Donald Daniel Houston
6 November 1923
|Died||13 October 1991 (aged 67)|
(m. 1949; his death 1991)
|Family||Glyn Houston (brother)|
Donald Daniel Houston (6 November 1923 – 13 October 1991) was a Welsh actor whose first two films—The Blue Lagoon (1949) with Jean Simmons, and A Run for Your Money (1949) with Alec Guinness—were highly successful. Later in his career he was cast in military roles and in comedies such as the Doctor and Carry On series.
Houston was born in Clydach Vale, near Tonypandy, Glamorgan and was the elder brother of actor Glyn Houston and a sister, Jean. His father Alex was a professional football player from Scotland, and his mother Elsie ran a milk round. After leaving school he worked at a local colliery before making his first foray into acting in 1940, when he performed on stage with the Pilgrim Players. He served in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War.
Houston had a successful career as a character actor in British film and television, with prominent parts in several well-known films, including Yangtse Incident (1957), The Longest Day (1962, in which he appeared alongside Richard Burton), 633 Squadron (1964), Where Eagles Dare (1968, again with Burton) and The Sea Wolves (1981). He would sometimes indulge his Welsh accent, and at other times conceal it behind an English public school voice. His forte tended to be authority figures, often military, such as the brilliant but tough David Caulder, the head of Moonbase 3, or Dr Francis in "Thirteen to Centaurus" (from the anthology series Out of the Unknown).
He could also handle comedy, as he proved with Doctor in the House (1954) and the later Doctor in Distress (1963), both significant successes in Europe, and Carry On Jack (1963). Though preferring quality parts, he was not above journeyman work in films such as Maniac (1963) and Tales That Witness Madness (1973).
- The Blue Lagoon (1949) as Michael Reynolds
- A Run for Your Money (1949) as Dai
- Dance Hall (1950) as Phil
- Crow Hollow (1952) as Dr. Robert Amour
- My Death Is a Mockery (1952)
- The Red Beret (1953) as Taffy
- The Large Rope (1953) as Tom Penney
- Small Town Story (1953) as Tony Warren
- Doctor in the House (1954) as Taffy Evans
- The Happiness of Three Women (1954) as John
- Devil's Point (1954) as Michael Mallard
- The Flaw (1955) as John Millway
- Doublecross (1956) as Albert Pascoe
- Find the Lady (1956) as Bill
- The Girl in the Picture (1957) as Jon Deering
- Yangtse Incident (1957) as Lt Weston RN
- The Surgeon's Knife (1957) as Dr. Alex Waring
- A Question of Adultery (1958) as Mr. Jacobus
- The Man Upstairs (1958) as Dr. Sanderson
- Room at the Top (1959) as Charles Soames
- Danger Within (1959) as Capt. Roger Byfold
- The Mark (1961) as Austin
- Twice Round the Daffodils (1962) as John Rhodes
- The 300 Spartans (1962) as Hydarnes
- The Longest Day (1962) as RAF Pilot
- Maniac (1963) as Henri
- Doctor in Distress (1963) as Maj. Tommy Ffrench
- Carry On Jack (1963) as First Officer Jonathan Howett
- 633 Squadron (1964) as Group Capt. Don Barrett
- A Study in Terror (1965) as Doctor Watson
- Gideon's Way Episode: 'Fall High, Fall Hard' (TV series 1965) - Tony Erickson (his actor brother Glyn Houston also appeared in the episode)
- The Viking Queen (1967) as Maelgan
- Where Eagles Dare (1968) as Capt. Olaf Christiansen
- The Bushbaby (1969) as John Leeds
- My Lover My Son (1970) as Robert
- Now Take My Wife (1971) as Harry Love
- Tales That Witness Madness (1973) as Sam Patterson (segment 1 "Mr. Tiger")
- Voyage of the Damned (1976) as Dr. Glauner
- The Sea Wolves (1980) as Hilliard
- Clash of the Titans (1981) as Acrisius
- Thomson, David (24 January 2010). "Jean Simmons obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
- "Donald Houston biography". IMDB. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
- "Film actor Donald Houston's Rhondda blue plaque honour". BBC News. 28 January 2010. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
- "Donald Houston Biography". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
- Pettigrew, Terence (1982). British Film Character Actors: Great Names and memorable Moments. Neton Abbot: David & Charles. pp. 95–98. ISBN 0 7153 8270 5.
- "Donald Houston". BFI. Retrieved 8 August 2016.