15 August 1945 |
Bristol, Gloucestershire, England, United Kingdom
Nigel Terry (born 15 August 1945) is an English stage and film actor probably best known by film audiences for his portrayal of King Arthur in John Boorman's Excalibur (1981). However, he has had a long career in classical theatre.
After training with repertory companies like the Oxford Meadow Players and Bristol Old Vic, Terry appeared in many productions with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Round House Theatre and the Royal Court Theatre. Among his roles was Bosola in the 1989 Royal Shakespeare Company production of John Webster's The Duchess of Malfi. The same year, he played Pericles in David Thacker's production of Pericles, Prince of Tyre.
Films and TV
In addition to Excalibur. he has appeared in approximately a dozen films, like The Lion in Winter (1968), where he appeared with Katharine Hepburn, Peter O'Toole and Anthony Hopkins, playing the teenaged upstart Prince John. He also appeared in Derek Jarman's Caravaggio (1986), where he played the title character. He appeared in Troy (2004) playing the Trojan high priest and Prince Telephus, as well as the 2006 Hallmark Channel production of Blackbeard as a marooned sailor.
His main US and British television appearances include Covington Cross, a series set in medieval times. He also appeared in Casualty as Denny, as General Cobb in the Doctor Who episode "The Doctor's Daughter" and as Gabriel Piton in Highlander: The Series. He also played Sam Jacobs in a two-part Waking the Dead episode called "Anger Management".
Born Peter Nigel Terry on 15 August 1945 to Frank Albert Terry OBE, DFC, a pilot in the Royal Air Force and Doreen Such, he was the first baby born in Bristol after the end of World War II. He is of English, Irish and Huguenot ancestry.  The family soon moved to Truro, Cornwall where his father worked as a probation officer. He attended Truro School in Truro, where he developed an interest in acting and became skilled at drawing and painting. His parents encouraged him to go on the stage and after working briefly in forestry and as a petrol pump attendant he joined the National Youth Theatre. In 1963 he enrolled at London’s Central School of Speech and Drama, working both on stage and behind the scenes. He joined the Oxford Meadow Players in 1966, working initially as assistant stage manager. After thirty years of living in London he returned to reside in Cornwall in 1993.
- Canby, Vincent (10 April 1981). "Boorman's 'Excalibur'". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
- England & Wales, Birth Index: 1916-2005 [database online]
- Supplement to The London Gazette, 31 December 1976
- Director of Publicity. Avco Embassy Pictures Corp. Press release for “Lion in Winter”
- Gedcom. Rootsweb. Sherry and Terry of London. http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?db=sjpsherter
- Films and Filming Magazine, Volume 21, Hanson Books, 1985
- Wilkes, Angela. “Terry gives more than his Pound of Flesh”, The Stage, 2 October 1986, p. 6
- Jarman, Derek. “Smiling in Slow Motion”. Great Britain: Century, 2000, pg. 285