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|Born||John Herman Merivale
1 December 1917
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|Died||6 February 1990
London, England, UK
|Spouse(s)||Jan Sterling (1941-1948)
Dinah Sheridan (1986-1990)
|Partner(s)||Vivien Leigh (1960-1967)|
Born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, he was the son of English actor Philip Merivale, and was educated in England, at Rugby and New College, Oxford. His stepmother was the renowned English actress Gladys Cooper.
Merivale made his acting debut at age 15, playing the small role of a newsboy in James Whale's The Invisible Man (1933), while his stage career started when he was 21, as an understudy in a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, where he first met Vivien Leigh. He later worked in the production of Romeo and Juliet by Leigh and her husband, Laurence Olivier.
His career was put on hold while he served as a pilot with both the British and Canadian air forces during World War II, and he resumed his career in 1946, when he had a starring role in a successful U.S. production of Oscar Wilde's Lady Windermere's Fan.
In 1956 he made his second film appearance, in The Battle of the River Plate, and went on to have supporting roles in films such as A Night to Remember (1958), Circus of Horrors (1960), The List of Adrian Messenger (1963), in which he played the title character, who is killed thirteen minutes into the film, King Rat (1965), and Arabesque (1966).
Although he had the leading role in the Italian horror film Caltiki - il mostro immortale (1959), he tended to concentrate on theatre work, earning great notices in such productions as Venus Observed, Anne of the Thousand Days, The Reluctant Debutante and The Last of Mrs. Cheyney.
He was married to the U.S. actress Jan Sterling from 1941 until 1948, and lived with Vivien Leigh from 1958 until her death in 1967, becoming her dedicated carer  in her final years as her manic depression and prolonged illnesses grew more severe. The roles were reversed when long-time friend and actress Dinah Sheridan helped him through a kidney condition diagnosed in 1970. They were married from 1986 until his death from renal failure four years later, having stretched his life from ten to twenty years.
- John Merivale at the Internet Movie Database
- John Merivale at AllRovi
- John Merivale at Vivien-Leigh.com