Dirk Bogarde, distinguished film actor and writer, was born Derek Jules Gaspard Ulric Niven van den Bogaerde on March 28, 1921, to Ulric van den Bogaerde, the art editor of "The Times" (London) newspaper, and actress Margaret Niven in the London suburb of Hampstead. He was one of three children...

57. J.M. Barrie

Writer | Peter Pan

J.M. Barrie was born on May 9, 1860 in Kirriemuir, Angus, Scotland as James Matthew Barrie. He was a writer and actor, known for Peter Pan (1953), Peter Pan (2003) and Hook (1991). He was married to Mary Ansell. He died on June 19, 1937 in London, England.

58. Malcolm Bradbury

Writer | Cold Comfort Farm

Malcolm Bradbury was born on September 7, 1932 in Sheffield, England as Malcolm Stanley Bradbury. He is known for his work on Cold Comfort Farm (1995), Inspector Morse (1987) and In the Red (1998). He was married to Elizabeth Salt. He died on November 28, 2000 in Norwich, England.

59. Richard Rodney Bennett

Composer | Murder on the Orient Express

Richard Rodney Bennett was an eclectic composer of serious orchestral works, jazz songs and music for stage and screen. Of the former, his most famous compositions include a First Symphony, a piano concerto and four string quartets. Among the latter are scores for operas, such as the dramatic "The ...

60. Robert Helpmann

Actor | Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Son of James Murray Helpmann & Mary (nee Gardiner), he was educated at Prince Alfred's College, Adelaide, South Australia. He first danced solo at the Theatre Royal, Adelaide in The Ugly Duckling in 1922. He went on to become the principal dancer at Sadlers Wells ballet from 1933 to 1950. World ...

61. Anton Dolin

Chu-Chin-Chow

Anton Dolin was born on July 27, 1904 in Sussex, England as Sydney Francis Patrick Chippendall Healey-Kay. He is known for his work on Chu-Chin-Chow (1934), Never Let Me Go (1953) and Giselle (1952). He died on November 25, 1983 in Paris, France.

62. Anthony Dowell

Actor | Romeo and Juliet

Anthony Dowell was born on February 16, 1943 in London, England as Anthony James Dowell. He is known for his work on Romeo and Juliet (1966), Valentino (1977) and Great Performances (1971).

63. Edward George Bulwer-Lytton

Writer | Gli ultimi giorni di Pompei

The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, named in his honor, celebrates deliberately bad writing. Entries are encouraged to be as terrible as possible.

64. Alastair Burnet

Director | News at Ten

Alastair Burnet joined ITN in 1963, becoming Political Editor. In 1967, he switched to newscasting full-time, persuading ITV and ITN bosses to make Britian's first regular daily 30-minute news bulletin, News At Ten. [Before 1967 news bulletins lasted roughly 15 minutes.] He presented the first ...

65. Christopher Lee

Actor | Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

Sir Christopher Frank Carandini Lee was perhaps the only actor of his generation to have starred in so many films and cult saga. Although most notable for personifying bloodsucking vampire, Dracula, on screen, he portrayed other varied characters on screen, most of which were villains, whether it ...

66. Arthur C. Clarke

Writer | 2001: A Space Odyssey

Arthur C. Clarke was born in the seaside town of Minehead, Somerset, England in December 16, 1917. In 1936 he moved to London, where he joined the British Interplanetary Society. There he started to experiment with astronautic material in the BIS, write the BIS Bulletin and science fiction. During ...

67. Carol Reed

Director | The Third Man

Carol Reed was the second son of stage actor, dramatics teacher and impresario founder of the Royal School of Dramatic Arts Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree. Reed was one of Tree's six illegitimate children with Beatrice Mae Pinney, who Tree established in a second household apart from his married life. ...

68. C. Aubrey Smith

Actor | Rebecca

Movie roles are sometimes based upon what the audience expects to see. If the role called for the tall stereotypical Englishmen with the stiff upper lip and stern determination, that man would be C. Aubrey Smith, graduate of Cambridge University, a leading Freemason and a test cricketer for England...

70. Cedric Hardwicke

Actor | The Ten Commandments

Sir Cedric Hardwicke, one of the great character actors in the first decades of the talking picture, was born in Lye, England on February 19, 1893. Hardwicke attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and made his stage debut in 1912. His career was interrupted by military service in World War I, ...

