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|Born||Nicholas Anthony Phillip Clay
18 September 1946
Streatham, London, England, UK
|Died||25 May 2000
London, England, UK
Nicholas Anthony Phillip Clay (18 September 1946 – 25 May 2000) was an English actor.
Clay also appeared in several West End theatre productions. He was cast in several of Laurence Olivier's Old Vic productions and during the decade came to be regarded as one of British theatre's most promising actors. Among his successes was The Misanthrope, which led Clay to the United States, where he also played this role on Broadway in 1975.
His most widely seen screen performance was as Lancelot in the 1981 film Excalibur. He also appeared as Mellors in Just Jaeckin's film version of D.H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover (1981), and Agatha Christie's Evil Under the Sun (1982), the latter reuniting him with Diana Rigg, his co-star in The Misanthrope. He also appeared as Alan in the 1976 version of The Picture of Dorian Gray alongside Peter Firth. In 1978 he played Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton in the drama series Will Shakespeare, about the life of Shakespeare.
Clay continued working regularly on stage and appeared in a number of made-for-television films and miniseries. In 1984, he played Mike Preston in the Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense episode "Child's Play".
In 1983, Clay appeared as Stapleton in a version of The Hound of the Baskervilles. Two years later, in 1985, he appeared in another Sherlock Holmes adaptation in the role of Doctor Percy Trevelyan in an episode of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes entitled The Resident Patient. He also appeared in the UK ITV series Gentlemen and Players in 1988-89.
In the last years of his life he taught drama at the Actors' Centre and the Academy of Live and Performing Arts, and also worked in association with RADA, generally in the role of promoting the organisation, or providing advice to acting students.
Personal life and death