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7 December 1937 |
Manchester, Lancashire, England
Kenneth Colley (born 7 December 1937) is an English actor. A long-time character actor, he came to wider prominence through his role as Admiral Piett in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.
Unlike the other ill-fated officers who appeared alongside him in The Empire Strikes Back, Colley was the only actor to play an Imperial officer in more than one Star Wars film. Colley reprised his role as Piett in the Cartoon Network animated special Lego Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out in September 2012.
Colley was born in Manchester, Lancashire. He played Jesus in The Life of Brian, having also appeared in the earlier Monty Python-related production Ripping Yarns episode "The Testing of Eric Olthwaite" alongside Michael Palin. As a Shakespearean actor he played the Duke of Vienna in the BBC Television Shakespeare production of Measure for Measure in 1979.
Colley went on to play SS-Standartenführer Paul Blobel in the World War II drama War and Remembrance. His character was charged with hiding the evidence of the Holocaust, and putting dead victims through "Economic Processing".
He has directed one film to date: Greetings, a 2007 horror film starring Kirsty Cox, Henry Dunn and Ben Shockley. He also directed a short film entitled Alligator (featuring fellow Star Wars alum Richard LeParmentier) in the same year. He has also recently starred in BBC's HolbyBlue as a drunk and violent father, grandfather and father-in-law.
According to comments which Terry Gilliam (who directed him in Jabberwocky and acted with him in Life of Brian) made in the DVD audio commentaries for both films, Colley is a terrible stammerer in real life. When he had a role in a film, however, he could recite the lines perfectly. Stuttering is a character trait, however, in his role as the "Accordion Man" in the 1978 BBC television drama, Pennies from Heaven.
- The Jokers (1967) ... De Winter
- How I Won the War (1967) ... 2nd Replacement
- The Blood Beast Terror (1968) ... James
- Performance (1970) ... Tony Farrell
- The Music Lovers (1970) ... Modeste Tchaikovsky
- The Devils (1971) ... Legrand
- The Triple Echo (1972) ... Provo Corporal
- Hitler: The Last Ten Days (1973) ... Boldt
- Fall of Eagles (1974) ... Father Gapon
- Mahler (1974) ... Krenek
- Lord Peter Wimsey "The Nine Tailors" episode (1974) ... Potty Peake
- Juggernaut (1974) ... Detective Brown
- Lisztomania (1975) ... Frédéric Chopin
- Slade in Flame (1975) ... Tony Devlin
- "The Sweeney (TV series) Trap" (1975)... Noah
- Ripping Yarns "The Testing of Eric Olthwaite" episode (1977) ... Arthur
- Jabberwocky (1977) ... 1st Fanatic
- Pennies from Heaven (1978) (TV) ... 'The Accordion Man'
- Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979) ... Jesus
- Measure For Measure (1979) ... 'Duke of Vienna'
- The Empire Strikes Back (1980) ... Admiral Piett
- Peter and Paul (1981) ... Theodotus
- Giro City (1982) ... Martin
- I Remember Nelson (1982 miniseries) (TV) ... Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson
- Firefox (1982) ... Colonel Kontarsky
- The Scarlet and the Black (1983) ... Captain Hirsch
- Return of the Jedi (1983) ... Admiral Piett
- Return to Waterloo (1984) ... 'The Traveller'
- Wallenberg: A Hero's Story (1985) (TV) ... Adolf Eichmann
- Mussolini: The Untold Story (1985) (TV) ... King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy
- Return to Treasure Island (1986) (TV) ... Ben Gunn
- The Whistle Blower (1987) ...Bill Pickett
- A Summer Story (1988) ... Jim
- War and Remembrance (1988) (TV) ... SS-Standartenführer Paul Blobel
- The Rainbow (1989) ... Mr. Brunt
- I Hired a Contract Killer (1990) ... 'The Killer'
- The Plot to Kill Hitler (1990) ... Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel
- Inspector Morse (TV series), episode 16 "Second Time Around" (1991) ... DCI Patrick Dawson
- Prisoner of Honor (1991) (TV) ... Captain Alfred Dreyfus
- Unnatural Causes (1993) (TV) ... Inspector Gerry Reckless
- Moving Story (1994-5) (TV) ... Ken Uttley
- Brassed Off (1996) ... Greasley
- Shadow Run (1997) ... Larcombe
- Foyle's War (2006) (TV), episode "Bad Blood" ... Brian Jones
- Casualty 1909 (2009) (TV) ... Dr. Frederick Smith
- Lego Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out (2012) (TV) ... Admiral Piett
- Vera (TV series), Series 3, episode 3 "Young Gods" (2013) ... Ronald Devreux
- Misfits, Series 5, episode 4 (2013) ... Old Rudy
- Milton, Luke (18 September 2012). "Interview: Writer Michael Price Reveals LEGO Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out!". Fruitless Pursuits. Retrieved 2012-09-28.