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16 February 1935 |
Morley, West Riding of Yorkshire, England, UK
Life and career
Bedford was born in Morley, West Riding of Yorkshire, the son of Ellen (née O'Donnell) and Arthur Bedford, a postman. Bedford attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London from 1952–1954 and was in the same class as Albert Finney, Alan Bates and Peter O'Toole.
Primarily a stage actor, he is known for his English-speaking interpretations of the French playwright Molière, including Tony Award nominated performances in Tartuffe, The Molière Comedies (a double bill of the short plays The School for Husbands and The Imaginary Cuckold) and The School for Wives, for which he received the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play. He has done a great deal of Shakespearean work, notably as Ariel in The Tempest opposite John Gielgud's Prospero in 1958, Angelo in Measure for Measure at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in 1975 and 1976, and The Public Theater's New York Shakespeare Festival Shakespeare in the Park productions of As You Like It (as Orlando), and Timon of Athens (as Timon), the latter based on a production he originated with the National Actors Theatre in 1993 and which he eventually played on Broadway.
Bedford appeared with James Garner in the 1966 film Grand Prix, and in 1967 he was a regular on the short-lived CBS television series Coronet Blue. He provided the voice of Robin Hood in the 1973 Disney film of the same name.
He repeated the role in 2010 (in a double role as both actor and director) for the Roundabout Theatre in New York, which earned him a 2011 Tony Award nomination for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play. Bedford shares a renovated home in Stratford with fellow actor Tim MacDonald.
Stratford Shakespeare Festival credits as actor
Stratford Shakespeare Festival credits as director