Terence Morgan

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Terence Morgan
Born (1921-12-08)8 December 1921
Lewisham, London, England, UK
Died 25 August 2005(2005-08-25) (aged 83)
Brighton, East Sussex, England, UK

Terence Ivor Grant Morgan (8 December 1921 – 25 August 2005) was an English actor in theatre, cinema and television. He was the nephew of British character actor Verne Morgan. He played many "villain" roles in British film but is probably best remembered for his starring role in the TV historical adventure series Sir Francis Drake.

Terence Morgan was born in Lewisham, London, and started work as a shipping clerk at Lloyd's of London before winning a scholarship to RADA. After training at RADA, Morgan began as a repertory theatre actor. His career was interrupted by two years in the army in World War II before he was invalided out. In 1948 he joined the Old Vic Company alongside Laurence Olivier, and played the role of Laertes in the 1948 film of Hamlet. He was the first actor in such a role to get fan mail from teenage girls.

In his third role he played a support to Gregory Peck and Virginia Mayo in Captain Horatio Hornblower in 1951. In Mandy (1952) he played the insensitive father of a deaf girl and in Encore in 1951 he played a cad risking the life of his wife. In 1953 he again played a villain in Turn the Key Softly as a crook who gets his girlfriend a prison sentence for helping him in a burglary.

More nasty roles quickly followed with Always a Bride (1953) where he played a Treasury Investigator who turns bad as well as Forbidden Cargo in 1954 as a smuggler and Tread Softly Stranger (1958) where he is an embezzler. Two films he made in 1955 saw him cast in more positive roles—in March Hare he played an impoverished aristocrat riding a horse for the Derby, and in the espionage melodrama They Can't Hang Me he starred as a dapper Special Branch officer charged with discovering the identity of an enemy agent. One of his nastiest roles was in 1959, The Shakedown, when he played a pornographer and blackmailer. 1960 saw him as a petty thief in Piccadilly Third Stop.

Morgan's biggest screen success came when he landed the title role in the ITV series Sir Francis Drake, but parts dried up after that as he was no longer seen as "the bad guy".

He appeared in 20 films; other notable roles included the villainous brother of the mummy (Rameses VIII) in Curse of the Mummy's Tomb (1964) and the 1967 shocker The Penthouse where he is an estate agent who is forced to watch as his girlfriend is abused by thugs. The Lifetaker in 1975 has him back as the bad guy again where as a wealthy business man he plans ritualistic revenge on his wife and her lover. In 1986 he appeared in a series, King and Castle and in 1993, The Mystery of Edwin Drood. As roles dried up, Morgan bought a small hotel in Hove, Sussex, and ran that for some years before becoming a property developer.

Selected filmography[edit]

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