Ian Hendry

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Ian Hendry
Ian Hendry Actor Live Now Pay Later 1962.jpg
Hendry's press photograph for Live Now, Pay Later (1962)
Born Ian Mackendrick Hendry
(1931-01-13)13 January 1931
Ipswich, Suffolk, England, UK
Died 24 December 1984(1984-12-24) (aged 53)
London, England, UK
Cause of death Stomach haemorrhage
Resting place Golders Green Crematorium
Residence London, England, UK
Alma mater Central School of Speech and Drama
Occupation Film, television, stage and radio actor
Years active 1955–84
Spouse(s) Phyllis J. Bell (m. 1955–62) (divorced)
Janet Munro (m. 1963–71) (divorced)
Sandra Jones (m. 1975–84) (his death)
Children 3 daughters

Ian Mackendrick Hendry (13 January 1931 – 24 December 1984) was an English film, television and stage actor. He was best known for his work on several British TV series of the 1960s and 1970s, including the lead in the first series of The Avengers and The Lotus Eaters, as well as for his roles in films such as The Hill (1965), Repulsion (1965), Get Carter (1971), and Theatre of Blood (1973).

Early years[edit]

Hendry was born in Ipswich, Suffolk on 13 January 1931. His father, James Hendry, was born in 1901 in Glasgow. James Hendry earned a degree in Chemistry from Glasgow University before moving to Ipswich in 1924 to take up a graduate position with R & W Paul Ltd. (now BOCM Pauls Ltd). Ian's mother, Enid (née Rushton), was born in Durham in 1906. Her father, George Rushton, was an artist and Head of the Ipswich Art School from 1906-29.[1]

Ian's younger brother, Donald, was born on 15 August 1933. Both Ian and his brother were educated at the Ipswich School and Culford School, Suffolk. At Culford School, Ian Hendry had a keen interest in sports, particularly boxing, cricket, running and rugby. He was also involved in amateur dramatics at Culford, helping to produce and perform in several school plays.[citation needed]


1947–53: career choices and national service[edit]

On leaving school in 1947, aged 16, Hendry initially embarked on a very different career, studying at the College of Estate Management in London. In 1948, he spent a year working for Bidwells at their Cambridge office. In 1949, Hendry began his National Service as part of the compulsory conscription in the United Kingdom, which was introduced after the end of World War II in 1945. He spent two years with the 32nd Medium Regiment, R.A. During this time, Hendry paced for Christopher Chataway in athletics and ran his own motorcycle stunt team. On completion of his National Service he returned to work in Estate Management.[citation needed]

From 1951-53, Hendry returned to work for Bidwells, but this time he was based in their Edgware office in London. During this period, Hendry re-established his interest in acting, becoming involved in Amateur theatre through a local amateur dramatics group in Edgware.[citation needed]

1953–55: Central School of Speech and Drama[edit]

By 1953, Hendry had decided that he wanted to change his career and follow his ambition of becoming an actor. In late 1952, he had applied for a place at the Central School of Speech and Drama, London, where he was accepted and trained from 1953-55. Contemporaries at the school at that time included Judi Dench[2] and Vanessa Redgrave, who were both two years below him; Wanda Ventham, his future co-star in the series The Lotus Eaters, who was in the year below; and Jeremy Brett and Wendy Craig, who were in the year above him.[citation needed]

1955–59: theatre, television and film work[edit]

His professional acting career began in 1955, working in repertory at the Hornchurch Theatre in Station Lane. He was also seen in Goldoni's Servant of Two Masters at the Edinburgh Festival. In 1957, Hendry spent another season in repertory, performing in several plays at the Oxford Playhouse, Oxford. In December 1957, Dinner With The Family transferred to the West End, playing at the New Theatre, London.[3]

As his career developed, he gained parts in films including Up in the World (1956), The Secret Place (1957) and Room at the Top (1959).

