André van Gyseghem
|André van Gyseghem|
|Born||18 August 1906
|Died||13 October 1979 (aged 73)
André van Gyseghem (18 August 1906 – 13 October 1979) was an English actor and theatre director who also appeared in many British television programmes.
André van Gyseghem was born on 18 August 1906 in Eltham, Kent, the son of Georges Emil van Gyseghem and his wife Minnie Evison (née Offord). He went to school in Greenwich, then studied for the stage at RADA. He worked initially in a music-publishing business.
He made his stage debut at the Theatre Royal, Bognor, in September 1927, as Peveril Leyburn in The Constant Nymph, then in January 1928 toured as Lewis Dodd in the same play. From September 1928 to July 1930 he was engaged at the Hull Repertory Theatre, then under the direction of A. R. Whatmore, playing a round of leading juvenile parts.
Return to London
At the Arts Theatre in July 1930 he played Vitek in The Macropulos Secret. He then joined the repertory company at the Embassy Theatre, and remained there from September 1930 until October 1934. He continued to take parts in plays, such as Florindo in The Liar and Master Klaus in The Witch, but also began his long career as director, starting with the Agatha Christie play Black Coffee in December 1930. Other subsequent productions which he directed at the Embassy included:
- Miracle at Verdun by Hans Chlumberg, September 1932
- The Glass Wall (premiere), by E. M. Delafield, February 1933
- All God's Chillun Got Wings, March 1933, with Paul Robeson and Flora Robson
- The Brontes of Haworth Parsonage, November 1933
- Windfall by R. C. Sherriff, February 1934
- Stevedore, May 1935, with Paul Robeson and Robert Adams
Between 1933 and 1935 he made several trips to the Soviet Union, including a year's work at Nikolay Okhlopkov's Realistic Theatre in Moscow. He attributed much of his own acting expertise to the education he received there. He became a member of the Communist Party and president of the Unity Theatre's “Management Committee”.
In 1939 he appeared as himself in a television play Rehearsal for a Drama. In 1943 played Cecil Tempest in the film Candles at Nine, and in 1949 Oblensky in Warning to Wantons. In 1953 he played himself again in The Limping Man. Between 1951 and his death in 1979 he appeared in over 50 British television dramas. These included The March of the Peasants (1962), as Sir Martin Shandwick.
He was one of several Number Twos in the 1960s cult classic television series The Prisoner. He played the retiring Number Two in the episode "It's Your Funeral". Van Gyseghem also appeared in an episode of The Saint in 1968 with Roger Moore.
- Candles at Nine (1944)
- Warning to Wantons (1949)
- The Limping Man (1953)
- Face in the Night (1957)
- The Surgeon's Knife (1957)
- The House of the Seven Hawks (1959)
- Rotten to the Core (1965)
- Cromwell (1970)
- The Pied Piper (1972)
- Prince Regent (1979)
- André van Gyseghem (1943). Theatre In Soviet Russia. London: Faber and Faber Ltd.
- Who's Who in the Theatre: Van Gyseghem, André
- Sheila Tully Boyle & Andrew Bunie (2001). Paul Robeson: the years of promise and achievement. Sheridan Books Inc.
- Reiner Lehberger, Das sozialistische Theater in England 1934 bis zum Ausbruch des Zweiten Weltkriegs. Frankfurt 1977, p. 97
- André van Gyseghem at the Internet Movie Database