||This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (March 2013)|
Porter in The Pumpkin Eater
8 April 1928|
Shepherd's Bush, London, England, UK
|Died||15 May 1995
London, England, UK
Eric Richard Porter (8 April 1928 – 15 May 1995) was an English actor of stage, film and television.
Porter was born in Shepherd's Bush, London, to Richard John Porter and Phoebe Elizabeth Spall. He was educated at Wimbledon Technical College before making his stage debut in Cambridge in 1945 at the age of 17.
In 1955, he played the title role in Ben Jonson's Volpone at the Bristol Old Vic. In 1960 he joined the Royal Shakespeare Company; that year, he played Ferdinand in John Webster's The Duchess of Malfi. In 1962, he performed as Iachimo in Cymbeline. Other roles included Ulysses, Macbeth, Leontes, Malvolio, Shylock, King Lear and Henry IV, as well as Barabas in Marlowe's Jew of Malta.
He played Count Bronowsky in The Jewel in the Crown; he was also seen as Fagin in the 1985 BBC version of Oliver Twist; as Thomas Danforth in the 1980 BBC production of The Crucible; and as Professor Moriarty opposite Jeremy Brett's Sherlock Holmes in Granada Television's The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes stories The Red-Headed League and The Final Problem (both 1985). He also played Polonius in a 1980 television production of Hamlet, made as part of the BBC Shakespeare series, and starring Derek Jacobi in the title role.
Porter continued to act on stage, winning the London Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Actor in 1988 for his role in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. His last on-screen role was as painter James Player in the remake of Message for Posterity (1994), a television play by Dennis Potter.
- The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964)
- The Pumpkin Eater (1964)
- The Heroes of Telemark (1965)
- Kaleidoscope (1966)
- The Forsyte Saga (1967)
- The Lost Continent (1968)
- Hands of the Ripper (1971)
- Nicholas and Alexandra (1971)
- The Belstone Fox (1972)
- Antony and Cleopatra (1972)
- Hitler: The Last Ten Days (1973)
- The Day of the Jackal (1973)
- Callan (1974)
- Anna Karenina (1977)
- The Thirty Nine Steps (1978)
- Little Lord Fauntleroy (1980)
- The Crucible (TV, 1980)
- Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years (TV, 1981)
- The Jewel in the Crown (TV, 1984)
- The Red-Headed League (Sherlock Holmes episode) (TV, 1985)
- The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: "The Final Problem" (TV, 1985)
Porter died of colon cancer in London in 1995, aged 67.
- Michael Billington, "Porter, Eric Richard (1928–1995)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004