1960–69: theatre, television and film work[edit]

In 1960, Hendry had a part in Sink the Bismarck! (1960), before landing the lead role of Dr Geoffrey Brent in the crime series Police Surgeon.[4][5]

The series only ran for 12 episodes but Hendry was next cast in the very similar role of Dr David Keel in a new action-adventure series entitled The Avengers. Initially, Hendry was the star of this series, which co-starred Patrick Macnee as John Steed. However, production of the first season was curtailed by a strike and Hendry used the opportunity to depart the series and begin a film career. (The Avengers continued for the rest of the decade with Macnee as its star.)[6]

Hendry had a lead role in films such as Girl in the Headlines (1963), The Hill (1965) opposite Sean Connery, and Roman Polanski's Repulsion (1965). He starred in Gerry Anderson's film, Doppelgänger (1969), also known as Journey to the Far Side of the Sun. During the 1960s he appeared in TV series such as Armchair Theatre, Danger Man, The Saint and The Gold Robbers. He played the lead role as struck-off solicitor Alex Lambert in the TV series The Informer (1966–67).[citation needed]

1970–79: theatre, television and film work[edit]

In the early 1970s, Hendry took lead roles in several TV series such as The Adventures of Don Quick (1970) and The Lotus Eaters (1972–73). He guest starred, alongside Brian Blessed, in the first episode of The Sweeney, titled "Ringer", made in 1974 and broadcast early in 1975. He appeared regularly as a guest star in TV series such as The Persuaders!, Dial M For Murder, Churchill's People, Thriller, Van Der Valk, Supernatural, Crown Court, The Enigma Files, Bergerac and The Chinese Detective. Hendry was reunited with Patrick Macnee as a guest star on The New Avengers, although he did not reprise the role of David Keel. His previous role in the series was acknowledged, however, by Steed's parting words: "It may be seventeen years late, but welcome back Gunner."[citation needed]

He appeared in a number of films, including the Hammer entry Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter (1974). Among the more widely seen films he appeared in during this time were Get Carter (1971), for which he received a BAFTA nomination for Best Supporting Actor, Theatre of Blood (1973) opposite Vincent Price, The Passenger (1975) and Damien: Omen II (1978).[citation needed]

1980–84: television and film work[edit]

Hendry starred opposite Nyree Dawn Porter in the TV series For Maddie With Love (1980). In 1980 Hendry starred in the film McVicar based on bank robber John McVicar (played by Roger Daltrey of rock band The Who). Towards the end of his life he had a role in the crime series Jemima Shore Investigates as the eponymous heroine's literary agent. His final TV role was in the Channel Four soap opera Brookside (1984).

Personal life[edit]

Hendry's first marriage was to Phyllis J. Bell in September 1955, a make-up artist who worked for Leichner, whom he first met when he began work in repertory theatre. The marriage ended in 1962. He married actress Janet Munro on 16 February 1963. They had two daughters, Sally and Corrie, but their turbulent life together ended in divorce in 1971. Munro died a year later in London from the heart condition myocarditis. This was a contributory factor in Hendry's increasing dependence on alcohol. Hendry later married Sandra (Sandy) Jones on 27 May 1975, with whom he had another daughter, Emma.

Later years[edit]

Hendry was declared bankrupt in the late 1970s.[7] He suffered from several health problems in his latter years, largely due to his long-term problems with alcohol which impacted upon his professional and personal life.[8][9]

His last part in a film was a substantial, though uncredited, role as a corrupt policeman in McVicar. His last public appearance was as a guest on This Is Your Life which profiled former co-star Macnee, who had been a special guest when This Is Your Life featured Hendry in March 1978.[citation needed]


On Christmas Eve 1984, Hendry died of a gastrointestinal hemorrhage in London, aged 53. He was cremated and his ashes interred in the Lily Pond beds at the Golders Green Crematorium.[citation needed]



Year Title Role Notes
1955 Simon and Laura Uncredited Directed by Muriel Box


1956 Up in the World Commando Sergeant (uncredited) Directed by John Paddy Carstairs
1957 The Secret Place Man Inside (uncredited) Directed by Clive Donner


