David Farrar (actor)

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David Farrar
David Farrar.jpg
Farrar in Black Narcissus (1947)
Born (1908-08-21)21 August 1908
Forest Gate, London, England, United Kingdom United Kingdom
Died 31 August 1995(1995-08-31) (aged 87)
KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Resting place Cremains scattered into the Indian Ocean
Years active 1937-1962
Spouse(s) Irene Elliot (1929-1976) 1 child

David Farrar (21 August 1908 – 31 August 1995) was an English stage and film actor, born in Forest Gate, east London.

He gained fame in the 1940s playing Sexton Blake in a pair of low-budget thrillers which were enormously popular. By 1945 he was receiving 800 fan letters a week.[1][2]

Three of his most notable film roles were leads in the Powell and Pressburger films Black Narcissus (1947), The Small Back Room (1949) and Gone to Earth (1950). In 1949 exhibitors voted him the ninth-most popular British star.[3] Director Michael Powell once spoke of his handsome appearance and distinctive "violet eyes", and his exceptional timing in films. Powell also stated that had Farrar been more interested in cinema and cared more about his career he could have been a much more high-profile actor, as successful as any.[4] John Huston once offered him a part but it was given to Humphrey Bogart instead.[4]

He retired in 1962. After the death of his wife Irene in 1976, he moved to South Africa to be with their daughter, Barbara.

He died on 31 August 1995 in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, 10 days after his 87th birthday.



  1. ^ "FILM CABLE FROM LONDON:.". The Sunday Times (Perth: National Library of Australia). 17 March 1946. p. 13 Supplement: The Sunday Times MAGAZINE. Retrieved 11 July 2012. 
  2. ^ "Strange Story Of England's "Unknown" Top-ranker.". Townsville Daily Bulletin (Qld.: National Library of Australia). 20 November 1945. p. 4. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  3. ^ "Bob Hope Takes Lead from Bing In Popularity.". The Canberra Times (National Library of Australia). 31 December 1949. p. 2. Retrieved 24 April 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Black Narcissus (The Criterion Collection) (2001) DVD commentary

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