|Robert Flemyng OBE|
3 January 1912|
Liverpool, Lancashire, England, UK
|Died||22 May 1995
London, England, UK
Cause of death
|Alma mater||Haileybury and Imperial Service College|
|Spouse(s)||Carmen Martha Sugars (?-1994) (her death) 1 child|
Flemyng was born in Liverpool, Lancashire, the son of a doctor, and was educated at Haileybury. He began his career as a medical student before abandoning medicine to become an actor. Flemyng made his stage debut in the early 1930s, and worked steadily in both London and Broadway. His first film appearance was in 1937, but he didn't appear steadily in films until after he served in World War II. During the war he was commissioned into the Royal Army Medical Corps and served with great distinction, reaching the rank of full colonel at the age of 33. He was awarded the Military Cross in 1941, Mentioned in Despatches, and was appointed OBE in 1944.
Flemyng was married to Carmen Sugars, who died in 1994, and they had one daughter. According to Alec Guinness: The Authorised Biography, a biography of Alec Guinness by Piers Paul Read, he "[fell] in love with a younger man in [his] middle age." He could not act upon his repressed feelings because male homosexuality was illegal in the United Kingdom (until 1967) and because he was married. Therefore, "he had a nervous breakdown and then a stroke and had a really terrible time."
One memorable role was as a necrophiliac in the film The Horrible Dr. Hichcock in 1962. He ably played a sardonic British Secret Intelligence Service chief (his boss being George Sanders) in the 1966 film The Quiller Memorandum. The character actor worked in films and television until his death in 1995. Some of his later films include Kafka (1991) and Shadowlands (1993).
Flemyng died from complications of pneumonia, following a severely disabling stroke.