1959 Room at the Top Cyril Directed by Jack Clayton


Year Title Role Notes
1960 Sink the Bismarck! Officer on 'King George V' (uncredited) Directed by Lewis Gilbert
1960 In the Nick Ted Ross Directed by Ken Hughes
1962 Live Now, Pay Later Albert Argyle Directed by Jay Lewis

Based on the novel by Jack Trevor Story

1963 Girl in the Headlines Inspector Birkett Directed by Michael Truman
1964 This Is My Street Harry King Directed by Sidney Hayers
1964 Children of the Damned Colonel Tom Llewellyn Directed by Anton M. Leader


1964 The Beauty Jungle

(Released as Contest Girl in US)

Don Mackenzie Directed by Val Guest
1965 Repulsion Michael Directed by Roman Polanski
1965 The Hill Staff Sergeant Williams Directed by Sidney Lumet
1966 The Sandwich Man Motorcycle Policeman Directed by Robert Hartford-Davis
1967 Traitors of San Angel

(Original title: Los traidores de San Ángel)

Nick Thomas Directed by Leopoldo Torre Nilsson
1968 Cry Wolf Hobson Directed by John Davis


1969 The Southern Star Karl Directed by Sidney Hayers
1969 Doppelgänger

(Released as Journey to the Far Side of the Sun in US)

John Kane Directed by Robert Parrish


Year Title Role Notes
1970 The McKenzie Break Major Perry Directed by Lamont Johnson
1971 Get Carter Eric Paice Directed by Mike Hodges
1972 The Jerusalem File General Mayer Directed by John Flynn
1972 All Coppers Are... Sonny Wade Directed by Sidney Hayers
1972 Tales from The Crypt Carl Maitland Directed by Freddie Francis
1973 Theatre of Blood Peregrine Devlin Directed by Douglas Hickox
1973 Assassin The Assassin Directed by Peter Crane
1974 Captain Kronos - Vampire Hunter Kerro Directed by Brian Clemens
1974 The Internecine Project Alex Hellman Directed by Ken Hughes
1975 The Passenger Martin Knight Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni
1976 Intimate Games Uncle Rodney Directed by Tudor Gates
1978 Damien: Omen II Michael Morgan (uncredited) Directed by Don Taylor
1979 The Bitch Thrush Feather Directed by Gerry O'Hara


Year Title Role Notes
1980 McVicar Hitchens (uncredited) Directed by Tom Clegg

British drama film by The Who Films, Ltd., starring Roger Daltrey of The Who

Television work[edit]

Attention: Section Update In Progress


Year Title Role Notes
1956 Vic Oliver’s This is Show Business Clown
1956 Calling All Boys Mr X
1957 Emergency-Ward 10 Mr. Clarke TV Series (7 episodes)
1957-1958 Murder Bag Not known TV Series (3 episodes - Lockhart Buys A Brooch, Tx 7/7/58; Lockhart Pulls The Trigger, Tx 19/11/58; Lockhart Visits A Hospital, Tx 5/2/59)
1959 The Invisible Man Lieutenant Daniels TV Series (1 episode: Shadow Bomb)
1959 Crime Sheet Not known TV Series (1 episode: Lockhart Has It In Store, Tx 12/8/59)


Year Title Role Notes
1960 Inside Story Peter
1960 Probation Officer Christopher Stamp
1960 Police Surgeon Dr Geoffrey Brent
1960 The Ginger Man Sebastian Dangerfield
1961 The Avengers Dr David Keel
1962 Preview Tonight Angus
1962 A Suitable Case for Treatment Morgan Delt
1962-1963 Armchair Theatre David Simpson/
Richard Bligh
Afternoon of a Nymph/
A Cold Peace
1963 54 Minute Affair Harry Barnes
1965 Secret Agent (a.k.a. Danger Man) Wallace/Hagen
1965-1966 Blackmail
1966-1967 The Informer Alex Lambert
1967 The Crossfire Paul Du Pre
1968 Jackanory Narrator
1969 The Saint Alessandro Destamio
1969 The Gold Robbers Tom Goodwin


