Don Sharp

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For other people named Don Sharp, see Don Sharp (disambiguation).
Don Sharp
Director Don Sharp.jpg
Filming The Four Feathers (1977)
Born Donald Herman Sharp
(1921-04-19)19 April 1921
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Died 14 December 2011(2011-12-14) (aged 90)
Cornwall, England
Occupation Producer, director, writer

Donald Herman "Don" Sharp (19 April 1921 – 14 December 2011) was an Australian-born British film director.

His most famous films were made for Hammer Studios in the 1960s, and included The Kiss of the Vampire (1962) and Rasputin, the Mad Monk (1965). Also in 1965 he directed The Face of Fu Manchu, based on the character created by Sax Rohmer, here played by Christopher Lee. Sharp also directed the first sequel The Brides of Fu Manchu (1966). In the 1980s he was also responsible for several hugely popular miniseries adapted from the novels of Barbara Taylor Bradford.

Biography[edit]

Sharp was born in Hobart, Tasmania, in 1921, according to official military records and his own claims, even though reference sources cite 1922 as his year of birth. He attended St Virgil's College and began appearing regularly in theatre productions at the Playhouse in Hobart.[1]

He enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force on 7 April 1941 and was transferred to Singapore. In addition to his military duties he appeared in radio and on stage but was invalided out before the city fell to the Japanese. He went on to act in Melbourne and Hobart and was discharged on 17 March 1944 at the rank of corporal.[2][3]

After the war Sharp worked as an actor on stage and radio throughout Australia and in Japan, primarily in Melbourne. He then moved to England where he produced and co-wrote a film, Ha'penny Breeze (1950). He continued to act with small roles in such films as The Planter's Wife (1952) and The Cruel Sea (1953). He also played the character Stephen "Mitch" Mitchell in the 1953 British science fiction radio series, Journey into Space, but began to turn increasingly to writing and directing.[1]

Sharp directed the first British rock 'n' roll movie, The Golden Disc (1958), released a year before the Cliff Richard vehicle Expresso Bongo (1959) and a full two years ahead of Beat Girl (1960). In Psychomania (1971), Sharp creates a visual fugue by riffing on the great themes of the counter-culture era: bikers, standing stones and ritual magic.

Among his other credits are Curse of the Fly, the spy-comedy Our Man in Marrakesh (1966), the fantasy Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon (1967) and the 1978 remake of The Thirty Nine Steps, starring Robert Powell. He made another foray into spy culture with his feature-length reprise of the gritty Cold War TV drama, Callan (1974) starring Edward Woodward.[1]

In 1975 Sharp worked on producer Harry Saltzman's abandoned pet project The Micronauts, a "shrunken man" epic to have starred Gregory Peck and Lee Remick.[4]

Sharp died on 14 December 2011, after a short spell in hospital.[1] He was survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter. Another son, Massive Attack producer Jonny Dollar, predeceased him.

He was previously married to an Australian actress, Gwenda Wilson.[5]

Filmography[edit]

As actor[edit]

As writer only[edit]

2nd Unit director[edit]

As director[edit]

Unmade Projects[edit]

Sharp was announced for the following projects which were not made:

