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Coulouris as Thatcher in Citizen Kane (1941)
|Born||George Alexander Coulouris
1 October 1903
Manchester, Lancashire, England, UK
|Died||25 April 1989
London, England, UK
|Spouse(s)||Elizabeth Donaldson (1977-1989) (his death)
Louise Franklin (1930-1976) (her death) 2 children
George Coulouris (1 October 1903 – 25 April 1989) was an English film and stage actor.
Coulouris was born in Manchester, Lancashire, England, the son of Abigail (née Redfern) and Nicholas Coulouris, a merchant of Greek origin. He was brought up both in Manchester and nearby Urmston and was educated at Manchester Grammar School. He attended London's Central School of Speech and Drama, in the company of fellow students Laurence Olivier and Peggy Ashcroft.
A major impact on his life was Orson Welles, whom he met in 1936 when they both had roles in the Broadway production of Sidney Kingsley's Ten Million Ghosts. Welles invited Coulouris to join his Mercury Theatre, and in 1937 Coulouris performed the role of Mark Antony in the company's debut production, an innovative modern-dress production of Julius Caesar.
In Citizen Kane (1941), Coulouris played Walter Parks Thatcher, a financier similar to J.P. Morgan. George Coulouris won a National Board of Review 'Best Actor' award in 1941 for his performance in Citizen Kane. Orson Welles was the only other Citizen Kane actor to win the same award.
During the 1930s and 1940s he remained a regular figure on the stage and screen, starring in his own Broadway production of Richard III in 1943. His films in this period included For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943), Between Two Worlds (1944), Mr. Skeffington (1944) and Watch on the Rhine (1943), in which he repeated the role he originated in the Broadway play of the same name. He also gave a notable performance as Robert de Baudricourt, in the Technicolor spectacular, Joan of Arc (1948), starring Ingrid Bergman. While most of his performances are strong ones, usually as a heavy or villain, occasionally he could turn his serious characterisations into humorous ones. Thatcher in Citizen Kane is fussy and pompous at times. A better (if briefer) example was in Mr. Skeffington as Dr. Byles, planning to go on a well-deserved, long-delayed holiday only to find it delayed again by a selfish, impossible Fanny Skeffington (Bette Davis).[clarification needed]
Back in Britain
Coulouris returned to Britain after 1950, and appeared in more films, theatre and television productions. His stage work was the most well regarded and included the title role in King Lear at the Glasgow Citizens' Theatre (1952); the lead (Dr. Stockmann) in An Enemy of the People (1959) at the Arts Theatre, Cambridge; Peter Flynn in Sean O'Casey's The Plough and the Stars at the Mermaid Theatre (1962); a part in August Strindberg's The Dance of Death; and Big Daddy in Tennessee Williams's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1970).
Radio roles were also numerous, and his television roles included parts in Danger Man and The Prisoner episode "Checkmate". Other notable appearances included the reoccurring role; Harcourt Brown in the ABC serials, Pathfinders to Mars and Pathfinders to Venus, which were sequels to earlier serials; Target Luna and Pathfinders in Space. Doctor Who fans would recognize him as Arbitan in the Doctor Who serial The Keys of Marinus.
Coulouris was married to Louise Franklin (1930–1976) and Elizabeth Donaldson (1977–1989) and was the father of computer scientist George Coulouris and artist Mary-Louise Coulouris.
- The Novice and the Duke (December 9, 1929–January 1930) as Friar Peter
- The Late Christopher Bean (October 31, 1932–May 1933) as Tallant
- Best Sellers (May 3–June 1933) as Julian Mosca
- Mary of Scotland (November 27, 1933–July 1934) as Lord Burghley and as Lord Erskine
- Valley Forge (December 10, 1934–January 1935) as Lieutenant Cutting
- Blind Alley (September 24, 1935–January 1936) as Dr. Anthony Shelby
- Saint Joan (March 9–May 1936) as John de Stogumber
- Ten Million Ghosts (October 23–November 1936) as Zacharey
- Julius Caesar (November 11, 1937–March 1938) as Marc Antony
- The Shoemaker's Holiday (January 1, 1938–?) as The King
- Heartbreak House (April 29–June 1938) as Boss Mangan
- Madame Capet (October 1938) as Mirabeau
- The White Steed (January 10, 1939–?) as Father Shaughnessy
- Cue for Passion (December 19–28, 1940) as John Elliott
- Watch on the Rhine (April 1, 1941–February 21, 1942) as Teck de Brancovis
- King Richard III (March 24–April 3, 1943) as Richard, Duke of Glouchester (Richard III)
- The Alchemist (May 6–16, 1948) as Subtle
- S.S. Glencairn (May 20–30, 1948) as The Donkey Man
- The Insect Comedy (June 3–12, 1948) as The Vagrant
- Beekman Place (October 7–31, 1964) as Samuel Holt
- The Condemned of Altona (February 3–March 13, 1966)
- King Richard III (March 24–April 3, 1943)
- George Coulouris Biography (1903-1989)
- "George Coulouris". 1989. Retrieved 2007-08-14.
- Collins, Glenn, "George Coulouris, 85, Is Dead; Actor Relished Villainous Roles". The New York Times, April 27, 1989
- Watch on the Rhine at the Internet Broadway Database
- George Coulouris at the Internet Broadway Database
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to George Coulouris.|
- George Coulouris at the Internet Movie Database
- George Coulouris at the TCM Movie Database
- George Coulouris at the Internet Broadway Database
- The George Coulouris Archive, material related to the actor, compiled by George Coulouris, jr.
- George Coulouris at Find a Grave
- Literature on George Coulouris