Year Title Role Notes
1970 The Adventures of Don Quick Captain Don Quick TV Series (6 episodes - The Benefits of Earth, People Isn’t Everything, The Higher the Fewer, The Love Reflector,The Quick and the Dead,Paradise Destruct)
1970-1972 ITV Playhouse See notes TV Plays ( 3 plays - Thursday’s Child (1970) as Peter Ware,The High Game (1970) as Paul Venniker, A Splinter of Ice (1972) as Tony)
1970-1972 ITV Saturday Night Theatre See notes TV Plays (3 plays - Dangerous Corner (1970) as Charles Staunton, Love Doesn’t Grow on Trees (1971) as Eric Shiffner, A Summer Story (1972) as Nico)
1971 The Persuaders! Lord Croxley TV Series ( 1 episode - The Time and the Place)
1972 Suspicion Freddo Watts TV Series (1 episode - Old Man’s Hat)
1972 Joy Ben TV Movie
1972 The Protectors Inspector Wilson TV series (1 episode - Thinkback)
1972 The Frighteners Anthony Ashworth TV series (1 episode - Bed and Breakfast)
1972-1973 The Lotus Eaters Erik Shepherd TV series (15 episodes - A Cold Wind from the North, The Present Mrs. Clive, And Hera Had a Sister, A Touch of Home, Aphrodite, A Tiger in Bristol Street, The Fascinating Couple, You Might Get Hurt Jocasta, The Climbing Wave, There and Back by Candlelight, A Kind of Treason, A Very Long Spoon, Beside a Crooked Stile, The Well Diggers, And If You Have the Time Lord)
1973 Late Night Theatre Dave TV Series (1 episode - We’re Strangers Here)
1974 Dial M for Murder Marvin Stone TV Series (1 episode - Contract)
1974 The Wide World of Mystery Terry Spelling/Bob Spelling TV Series (1 episode - A Killer with Two Faces)
1975 The Sweeney Dave Brooker TV Series (1 episode - Ringer)
1975 Churchill’s People William Davenant TV Series (1 episode - March On, Boys!)
1975 Village Hall Wally TV Series (1 episode - Battleground)
1975 Cooper Officer Bryce TV Series (1 episode - Special Guest Star)
1976 Shades of Greene The Man TV Series (1 episode - Dream of a Strange Land)
1976 Killers Mr. J.D. Cassels, KC TV Series (2 episodes - Murder at the Metropole, The Crumbles Murder)
1976 Dick Emery Russian Agent TV Series (1 episode - Special Guest Star)
1976 The New Avengers Irwin Gunner TV Series (1 episode - To Catch a Rat)
1976 ITV Sunday Night Drama Alex Flemming TV Series ( 1 episode - The Goldfinch)
1977 Supernatural Zoltan Vinzenz TV Series (2 episodes - The Werewolf Reunion, Countess Ilona)
1977 Van Der Valk Boersma TV Series (1 episode - Gold Plated Delinquents)
1978 Premiere Nifty TV Series (1 episode - Crest of a Wave)
1978 Return of the Saint Roy Gates TV Series (1 episode - Yesterday’s Hero)
1979 Crown Court Frank Edwards TV Series (3 episodes - Cowboys: Parts 1 to 3)


Year Title Role Notes
1980 The Enigma Files Joe Mackie TV Series (1 episode - Investigation Of A Copper)
1980 For Maddie With Love Malcolm Laurie TV Series (40 episodes)
1981 The Chinese Detective Eddie Dwyer TV Series (1 episode - Ice and Dust)
1981 Smuggler Agate TV Series (1 episode - An Eye For An Eye)
1981 Bergerac Major Furneaux TV Series (1 episode - Campaign for Silence)
1983 Jemima Shore Investigates Cy TV Series (3 episodes - The Damask Collection, High Style, Dr. Ziegler’s Casebook)
1984 Brookside Davey Jones TV Series (3 episodes - Etiquette, King Rat, Transport)

