Felix Edward Aylmer Jones
21 February 1889
|Died||2 September 1979 (aged 90)|
(m. 1915; died 1975)
Sir Felix Edward Aylmer Jones, OBE (21 February 1889 – 2 September 1979), known as Felix Aylmer, was an English stage actor who also appeared in the cinema and on television. Aylmer made appearances in films with comedians such as Will Hay and George Formby.
Felix Aylmer was born in Corsham, Wiltshire, the son of Lilian (Cookworthy) and Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Edward Aylmer Jones. He was educated at King James's Grammar School, Almondbury, near Huddersfield, where he was a boarder from 1897 to 1900, Magdalen College School, and Exeter College, Oxford, where he was a member of Oxford University Dramatic Society (OUDS). He trained under the Victorian-era actress and director Rosina Filippi before securing his first professional engagement at the London Coliseum in 1911. He appeared in the world premiere of The Farmer's Wife by Eden Phillpotts at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre in 1917. Between 1917 and 1919 he served as a junior officer in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (R.N.V.R.).
He acted with Sir Laurence Olivier in Shakespearean films, appearing as Polonius in Hamlet (1948), and often played wise old men, such as Merlin in Knights of the Round Table (1953). He played the Archbishop of Canterbury in the film adaptation of Becket (1964), with Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole and gave elocution lessons to the young Audrey Hepburn.
His memorable style of delivery—dignified and learned— was frequently mimicked by comedians such as Peter Sellers and Kenneth Williams. Indeed, as dramatist and barrister John Mortimer noted, the mannerisms Aylmer brought to bear in his roles came to be imitated in real life by judges on the bench. Williams observed that although his impersonation of Aylmer was a speciality during his days with ENSA, the Armed Forces Entertainment Association, he came to the conclusion that none of the troops knew who was being impersonated.
Aylmer was President of Equity from 1950 to 1969. He was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the 1950 King's Birthday Honours and knighted in the 1965 Queen's Birthday Honours.
At the age of 80 Felix Aylmer played a villain in an episode of Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) entitled "It's Supposed to be Thicker than Water". His last major screen role was as the Abbot in the sitcom Oh, Brother!, opposite Derek Nimmo (1968–70). He appeared as a doctor in an episode of the TV series Jason King called "If It's Got To Go, It's Got To Go" in 1972, at the age of 83. Aylmer died in a nursing home, aged 90, in Pyrford, Surrey in 1979.
He married Cecily Minnie Jane Byrne during the First World War, and they had three children.
- Dickens Incognito (1959)
- The Drood Case (1964)
Selected stage credits
- The Inca of Perusalem (1916)
- The Farmer's Wife (1917)
- The Likes of Her (1923)
- The Terror (1927)
- Badger's Green (1930)
- Spider's Web (1954)
|The Temporary Widow||Public Prosecutor|
|1932||The World, the Flesh, the Devil||Sir Henderson Trent|
|1933||The Shadow||Sir Richard Bryant|
|The Wandering Jew||Ferera|
|The Ghost Camera||Coroner|
|Home Sweet Home||Robert Wilding KC|
|1934||The Path of Glory||President of Thalia|
|The Night Club Queen||Prosecution|
|Whispering Tongues||Supt. Fulton|
|Doctor's Orders||Sir Daniel Summerfield||released as The Doctor's Secret in USA|
|My Old Dutch||Judge|
|The Iron Duke||Lord Uxbridge|
|The Divine Spark||Butler|
|Old Roses||Lord Sandelbury|
|The Ace of Spades||Lord Yardleigh|
|The Price of a Song||Graham|
|Her Last Affaire||Lord Carnforth|
|She Shall Have Music||Donald Black|
|1936||The Improper Duchess||Count Seidel|
|Rhodes of Africa||Johannesburg Diplomat||Uncredited, released as Rhodes in USA|
|Tudor Rose||Edward Seymour||released as Nine Days a Queen in USA|
|In the Soup||Counsel||Uncredited|
|Seven Sinners||Sir Charles Webber|
|As You Like It||Duke Frederick|
|Dusty Ermine||Police commissioner|
|The Man in the Mirror||The Earl of Wigan|
|Jack of All Trades||Managing director|
|The Mill on the Floss||Mr Wakem|
|1937||Action for Slander||Sir Eustace Cunninghame|
|Dreaming Lips||Sir Robert Blaker|
|The Frog||John Bennett|
|The Vicar of Bray||Earl of Brendon|
|Victoria the Great||Lord Palmerston|
|The Rat||Prosecuting Counsel|
|The Live Wire||Wilton|
|1938||South Riding||Chairman of Council|
|Just like a Woman||Sir Robert Hummel|
|Break the News||Sir George Bickory|
|Kate Plus Ten||Bishop|
|I've Got a Horse||Lovatt|
|Sixty Glorious Years||Lord Palmerston||released as Queen of Destiny in USA|
|The Citadel||Mr Boon|
|1939||Young Man's Fancy||Sir Caleb Crowther|
|Spies of the Air||Colonel Cairns|
|Girl in the News||Prosecuting counsel|
|Night Train to Munich||Dr John Fredericks|
|Charley's (Big-Hearted) Aunt||The Proctor|
|The Briggs Family||Mr Sand|