71. Peter Hall

Director | Screen One

Sir Peter Hall directed his first play while he was still a student. He soon achieved prominence as a stage director. He started his occasional film work in 1968 with Work Is a 4-Letter Word (1968). He was the Artistic Director of The Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-upon-Avon from 1960 - 1968....

72. Mick Jagger

Soundtrack | Alfie

Michael Philip Jagger was born in Dartford, Kent on 26th July 1943. When he was 4 he met Keith Richards until they went into secondary schools and lost touch. But one day in 1960 they accidentally met on the Dartford train line and both realized that they had an interest in rock n roll combined ...

73. Cliff Richard

Soundtrack | Grown Ups

Cliff Richard burst onto the rock'n'roll world in 1958 with his hit single Move It. He was then known as Britain's answer to Elvis Presley. His first film was Serious Charge (1959) followed by Expresso Bongo (1959), Wonderful to Be Young! (1961) and Summer Holiday (1963). Wonderful to Be Young! (...

74. David Jason

Actor | Only Fools and Horses....

David Jason was born in Edmonton, London, in 1940. He has become one of Britain's most famous, versatile and respected actors, who is most famous for his role in Only Fools and Horses (1981) as Del Boy. He made his debut in the series in 1981 and was still playing the same role up to the Christmas ...

75. Derek Jacobi

Actor | Gladiator

Preeminent British classical actor of the first post-Olivier generation, Derek Jacobi was knighted in 1994 for his services to the theatre, and, in fact, is only the second to enjoy the honor of holding TWO knighthoods, Danish and English (Olivier was the other). Modest and unassuming in nature, ...

76. David Lean

Director | Lawrence of Arabia

An important British filmmaker, David Lean was born in Croydon on March 25, 1908 and brought up in a strict Quaker family (ironically, as a child he wasn't allowed to go to the movies). During the 1920s, he briefly considered the possibility of becoming an accountant like his father before finding ...

77. Arnold Bax

Composer | Oliver Twist

He held the post Master of the King's Music from 1942 until 1952.

78. David Puttnam

Producer | The Mission

David Puttnam was born on February 25, 1941 in London, England as David Terence Puttnam. He is a producer, known for The Mission (1986), Chariots of Fire (1981) and The Killing Fields (1984). He has been married to Patricia Mary Jones since 1961. They have two children.

79. Donald Sinden

Actor | The Day of the Jackal

The son of a country chemist, the British actor Donald Sinden intended to pursue a career in architecture but was spotted in an amateur theatrical production and asked to join a company that entertained the troops during World War II (Sinden was rejected for naval service because of asthma). ...

80. Donald Wolfit

Actor | Lawrence of Arabia

One of the great British stage actors of his era Donald Wolfit was noted for his magnificent portrayals of King Lear and Tamburlaine. Yet no actor of his generation was surrounded by more controversy. He was temperamental and difficult to deal with, enraged by criticism and tyrannical with the ...

81. John Dankworth

Music_department | Fathom

Attended the Royal Academy of Music beginning at the age of 17. His first American professional appearance occurred at the Newport Jazz Festival on July 3, 1959. He founded the London Symphony Orchestra's Pops Program and served as the orchestra's Pops Musical Director.

82. Robin Day

Self | Sykes and a Big Big Show

Robin Day was born on October 24, 1923 in London, England. He was an actor, known for Sykes and a Big Big Show (1971), US Presidential Elections (1928) and Tonight (1975). He was married to Kathryn Ainslie. He died on August 6, 2000 in London.

83. Richard Eyre

Director | Notes on a Scandal

Richard Eyre was born on March 28, 1943 in Barnstaple, Devon, England as Richard Charles Hastings Eyre. He is a director and producer, known for Notes on a Scandal (2006), Iris (2001) and Stage Beauty (2004). He has been married to Sue Birtwistle since 1973.

84. Edward Elgar

Soundtrack | Kingsman: The Secret Service

Edward Elgar was born on June 2, 1857, in Broadheath, near Worcester, where his father named William Elgar, was a music shop owner and a piano technician. Elgar was the fourth of six children. He was self-taught in all musical instruments, that were at his disposal in his father's shop, and he ...

85. Ernest Shackleton

Self | South

The second in a family of ten, his father Henry farmed at Kilkea. His mother Henrietta was descended from the Fitzmaurices, a family which had been in Kerry since the Norman times in the 13th century. In 1880 when Ernest was six his father gave up farming and went to Trinity College Dublin, and ...