Theatre work[edit]


Year Title Role (s) Theatre Notes
1951 Ring Round The Moon Hugo/Frederic Edgware Amateur Dramatics Production Play by Jean Anouilh
August 1955 Reluctant Heroes Tone Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch[14] Play by Colin Morris
August 1955 Witness For The Prosecution Leonard Vole Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch[15] Play by Agatha Christie
August–September 1955 This Happy Breed Reg, Franks Child Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch[16] Play by Noël Coward
October 1955 Our Town Professor Willard Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch[17] Play by Thornton Wilder
October–November 1955 The Recruiting Officer Constable Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch[18] Play by George Farquhar
December 1956 The Adventures of Davy Crockett Not known Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch Play based on works by Davy Crockett
January 1957 Paradise Street Not known Mahatma Gandhi Hall, Studio Theatre Club Play by Antony Brown
February 1957 Frost At Midnight Dodger Oxford Playhouse, Oxford Play by André Obey
March 1957 Lysistrata Strymodoros Oxford Playhouse, Oxford Play by Aristophanes
April 1957 Figure of Fun Freddie Oxford Playhouse, Oxford Play by Andre Roussin
April 1957 The Critic and the Heart Pat Rye Oxford Playhouse, Oxford Play by Robert Bolt
May 1957 The Beaux Stratagem Francis Archer Oxford Playhouse, Oxford Play by George Farquhar
May 1957 Change In The Wind Charles Auguste Oxford Playhouse, Oxford Play by Georges Neveux
June 1957 The Man Who Came To Dinner Professor Metz Oxford Playhouse, Oxford Play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart
July 1957 Arlecchino Not known Edinburgh Festival, Edinburgh An adaptation of the play, 'The Servant of Two Masters' by Carlo Goldoni
October 1957 Dinner With The Family Jacques Oxford Playhouse, Oxford Play by Jean Anouilh
December 1957 Dinner With The Family Jacques New Theatre, London Play by Jean Anouilh
June 1959 Murder on Arrival Steve Taylor Westminster Theatre, London Play by George Batson


Year Title Role Theatre Notes
February 1960 Hedda Gabler George Tesman Oxford Playhouse, Oxford Play by Henrik Ibsen


Year Title Role Theatre Notes
March 1970 In Camera

(a.k.a. No Exit)

Joseph Garcin Oxford Playhouse, Oxford Play by Jean-Paul Sartre

Also performed under the titles of No Exit, No Way Out, Vicious Circle, Behind Closed Doors and Dead End

March 1970 The Bear Grigoriy Smirnov Oxford Playhouse, Oxford Play by Anton Chekhov
February 1976 Motive Wallace Barrows Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford, Surrey Play by Larry Cohen
March 1976 Motive Wallace Barrows Theatre Royal, Norwich Play by Larry Cohen
June–July 1977 The Owl and the Pussycat Felix Cambridge Arts Theatre, Cambridge Play by Bill Manhoff

For the film version of The Owl and the Pussycat, 1970, screenplay adaptation by Buck Henry

August 1977 The Owl and the Pussycat Felix Wolverhampton Grand Theatre Play by Bill Manhoff

For the film version of The Owl and the Pussycat, 1970, screenplay adaptation by Buck Henry

August 1978 Otherwise Engaged Simon Wolverhampton Grand Theatre Play by Simon Gray
September–October 1978 Lady Windermere's Fan Lord Windermere Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford, Surrey Play by Oscar Wilde

Radio work[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
27 September 1969 Unscheduled Stop Robin Fiske An adaptation of Derek Bond's Unscheduled Stop [19]

BBC Radio 4[20]

