Keith Baxter (actor)

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Keith Baxter
Paul Rogers and Baxter (right) in the Broadway production of Sleuth (1971)
Keith Stanley Baxter-Wright

(1933-04-29)29 April 1933
Died24 September 2023(2023-09-24) (aged 90)
Years active1957–2023
SpouseBrian Holden

Keith Stanley Baxter-Wright (29 April 1933 – 24 September 2023) was a Welsh theatre, film and television actor and director.

Early years and RADA[edit]

Keith Stanley Baxter-Wright was born in Newport, Monmouthshire, on 29 April 1933. He was the son of Stanley Baxter-Wright, a Merchant Navy sea captain, and Emily Baxter (née Howell).[1] They lived for a time in Romilly Road, Barry, Glamorgan. He was educated at Newport High School and Barry Grammar School. His early introduction to the stage was from his interest in making model theatres and stage scenery. He studied at London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, during which period he shared a flat with a classmate, Alan Bates. He made his film debut in the 1957 remake of The Barretts of Wimpole Street and appeared uncredited as a detective in the British horror classic Peeping Tom (1960).


In 1960, Orson Welles selected Baxter to portray Prince Hal in his stage production Chimes at Midnight, which combined portions of the Shakespearean plays Henry IV, Part I, Henry IV, Part II, Henry V, Richard II, and The Merry Wives of Windsor and brought the comic figure of Falstaff to the forefront of a primarily tragic tale. Baxter repeated his performance in the 1965 film version. Additional film credits include Ash Wednesday (1973; with Elizabeth Taylor), Golden Rendezvous (1977), and Killing Time (1998).


In 1961, Baxter made his Broadway debut as King Henry VIII in A Man for All Seasons. Other New York City stage credits include The Affair (1962), Avanti! (1968), Sleuth (1970), Romantic Comedy (1980) and The Woman in Black (2001).

Other selected theatrical appearances[edit]


Baxter regularly directed shows at Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington D.C., including:[2]


Baxter was signed for the role of Octavian "Augustus" Caesar opposite Elizabeth Taylor's Cleopatra in the 1963 film of Cleopatra. Taylor's bout of pneumonia, soon after filming began, temporarily shut down filming. By the time she recovered, Baxter had other commitments and Roddy McDowall assumed the role. Baxter co-starred with Taylor in the film Ash Wednesday (1973). He also later played Mark Antony opposite Maggie Smith's Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra at the Stratford Festival in Canada in 1976.[6]

Television work[edit]

Baxter's television work included appearances in Gideon's Way, The Avengers, Hawaii Five-O, Thriller (1976) and the 1998 mini-series Merlin.

Other work[edit]

Baxter was the author of My Sentiments Exactly, memoirs.[7] He has written several plays including 56 Duncan Terrace, Cavell and Barnaby and the Old Boys.

In 1971, he recorded an LP of several of the short stories of Saki for Caedmon Records under the title Reginald on House-Parties, and Other Stories.[8]

Baxter was an associate member of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

Personal life and death[edit]

Keith Baxter died from a heart attack while swimming on holiday in Corsica, on 24 September 2023. He was 90, and was survived by his husband, Brian Holden.[1]

Theatre awards[edit]



Year Title Role Notes
1956 She Stoops to Conquer Thomas TV film
1957 The Barretts of Wimpole Street Charles Barrett
1958 Incident at Echo Six Duty officer TV film
1960 Peeping Tom Detective Baxter Uncredited
1963 Where Angels Fear to Tread Gino Carella TV film
1965 Hold My Hand, Soldier The Private TV film
Chimes at Midnight Prince Hal
1970 With Love in Mind Tony Preston
1973 Ash Wednesday David
1974 The Regent's Wife Don Fermín de Pas
1977 Golden Rendezvous Preston
1988 Berlín Blues Professor Huessler
1998 Killing Time Reilly Bodyguard #3


Year Title Role Notes
1957 ITV Television Playhouse Vivian Brent Episode: "Six Stayed the Night"
1958 ITV Play of the Week Ben Kent Episode: "The Troublemakers"
Desmond O'Malley Episode: "The Young May Moon"
Hector Malone Episode: "Man and Superman"
1959 Stacey Crispin Episode: "A Dead Secret"
Broadcaster Episode: "Sweet Poison"
ITV Television Playhouse Police Constable Peterson Episode: "The Extra Grave"
1960 Tom Belton Episode: "After the Party"
ITV Play of the Week Adrian Episode: "Square Dance"
1963 BBC Sunday-Night Play Viazemsky Episode: "The Reward of Silence"
Nicholas Episode: "For Tea on Sunday"
The Sentimental Agent Yanni Episode: "Not Quite Fully Covered"
1964 The Hidden Truth Yanni Episode: "One for the Road"
Gideon's Way Geoffrey Miles Episode: "The 'V' Men"
1965 Armchair Theatre Harry Episode: "I've Got a System"
Public Eye Paul Garston Episode: "Nobody Kills Santa Claus"
ITV Sunday Night Drama Drango Episode: "Suspense Hour: Curtains for Sheila"
1968 Love Story David Episode: "The Vast Horizons of the Mind"
BBC Play of the Month Dunois Episode: "St. Joan"
1969 Thirty-Minute Theatre Jim Garden Episode: "Stake Money"
The Avengers Dunbar Episode: "Homicide and Old Lace"
1973 Orson Welles Great Mysteries Philip Faulkner Episode: "Farewell to the Faulkners"
1974 Dial M for Murder Paul Duras Episode: "The Vineyard"
1976 Thriller Tony Risanti Episode: "Nightmare for a Nightingale"
1978 Will Shakespeare Earl of Essex Episode: "Rebellion's Masterpiece"
Hawaii Five-O Reverend Andy Episode: "The Miracle Man"
1992 Performance Actor Episode: "Six Characters in Search of an Author"
1998 Merlin Sir Hector Miniseries


  1. ^ a b "Keith Baxter, much-loved actor and theatre man who played Prince Hal to Orson Welles's Falstaff – obituary". The Telegraph. 13 October 2023. Retrieved 13 October 2023.
  2. ^ "Complete Listing of Past Seasons at the Shakespeare Theatre Company". Shakespeare Theatre Company. Archived from the original on 25 May 2011. Retrieved 18 February 2011.
  3. ^ "Keith Baxter Directs Dixie Carter, Tessa Auberjonois in D.C. Shakespeare Theatre's Lady Windermere's Fan June 7". Playbill. Archived from the original on 19 October 2012. Retrieved 20 January 2011.
  4. ^ Marks, Peter (16 June 2010). "'Mrs. Warren's Profession' is alluring in Shakespeare Theatre Company production". The Washington Post. Retrieved 25 February 2013.
  5. ^ Marks, Peter (16 March 2011). "Theater review: Shakespeare Theatre Company's 'An Ideal Husband'". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 16 December 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2013.
  6. ^ "Keith Baxter acting credits". Stratford Festival Archives. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  7. ^ "My Sentiments Exactly (Hardback)". Oberon Books. Oberon Books. Archived from the original on 4 October 2015. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
  8. ^ "Reginald on house-parties, and other stories". SearchWorks. