Leigh Lawson

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Leigh Lawson
Born (1945-07-21) 21 July 1945 (age 69)
Atherstone, Warwickshire, England
Occupation Actor, director, writer
Years active 1969 - present
Spouse(s) Twiggy (m. 1988)
Partner(s) Hayley Mills (1975 - 1984)

Allan Leigh Lawson (born 21 July 1945) is a British film and stage actor, director and writer.

Life and career[edit]

Lawson was born in Atherstone, Warwickshire. His mother was Jewish but was not practicing.[1] Trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Lawson has acted in film and television since the early 1970s, and has directed plays in the West End and on Broadway. He has worked with the National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) and with film directors such as Roman Polanski and Franco Zeffirelli. He has been quoted as saying that the only time in his career when he didn't feel he should be somewhere else doing something else was when he was with the RSC.[2] Lawson's portrayals in films include Bernardo in Brother Sun, Sister Moon (1972) and Alec d'Urberville in Tess (1979). He played the leading role as Alan Lomax in the television drama series Travelling Man (1984–85), and guest starred in television series such as The Duchess of Duke Street (1976), Disraeli (1978), Feuer und Schwert - Die Legende von Tristan und Isolde (1982), The Ray Bradbury Theatre (1988), and Silent Witness (2005–2007). He also guested, with his wife Twiggy, playing themselves in an episode of the comedy series, Absolutely Fabulous (2001).

Lawson's talents have extended to other areas. In 1999, he co-wrote and directed the musical If Love Were All, which tells of the friendship between Gertrude Lawrence and Noël Coward. The Dream: An Actor's Story, a theatrical memoir about the day-to-day life of a working actor, was published in September 2009. (ISBN 978-1-84002-867-6)

Personal life[edit]

In 1976, Lawson and his first wife, Mondy, were divorced. He met actress Hayley Mills in 1975 when they performed in London's West End in A Touch of Spring; and the following year, she bore him a son, Jason.[3] Lawson also became stepfather to Crispian Mills, Hayley's son with director Roy Boulting. During that time, he appeared alongside Hayley's father Sir John Mills in the film The Devil's Advocate (1977). The Lawson-Mills liaison ended in the early 1980s.

He met model Twiggy in 1984. In 1988, they both worked in the film Madame Sousatzka and were married on 23 September that year in Tony Walton's back yard in Sag Harbor, Long Island.[4] The couple reside in West London, where Lawson looks after his wife's business affairs and her involvement with Littlewoods catalogue.[5] Lawson and Twiggy also own a home in Southwold, Suffolk.[6]

He adopted Twiggy's daughter Carly, who took his surname.[7] Lawson has played an active role in his children's lives, including his nephew, club DJ Saul Dismont, who is the son of Lawson's sister and Bermuda politician Russell Dismont.[8]

Partial filmography[edit]

Stage appearances[edit]

  • Ivan Kaliayev, The Price of Justice, Mermaid Theatre, London, (1972).
  • A Touch of Spring, with Hayley Mills, Comedy Theatre, London's West End, (1975–78).
  • Aubrey Tanqueray, The Second Mrs. Tanqueray, Royal National Theatre (1981).
  • Louis Dubedat, The Doctor's Dilemma, Greenwich Theatre, London, 1981
  • Amnon, Yonadab, directed by Peter Hall, Royal National Theatre (1985).
  • Antonio, The Merchant of Venice in London's West End and on Broadway (1989).
  • Oberon, A Midsummer Night's Dream, produced by Adrian Noble, Royal Shakespeare Company, (1990).
  • Loveless, The Relapse, Royal Shakespeare Company, (1996).
  • Marc, Art, London's West End and UK Tour, (2002).
  • Lloyd, Noises Off, London's West End and on Broadway (2003).
  • Death and the Maiden, King's Head Theatre, London (2004).
  • Nicholas Nickleby, Chichester Festival Theatre, (2006).
  • Shoreditch Madonna, with Francesca Annis, Soho Theatre, (2006).
  • Messerschmann, Ring Round the Moon, Playhouse Theatre, London, (2008)


  • If Love Were All, (1999), opened off-Broadway at the Lucille Lortel Theater with Twiggy as Gertrude Lawrence and Harry Groener as Noël Coward, written by Sheridan Morley & Leigh Lawson, directed by Leigh Lawson.[9]
  • The Restaurant, New York
  • The Cherry Orchard, USA[10]
  • Death and the Maiden, King's Head Theatre, Islington, (2004)
  • Jack and the Beanstalk, Pantomime, Brighton Theatre Royal, (2005), starring Twiggy

External links[edit]