13 November 1971 The Third Man Harry Lime An adaptation of Graham Greene's The Third Man

BBC Radio [21]

October 1973 Desert Island Discs Himself (guest) Roy Plomley's castaway was actor Ian Hendry

BBC Radio [22]

January 1976 Five Roundabouts to Heaven Not known An adaptation of John Bingham's Five Roundabouts to Heaven for BBC Radio World Service [23]
5 February 1978 A Moon for the Misbegotten Tyrone BBC Radio 3 [24]
8 May 1978 (Repeating on 14 May 1978) A Little Bit of Heaven Gerry Mahood BBC Radio 4 [25]
24 April - 19 June 1983 The Price of Silence Maxon BBC Radio [26]

Awards and nominations[edit]


Year Nominee/work Award Result
1962 Live Now Pay Later BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles Nominated
1971 Get Carter BAFTA Film Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominated


Year Nominee/work Award Result
1966 The Informer Rediffusion Golden Star Award for Best Actor Won


  1. ^ "George Rushton - Artist (Grandfather)". Retrieved 30 March 2013. 
  2. ^ "Ian Hendry, Judi Dench - Students At Central School Of Speech And Drama". Retrieved 30 March 2013. 
  3. ^ "Ian Hendry - Other Works on IMDb". Retrieved 30 March 2013. 
  4. ^ "Ian Hendry - The Original Avenger". Retrieved 30 March 2013. 
  5. ^ "The Avengers, Keel and Steed - The Doctor and the Spy". Retrieved 30 March 2013. 
  6. ^ "The Avengers - Ian Hendry Bio". Retrieved 30 March 2013. 
  7. ^ "The Avengers - Ian Hendry profile". Retrieved 30 March 2013. 
  8. ^ "The Ten Hardest Drinking British Actors Ever". sabotagetimes.com. 4 December 2013. Retrieved 2016-10-30. 
  9. ^ Steven Russell. "Suffolk: The actor ‘who should have been a star’". Eadt.co.uk. Retrieved 14 December 2016. 
  10. ^ "Simon and Laura on IMDb". Retrieved 2013-03-30. 
  11. ^ "The Secret Place on IMDb". Retrieved 2013-03-30. 
  12. ^ "Anton Leader on IMDb". Retrieved 2013-03-30. 
  13. ^ "John Davis on IMDb". Retrieved 2013-03-30. 
  14. ^ "Reluctant Heroes (1957)". Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch. Retrieved 2013-03-30. 
  15. ^ "Witness for the Prosecution (1955)". Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch. Retrieved 2013-03-30. 
  16. ^ "This Happy Breed (1955)". Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch. Retrieved 2013-03-30. 
  17. ^ "Our Town (1955)". Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch. Retrieved 2013-03-30. 
  18. ^ "The Recruiting Officer (1955)". Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch. Retrieved 2013-03-30. 
  19. ^ "- Unscheduled Stop by Derek Bond". Retrieved 2014-06-09. 
  20. ^ "- Unscheduled Stop on BBC Radio 4". Archived from the original on 1 January 2014. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  21. ^ "Ian Hendry - The Third Man on Sutton Elms". Retrieved 2013-03-30. 
  22. ^ "Ian Hendry - Desert Island Discs on BBC Radio". Retrieved 2013-03-30. 
  23. ^ "Five Roundabouts To Heaven - 1 The Facts About Philip Bartels". Retrieved 2015-03-03. 
  24. ^ "Ian Hendry - A Moon for the Misbegotten on BBC Radio". Retrieved 2014-06-09. 
  25. ^ "A Little Bit of Heaven on BBC Radio 4". Archived from the original on 1 January 2014. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  26. ^ "The Price of Silence on BBC Radio 4". Retrieved 2014-06-09. 

Further reading - Ian Hendry Biography[edit]

Hershman, Gabriel. Send In The Clowns – The Yo Yo Life Of Ian Hendry, Lulu.com, 2013; ISBN 9781291270976

External links[edit]