|This article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2013)|
7 May 1908|
|Died||24 June 1985
West Sussex, England
|Notable work(s)||The Haunting (1963)
Casino Royale (1967)
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy radio series
Valentine Dyall (7 May 1908 – 24 June 1985) was an English character actor, the son of veteran actor Franklin Dyall. Dyall was especially popular as a voice actor, due to his very distinctive sepulchral voice, he was known for many years as "The Man in Black", narrator of the BBC Radio horror series Appointment with Fear.
In his early career, he appeared in one movie with his father, the spy thriller Yellow Canary (1943), which starred Anna Neagle and Richard Greene. His part was that of a German U-boat commander attempting to kidnap a British agent from a ship in the Atlantic, Franklin Dyall playing the ship's captain. He also played the Duke of Burgundy in Olivier's wartime film of Henry V and had a small role as a German officer in The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp. He was also the (uncredited) Stephen Lynn in the 1946 romantic drama Brief Encounter, Alec's friend whose unexpected return home spoils his opportunity of consummating his romance.
Dyall also made guest appearances in several episodes of The Goon Show, parodying his familiar radio persona, including "The Canal" where he played "The Man in Grey" (due to very cheap dry cleaners). Much later he worked in the radio version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy playing Gargravarr, and on the television and LP versions, where he played the voice of the computer Deep Thought.
He played the witch Jethrow Keane in The City of the Dead (1960), known as Horror Hotel in the United States. He appeared in Robert Wise's 1963 film The Haunting as Mr.Dudley, the sinister caretaker of the haunted Hill House.
Dyall played the central character Lord Fortnum, who turns into a bed-sitting room following a nuclear war, in Spike Milligan and John Antrobus's stage play The Bed-Sitting Room, which opened at the Mermaid Theatre on 31 January 1963. In 1975, at London's Royal Court Theatre, he played Dr. Rance in a major revival of Joe Orton's play, What the Butler Saw.
He voiced the character of evil mastermind Dr. Noah in the 1967 James Bond parody Casino Royale and appeared as Lorrimer in the BBC Miss Marple episode The Body in the Library (1984). Dyall also made regular appearances in all three seasons of the series Secret Army as Dr. Pascal Keldermans.
He co-hosted the Dusty Springfield BBC musical variety series Decidedly Dusty in 1969. The BBC wiped their archives of this and many of their 1960s musical variety programmes (allegedly in the 1970s, just before the dawn of home video) and no other video copies have surfaced, although there are bootleg-quality fan-made audio recordings that have survived.
He portrayed the Black Guardian in several Doctor Who serials (The Armageddon Factor in 1979, and the linked trilogy of Mawdryn Undead, Terminus and Enlightenment in 1983) and also voiced the major role of Captain Slarn in the Doctor Who radio serial Slipback (1985). He also played Norl in the episode "City at the Edge of the World" in the series Blake's 7. He played Lord Angus in the Witchsmeller Pursuivant episode of The Black Adder (1983). Also in 1983 he attended Doctor Who's 20th Anniversary celebrations at Longleat alongside many other cast and crew from the series.
Dyall's last role for television, first broadcast in the year of his death, was as Marcade in Love's Labour's Lost, in the BBC Television Shakespeare while his role as Slarn in the BBC Radio Doctor Who story Slipback was recorded shortly before his death and broadcast posthumously.
- Hotel Reserve (1944)
- Latin Quarter (1945)
- I Know Where I'm Going! (1945)
- Brief Encounter (1945)
- Pink String and Sealing Wax (1945)
- Night Boat to Dublin (1946)
- Woman Hater (1948)
- The Case of Charles Peace (1949)
- Man on the Run (1949)
- Salute the Toff (1952)
- Hammer the Toff (1952)
- Paul Temple Returns (1952)
- Suspended Alibi (1957)
- Identity Unknown (1960)
- The City of the Dead (1960)
- The Haunting (1963)
- Milligan, Spike, & Antrobus, John (1973) The Bedsitting Room, Tandem: London. First published in Great Britain by Margaret & Jack Hobbs, 1970. Published by Universal-Tandem, 1972. © 1970 Spike Milligan and John Antrobus
- McCann, Graham (2006). Spike & Co. London: Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 0-340-89809-7. p.158