|The Case of the Frightened Lady||Dr Amersham||released as The Frightened Lady in USA|
|1941||The Ghost of St. Michael's||Dr. Winter|
|The Saint's Vacation||Leighton|
|Spellbound||Mr Morton||released as The Spell of Amy Nugent in USA|
|Once a Crook||King's counsel|
|Atlantic Ferry||bank president|
|I Thank You||Henry Potter|
|South American George||Mr Appleby|
|Hi Gang!||Lord Amersham|
|1942||The Seventh Survivor||Sir Elmer Norton|
|The Black Sheep of Whitehall||Crabtree|
|Uncensored||Colonel von Hohenstein|
|Sabotage at Sea||John Dighton|
|The Young Mr. Pitt||Lord North|
|1943||The Peterville Diamond||President|
|Thursday's Child||Mr Keith|
|The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp||The Bishop|
|Escape to Danger||Sir Alfred Horton|
|The Demi-Paradise||Mr Runalow|
|1944||Time Flies||The Professor|
|English Without Tears||Mr. Spaggot|
|Mr. Emmanuel||Mr Emmanuel|
|Henry V||Archbishop of Canterbury|
|1945||The Way to the Stars||Reverend Charles Moss|
|The Wicked Lady||Hogarth|
|Caesar and Cleopatra||First nobleman|
|1946||The Years Between||Sir Enrst Forster|
|The Magic Bow||Signor Fazzini|
|The Laughing Lady||Sir Felix Mountroyal|
|1947||The Man Within||Priest|
|Green Fingers||Daniel Booth|
|The October Man||Dr Martin|
|A Man About the House||Richard Sanctuary|
|The Ghosts of Berkeley Square||Col. H. "Bulldog" Kelsoe|
|1948||Hamlet||The Royal Court Of Denmark – Polonius,Lord Chamberlain|||
|The Calendar||Lord Forlingham|
|Quartet||Martin||(segment "The Colonel's Lady")|
|1949||Edward, My Son||Mr Hanray|
|Alice in Wonderland||Dr Liddell / The Cheshire Cat||Voice|
|Christopher Columbus||Father Perez|
|Prince of Foxes||Count Marc Antonio Verano|
|1950||Your Witness||British judge||released as Eye Witness in USA|
|So Long at the Fair||British consul|
|Trio||Bank manager||(segment "The Verger")|
|She Shall Have Murder||Mr Playfair|
|1951||No Highway||Sir Philip||Uncredited|
|The Lady with a Lamp||Lord Palmerston|
|The House in the Square||Sir William, the Physician||Uncredited, released as I'll Never forget You in USA|
|The Man Who Watched the Trains Go By||Mr. Merkemans||released as The Paris Express in USA|
|1953||The Master of Ballantrae||Lord Durrisdeer|
|Knights of the Round Table||Merlin|
|The Triangle||Brisetout||(segment "A Lodging for the Night")|
|1954||The Love Lottery||Winant|
|The Angel Who Pawned Her Harp||Joshua Webman|
|1956||Loser Takes All||The Other|
|1958||I Accuse!||Edgar Demange|
|The Two-Headed Spy||Cornaz|
|The Doctor's Dilemma||Sir Patrick Cullen|
|Separate Tables||Mr. Fowler|
|1959||The Mummy||Stephen Banning|||
|1960||Never Take Sweets from a Stranger||Clarence Olderberry Sr.|
|From the Terrace||James Duncan MacHardie|
|The Hands of Orlac||Dr Francis Cochrane|
|1962||The Road to Hong Kong||Grand Lama|
|1963||The Running Man||Parson|
|1964||Becket||Archbishop of Canterbury|
|The Chalk Garden||Judge McWhirrey|
|1966||Out of the Unknown||Mr. Bone||Episode: Walk's End|
|1968||The Champions||Old Man||Episode: The Beginning|
|Decline and Fall... of a Birdwatcher||Judge|
|Hostile Witness||Justice Osborne|
|1968-1970||Oh, Brother!||Father Anselm||19 episodes|
|1970||Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)||Joshua Crackan||Episode: It's Supposed to be Thicker than Water|
|1972||Jason King||Dr Wilstein||Episode: If It's Got to Go, It's Got to Go|
|1973||Oh, Father!||Father Anselm||Two episodes|
|1992||The Thief and the Cobbler||Narrator||Original version and recobbled cut; released posthumously|
- Nimmo, Derek (2004). "'Aylmer, Sir Felix (1889–1979)'". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/30776. Retrieved 16 November 2009. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- Hinchliffe, Gerald (1963). A history of the King James's Grammar School in Almondbury. Huddersfield: Advertiser Press. p. 234.
- "Unseen Audrey Hepburn letters up for auction". bbc.co.uk. BBC News. 14 June 2016. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
her mentor and lifelong friend Sir Felix Aylmer.
- Darlington, William A. (4 February 1979). "Sir Felix Aylmer, distinguished actor". The Daily Telegraph. London.
- Mortimer, John (24 January 2001). "Dodgy wigs, extravagant costumes, over-the-top speeches? You'd never get away with that on stage". The Guardian. p. G2–14.
- "No. 38929". The London Gazette (Supplement). 2 June 1950. pp. 2786–2786.
- "No. 43667". The London Gazette (Supplement). 4 June 1965. p. 5471.
- "No. 43720". The London Gazette. 23 July 1965. p. 7029.
- Campbell Dixon (23 April 2014). "Shakespeare: Laurence Olivier as Hamlet: original 1948 Telegraph review". telegraph.co.uk. The Telegraph. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
- Simon Heffer (21 August 2015). "The unsung greatness of George Cole". telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
- Henry Barnes (11 June 2015). "Christopher Lee: a career in clips". theguardian.com. The Guardian. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
bumbling archaeologists (Felix Aylmer...