86. Edward Heath

Self | Piano Party

Edward Heath was born in 1916 in Broadstairs, Kent. His father was a carpenter, his mother was a maid and his background was very modest. He attended Balliol College at Oxford, where he earned a second-class degree in philosophy, politics and economics. He got active in Conservative Party politics ...

87. Winston Churchill

Writer | Matinee Theatre

Born in Blenheim Palace, the residence of his grandfather, the 7th Duke of Marlborough. His father was the Duke's third son, Lord Randolph Churchill. His mother, Jennie Jerome, was the daughter of an American financier.

After passing through famous English public schools such as Harrow, he went on ...

88. Edward Grey

Writer | The First World War

Edward Grey was born on April 25, 1862 in London, England. He was a writer, known for The First World War (2003). He died on September 7, 1933.

90. Edmund Hillary

Self | The Conquest of Everest

Edmund Hillary was born on July 20, 1919 in Tuakau, Auckland, New Zealand as Edmund Percival Hillary. He was married to June Mulgrew and Louise Mary Rose. He died on January 11, 2008 in Auckland.

91. Frederick Treves

Writer | The Elephant Man

Frederick Treves was a famous pioneer in abdominal surgery. Today he is mostly remembered as the physician to the Elephant Man. On May 4, 1901, Treves was knighted by King Edward VII on whom he had performed an appendicectomy.

92. Patrick Moore

Actor | Gamesmaster

Patrick Moore was born on March 4, 1923 in Pinner, Middlesex, England as Patrick Alfred Caldwell-Moore. He was an actor and writer, known for Gamesmaster (1992), The Sky at Night (1957) and Doctor Who (2005). He died on December 9, 2012 in Selsey, West Sussex, England.

93. Felix Aylmer

Actor | Hamlet

British character actor Felix Aylmer was educated at Oxford and later studied drama, making his stage debut at the London Coliseum in 1911. During World War I he served in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve and resumed his stage career after the war ended. He entered films in 1930 and stayed in them...

94. Johnston Forbes-Robertson

Actor | The Passing of the Third Floor Back

Johnston Forbes-Robertson (1853-1937) was an English actor and theatrical impresario that George Bernard Shaw and other critics considered to be the finest Hamlet (1913) of his generation. Forbes-Robertson had trained to be an artist and was not overly fond of acting, but he took to the boards to ...

95. William Golding

Writer | Lord of the Flies

William Golding was born on September 19, 1911 in St Columb Minor, Cornwall, England as William Gerald Golding. He was a writer, known for Lord of the Flies (1990), Lord of the Flies (1963) and Alkitrang dugo (1975). He was married to Ann Brookfield. He died on June 19, 1993 in Perranarworthal, ...

96. W.S. Gilbert

Soundtrack | Star Trek: Insurrection

William Schwenck Gilbert was born in London on November 18, 1836, to William Gilbert, a retired naval surgeon, and his wife Anne. The Gilberts would add three younger girls to the brood: Jane, Maud and Florence. His parents were cold and distant, with prickly characters. Stern and unyielding, they ...

97. Godfrey Tearle

Actor | The 39 Steps

Godfrey Seymour Tearle was born in 1884, the son of British actor/manager George (Osmond) Tearle and American actress Marianne Conway (her second marriage). His father and uncle were first-generation acting Tearles, and his mother also came from a family of actors. It seems that Godfrey's destiny ...

98. Tyrone Guthrie

Actor | Vessel of Wrath

Tyrone Guthrie was born on July 2, 1900 in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England as William Tyrone Guthrie. He was a director and actor, known for The Beachcomber (1938), Oedipus Rex (1957) and BBC Sunday-Night Theatre (1950). He was married to Judith Bretherton. He died on May 15, 1971 in Dublin, Ireland.

99. Ian Holm

Actor | The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Sir Ian Holm is one of the world's greatest actors, a Laurence Olivier Award-winning, Tony Award-winning, BAFTA-winning and Academy Award-nominated British star of films and the stage. He was a member of the prestigious Royal Shakespeare Company and has played more than 100 roles in films and on ...

100. Ronald Harwood

Writer | The Pianist

Born in South-Africa in 1934, Ronald Harwood moved to London in 1951 to pursue a career in the theater. After attending the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, he joined the Shakespeare Company of Sir Donald Wolfit, one of the last 'actor-manager' of Great-Britain. From 1953 to 1958, Harwood became the ...



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