Theatre credits[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Anthony Hayward, Don Sharp: Film director who made his mark with 'Kiss of the Vampire' from The Independent dated 29 December 2011, accessed 30 December 2011
  2. ^ "WW2 Nominal Roll". Ww2roll.gov.au. Retrieved 19 December 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "THEATRICAL WORK ON SERVICE.". The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954) (Hobart, Tas.: National Library of Australia). 30 January 1943. p. 5. Retrieved 24 March 2013. 
  4. ^ Trott, Walt (8 September 1975). "Bonds, Bugs and Ballyhoo". European Stars And Stripes. p. 19. 
  5. ^ a b ""KISS AND TELL".". Kalgoorlie Miner (WA : 1895 – 1950) (WA: National Library of Australia). 17 November 1945. p. 2. Retrieved 24 March 2013. 
  6. ^ "FILM NOTES.". The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 – 1954) (Perth, WA: National Library of Australia). 29 June 1945. p. 11. Retrieved 24 March 2013. 
  7. ^ As Old as the Windmill at BFI
  8. ^ The Changing Life at BFI
  9. ^ Keeping the Peace at BFI
  10. ^ Hunter Role for Sandra Dee Martin, Betty. Los Angeles Times (1923–Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 13 January 1967: c12.
  11. ^ MOVIE CALL SHEET: Burglar Study to Be Filmed Murphy, Mary. Los Angeles Times (1923–Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 31 July 1972: f14.
  12. ^ "Don Sharp to direct 'Philby'." Times [London, England] 30 March 1977: 12. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 16 April 2014.
  13. ^ "GLYNDEBOURNE FOR AUSTRALIA?.". The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954) (Hobart, Tas.: National Library of Australia). 13 January 1940. p. 6. Retrieved 24 March 2013. 
  14. ^ ""YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU".". The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954) (Hobart, Tas.: National Library of Australia). 29 April 1940. p. 10. Retrieved 24 March 2013. 
  15. ^ ""I KILLED THE COUNT" HAS GOOD PREMIERE.". The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954) (Hobart, Tas.: National Library of Australia). 19 August 1940. p. 5. Retrieved 24 March 2013. 
  16. ^ "Realistic Acting in Repertory Play.". The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954) (Hobart, Tas.: National Library of Australia). 24 August 1940. p. 5. Retrieved 24 March 2013. 
  17. ^ "MUSIC AND STAGE.". The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954) (Hobart, Tas.: National Library of Australia). 5 October 1940. p. 5. Retrieved 24 March 2013. 
  18. ^ "NOEL COWARD PLAYS.". The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954) (Hobart, Tas.: National Library of Australia). 14 October 1940. p. 5. Retrieved 24 March 2013. 
  19. ^ "CAST OF 35 IN "OUR TOWN".". The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954) (Hobart, Tas.: National Library of Australia). 4 March 1941. p. 5. Retrieved 24 March 2013. 
  20. ^ "SPARKLING REVUE.". The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954) (Hobart, Tas.: National Library of Australia). 7 April 1941. p. 4. Retrieved 24 March 2013. 
  21. ^ "FAMILY COMEDY.". The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954) (Hobart, Tas.: National Library of Australia). 5 May 1941. p. 4. Retrieved 24 March 2013. 
  22. ^ "ENTERTAINING PRODUCTION.". The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954) (Hobart, Tas.: National Library of Australia). 23 June 1941. p. 6. Retrieved 24 March 2013. 
  23. ^ "SILVER LINING REVUE.". The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954) (Hobart, Tas.: National Library of Australia). 28 July 1941. p. 4. Retrieved 24 March 2013. 
  24. ^ ""Interval"' Is Entertaining Play.". The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954) (Hobart, Tas.: National Library of Australia). 8 February 1943. p. 4. Retrieved 24 March 2013. 
  25. ^ ""KHAKI KAPERS".". The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954) (Hobart, Tas.: National Library of Australia). 3 April 1943. p. 4. Retrieved 24 March 2013. 
  26. ^ "KHAKI KAPERS.". The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954) (Hobart, Tas.: National Library of Australia). 9 April 1943. p. 5. Retrieved 24 March 2013. 
  27. ^ ""THE AMAZING DR CLITTERHOUSE".". The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1956) (Melbourne, Vic.: National Library of Australia). 26 December 1944. p. 5. Retrieved 24 March 2013. 
  28. ^ "Stage Stars Meet in Hospital.". The Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 – 1950) (Perth, WA: National Library of Australia). 17 November 1945. p. 12 Edition: FIRST EDITION. Retrieved 24 March 2013. 
  29. ^ "SATIRICAL COMEDY.". The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 – 1954) (Perth, WA: National Library of Australia). 30 November 1945. p. 8. Retrieved 24 March 2013. 
  30. ^ ""Dancing Years" At His Majesty's on June 29.". The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1956) (Melbourne, Vic.: National Library of Australia). 12 June 1946. p. 6. Retrieved 24 March 2013. 

External links[edit]