Coulouris as Thatcher in Citizen Kane (1941)
George Alexander Coulouris
1 October 1903
|Died||25 April 1989 (aged 85)|
|Spouse(s)||Elizabeth Donaldson (1977–1989) (his death)|
Louise Franklin (1930–1976) (her death) 2 children
Mary Louise Coulouris
George Coulouris (1 October 1903 – 25 April 1989) was an English film and stage actor.
Coulouris was born in Manchester, Lancashire, England, the son of Abigail (née Redfern) and Nicholas Coulouris, a merchant of Greek origin. He was brought up both in Manchester and nearby Urmston and was educated at Manchester Grammar School. He attended London's Central School of Speech and Drama, in the company of fellow students Laurence Olivier and Peggy Ashcroft.
A major impact on his life was Orson Welles, whom he met in 1936 when they both had roles in the Broadway production of Sidney Kingsley's Ten Million Ghosts. Welles invited Coulouris to become a charter member of his Mercury Theatre, and in 1937 Coulouris performed the role of Mark Antony in the company's debut production, Caesar, an innovative modern-dress production of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.
In 1938, he appeared in the Mercury stage productions of The Shoemaker's Holiday and Heartbreak House, and became part of the repertory company that presented CBS Radio's The Mercury Theatre on the Air and its sponsored continuation, The Campbell Playhouse (1938–40). Also for CBS, in 1944 he starred in the radio series Suspense, in the episode "Portrait without a Face".
In Citizen Kane (1941), Coulouris played Walter Parks Thatcher, a financier similar to J. P. Morgan. Coulouris and Welles each received a 1941 National Board of Review Award for their performances.
During the 1930s and 1940s, Coulouris remained a regular figure on the stage and screen, starring in his own Broadway production of Richard III in 1943. His films in this period included For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943), Between Two Worlds (1944), Mr. Skeffington (1944) and Watch on the Rhine (1943), in which he repeated the role he originated in the Broadway production. He also performed as Robert de Baudricourt in Joan of Arc (1948), starring Ingrid Bergman. While most of his performances are strong ones, usually as a heavy or villain, occasionally he could turn his serious characterizations into humorous ones. Thatcher in Citizen Kane is fussy and pompous at times. A better (if briefer) example was in Mr. Skeffington as Dr. Byles, planning to go on a well-deserved, long-delayed holiday only to find it delayed again by a selfish, impossible Fanny Skeffington (Bette Davis).[clarification needed]
Back in Britain
Coulouris returned to Britain after 1950, living first in Putney and later in Hampstead. He appeared in more films, theatre and television productions. His stage work was the most well regarded and included the title role in King Lear at the Glasgow Citizens' Theatre (1952); the lead (Dr. Stockmann) in An Enemy of the People (1959) at the Arts Theatre, Cambridge; Peter Flynn in Seán O'Casey's The Plough and the Stars at the Mermaid Theatre (1962); a part in August Strindberg's The Dance of Death; and Big Daddy in Tennessee Williams's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1970).
Later film roles included parts in The Heart of the Matter (1953), Doctor in the House (1954), Papillon (1973), Mahler and Murder on the Orient Express (both 1974). He had rare leading roles in the British horror movies The Man Without a Body (1957) and The Woman Eater (1958).
He played in over 80 films, but radio roles were also numerous, and his television roles included parts in Danger Man and The Prisoner ("Checkmate", 1967). Other notable appearances included the recurring role of science writer Harcourt Brown in the ABC serials, Pathfinders to Mars and Pathfinders to Venus, which were sequels to earlier serials; Target Luna and Pathfinders in Space. He appeared as Arbitan in the Doctor Who serial The Keys of Marinus (1964).
Death and legacy
George Coulouris's Broadway credits are listed at the Internet Broadway Database.
- The Novice and the Duke (9 December 1929 – January 1930) as Friar Peter
- The Late Christopher Bean (31 October 1932 – May 1933) as Tallant
- Best Sellers (3 May – June 1933) as Julian Mosca
- Mary of Scotland (27 November 1933 – July 1934) as Lord Burghley and as Lord Erskine
- Valley Forge (10 December 1934 – January 1935) as Lieutenant Cutting
- Blind Alley (24 September 1935 – January 1936) as Dr. Anthony Shelby
- Saint Joan (9 March – May 1936) as John de Stogumber
- Ten Million Ghosts (23 October – November 1936) as Zacharey
- Caesar (11 November 1937 – March 1938) as Marc Antony
- The Shoemaker's Holiday (1 January – 28 April 1938) as The King:340–341
- Heartbreak House (29 April – 11 June 1938) as Boss Mangan:342
- Madame Capet (October 1938) as Mirabeau
- The White Steed (10 January 1939 –?) as Father Shaughnessy
- Cue for Passion (19–28 December 1940) as John Elliott
- Watch on the Rhine (1 April 1941 – 21 February 1942) as Teck de Brancovis
- King Richard III (24 March – 3 April 1943) as Richard, Duke of Glouchester (Richard III)
- The Master Race (1944) American drama as Von Beck
- The Alchemist (6–16 May 1948) as Subtle
- S.S. Glencairn (20–30 May 1948) as The Donkey Man
- The Insect Comedy (3–12 June 1948) as The Vagrant
- Beekman Place (7–31 October 1964) as Samuel Holt
- The Condemned of Altona (3 February – 13 March 1966)
- King Richard III (24 March – 3 April 1943)
- Christopher Bean (1933) as Tallent
- All This, and Heaven Too (1940) as Charpentier
- The Lady in Question (1940) as Defense Attorney
- Citizen Kane (1941) as Walter Parks Thatcher
- Assignment in Brittany (1943) as Captain Hans Holz
- This Land Is Mine (1943) as Prosecutor
- For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943) as André Massart (uncredited)
- Watch on the Rhine (1943) as Teck de Brancovis
- Between Two Worlds (1944) as Mr. Lingley
- Mr. Skeffington (1944) as Doctor Byles
- The Master Race (1944) as Von Beck
- None But the Lonely Heart (1944) as Jim Mordinoy
- A Song to Remember (1945) as Louis Pleyel
- Hotel Berlin (1945) as Joachim Helm
- Lady on a Train (1945) as Mr. Saunders
- Confidential Agent (1945) as Captain Currie
- Nobody Lives Forever (1946) as Doc Ganson
- The Verdict (1946) as Supt. John R. Buckley
- California (1947) as Capt. Pharaoh Coffin
- Mr. District Attorney (1947) as James Randolph
- Where There's Life (1947) as Prime Minister Krivoc
- Sleep, My Love (1948) as Charles Vernay
- Beyond Glory (1948) as Lew Proctor
- A Southern Yankee (1948) as Maj. Jack Drumman aka The Grey Spider
- Joan of Arc (1948) as Sir Robert de Baudricourt - governor of Vaucouleurs
- Appointment with Venus (1951) as Capt. Weiss
- Outcast of the Islands (1951) as Chief of Police Spadoni
- Venetian Bird (1952) as Babalatchi
- The Dog and the Diamonds (1953) as Forbes
- The Heart of the Matter (1953) as Portuguese Captain
- A Day to Remember (1953) as Foreign Legion Captain.
- The Runaway Bus (1954) as Edward Schroeder
- Doctor in the House (1954) as Briggs
- Duel in the Jungle (1954) as Capt. Malburn
- The Teckman Mystery (1954) as Garvin
- Mask of Dust (1954) as 'Pic' Dallapiccola
- Doctor at Sea (1955) as 'Chippie' the Carpenter
- Private's Progress (1956) as Padre
- The Big Money (1956) as The Colonel
- Doctor at Large (1957) as Pascoe
- Tarzan and the Lost Safari (1957) as Carl Kraski
- The Man Without a Body (1957) as Karl Brussard
- Kill Me Tomorrow (1957) as Heinz Webber
- Seven Thunders (1957) as Paul Bourdin
- I Accuse! (1958) as Colonel Sandherr
- The Woman Eater (1958) as Doctor Moran
- No Time to Die (1958) as Camp Commandant
- Law and Disorder (1958) as 'Bennie' Bensuson
- Spy in the Sky! (1958) as Col. Benedict
- The Son of Robin Hood (1958) as Alan A Dale
- Bluebeard's Ten Honeymoons (1960) as Lacoste
- Conspiracy of Hearts (1960) as Petrelli
- The Boy Who Stole a Million (1960) as Bank manager
- Surprise Package (1960) as Dr. Hugo Panzer
- Fury at Smugglers' Bay (1961) as François Lejeune
- King of Kings (1961) as Camel Driver
- Come Fly with Me (1963) as Vienna Police Inspector (uncredited)
- In the Cool of the Day (1963) (scenes deleted)
- The Crooked Road (1965) as Carlo
- The Skull (1965) as Dr. Londe
- Scruggs (1965)
- Arabesque (1966) as Ragheeb
- Too Many Thieves (1967) as Andrew
- The Other People (1968) as Police Inspector (lost film rediscovered in Paramount Archive in 2017)
- The Assassination Bureau (1969) as Swiss Peasant
- Land Raiders (1970) as Cardenas
- No Blade of Grass (1970) as Mr. Sturdevant
- Blood from the Mummy's Tomb (1971) as Professor Berrigan
- A Clockwork Orange (1971) as Professor (uncredited)
- Tower of Evil (1972) as John Gurney
- The Final Programme (1973) as Dr. Powys
- Papillon (1973) as Dr. Chatal
- Mahler (1974) as Doctor Roth
- Percy's Progress (1974) as Prof. Godowski
- Murder on the Orient Express (1974) as Doctor Constantine
- The Antichrist (1974) as Father Mittner
- Shout at the Devil (1976) as El Keb
- The Ritz (1976) as Old Man Vespucci
This article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2013) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
- George Coulouris Biography (1903-1989)
- "George Coulouris". 1989. Retrieved 14 August 2007.
- Collins, Glenn, "George Coulouris, 85, Is Dead; Actor Relished Villainous Roles". The New York Times, 27 April 1989
- George Cououris, Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved 12013-12-28.
- Blackstone Audio 'Suspense' Vol. 2 issued 2015
- "Ten Best 1941". National Board of Review Magazine. Vol. XVII no. 1. National Board of Review. January 1942. p. 6. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
- Watch on the Rhine at the Internet Broadway Database
- Dunning, John. (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-507678-3. P. 123.
- Phil Davison,Mary Louise Coulouris obituary, heraldscotland.com, 17 February 2012.
- McCarthy, Todd (6 September 2008). "Film Review: Me and Orson Welles". Variety. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
- George Coulouris at the Internet Broadway Database
- Welles, Orson; Bogdanovich, Peter; Rosenbaum, Jonathan (1992). This is Orson Welles. New York: HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN 0-06-016616-9.
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