15 September 1945 |
Clive Merrison (born 15 September 1945, Tenby, Wales) is a Welsh actor of film, television, stage and radio. He trained at Rose Bruford College.
He has made numerous television appearances. He appeared as Boris the White Russian commander in the series Reilly: Ace of Spies (1983) starring Sam Neill as Reilly. He has twice appeared in supporting roles in Doctor Who, in "The Tomb of the Cybermen" (1967) and "Paradise Towers" (1987). He has also appeared in Yes, Prime Minister, Kit Curran, The Labours of Erica, Bergerac, Drop the Dead Donkey, Time Riders, Pie in the Sky, The Tomorrow People, Mortimer's Law, The Bill, Midsomer Murders, Foyle's War, The Brief, and in the 2010 Peep Show Christmas special as Mark's father. He has also done voice work as a guest appearance in the children's animated series Testament: The Bible in Animation and Shakespeare: The Animated Tales.
He portrayed Antonin Artaud in the Rome and London premieres of Charles Marowitz's play, Artaud at Rodez.
Merrison was a member of Laurence Olivier's National Theatre Company in the 1970s and the Royal Shakespeare Company, at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-on-Avon.
Merrison played the onscreen father of Kate Winslet in the 1994 movie Heavenly Creatures, directed by Peter Jackson and he played the traditionalist headmaster in Alan Bennett's The History Boys, filmed in 2006. He also appeared in the 1982 Clint Eastwood vehicle Firefox, was Desmond Fairchild in An Awfully Big Adventure and played the lawyer in Saving Grace.
Sherlock Holmes on radio
From 5 November 1989 to 5 July 1998 he played the lead role of Sherlock Holmes on radio, with Michael Williams as Dr. Watson. Later, with Andrew Sachs as Watson, Merrison continued to play Holmes in the Bert Coules-scripted pastiche series The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, the first series of which was broadcast in 2002, the second in 2004, the third in 2008-9 and the fourth in 2010. He is the only actor to have played Holmes in adaptations of every single Conan Doyle short story and novel about the character.
Other radio appearances
Merrison has also appeared in other BBC radio series and plays, including Groosham Grange, Burn the Aeneid! by Martyn Wade, One Winter's Afternoon, Sunday at Sant' Agata (in which he played Giuseppe Verdi), Mr. Standfast, the 2011 adaptation of A Tale of Two Cities (in which he played the Marquis St. Evremonde), the 2006 radio adaptation of The History Boys (in which he played "The Headmaster", a role he repeated on film) and Strangers and Brothers.