23 May 1946 |
Life and career
May was born in Reigate, Surrey. He played Wick in David Halliwell's Little Malcolm at the Royal Court Theatre for the National Youth Theatre. Then Zigger in Zigger Zagger, which transferred to the Strand Theatre, for which he was nominated for a Variety Award for most promising newcomer.
In his first film, he played the Young Poet in Karel Reisz's Isadora (1968). Roles in TV, including [The Tenant of Wildfell Hall] for the BBC and the Wednesday play No Trams to Lime Street (musical version), followed. Then a film in Czechoslovakia, Michael Kohlhaas - Der Rebell (1969), with David Warner and Anna Karina, directed by the Oscar-winning director Volker Shloendorff. A play at the Royal Court, Trixie and Baba by John Antrobus and Richard Cromwell in Cromwell (1970) with Richard Harris and Alec Guinness.
He starred opposite Judy Huxtable in the 1968 cult short film Les Bicyclettes de Belsize, directed by Douglas Hickox. The Soldier in Brendan Behan's The Hostage, directed by Richard Eyre, was followed by a tour of the Far East playing Prince Hal in Henry IV, parts 1 and 2. He starred as 'Pirie' in Cornel Wilde's No Blade of Grass (1970), and a guest star role in the children's hit series, The Double Deckers. He was a director of Senta Productions who produced the 1972 film The Triple Echo, which starred Glenda Jackson and Oliver Reed, directed by Michael Apted. He also appeared in British comedy films such as The Sex Thief (1973) and Three for All (1975).
Playing Sloane in Joe Orton's Entertaining Mr Sloane at the Kings Head Theatre preceded tours with the London Shakespeare Group's Macbeth of Iraq, Bangladesh, South Korea, Japan and Africa, where they played to Maasai warriors in the foothills of Mt Kilimanjaro. He played Macduff at Frank Dunlop's Young Vic Theatre, where a long association over the years developed. This production was toured around Mexico, finishing at the Guanahato Festival. Other plays at the Young Vic included King Lear, The Real Inspector Hound, A Man for all Seasons, Richard 11, Gloo Joo and Caesar in Anthony and Cleopatra. At the Bristol Old Vic he played Leonidik in Arbuzov's The Promise, and another production of Macbeth, this time playing Banquo, directed by Richard Cottrell. A film of Chekov's Zinotchka. An Australian film They Ran Before the Wind, filmed in the South Seas, in which Anthony played Fletcher Christian in a story of what happened after the mutiny on the Bounty. He then played Bobby in American Buffalo at the National Theatre, directed by Bill Bryden, and starred in an American drama documentary about Jack the Ripper. Anthony was also in the Jack the Ripper film Murder by Decree (1979) with James Mason and Christopher Plummer. He played Hamlet at the Northcott Theatre. Other roles there included Captain Plume in The Recruiting Officer and Sir Thomas Overbury in a new play Favours. Anthony worked with Mike Hodges on the Tom Stoppard written film Squaring the Circle, and was also in the film McVicar (1980).
There have been many TV appearances, including Z-Cars, Casualty, Juliet Bravo, Dickens of London, The Bill, London's Burning, Anna Lee, The Paradise Club, El Cid, Bulman, Between the Lines, Softly, Softly, Rockliffe's Babies, Minder, All Quiet on the Preston Front, Chandler and Co, Boon, Coronation Street, The Dream Team, The Hutton Enquiry, The Ice House and Messiah, working with directors Adrian Shergold, Anthony Minghella, Martin Campbell, Stephen Poliakoff and Tim Fywell. Other stage plays include Richard 11, Gloo Joo, Withdrawal Symptoms, A Chorus of Disapproval, Marino Faliero, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, The Launderette, A Last Belch for the Great Auk and The Nuns, which he also directed at the Roundhouse.
He was the voice of the King of the Dead in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. In 2011 he played Bootstrap Bill in the Pirates of the Caribbean video game, Thompson in the Tin Tin video game and Dickson in The Xenoblade Chronicles. He recently played the Queen Elizabeth Hall reading the poetry of Rumi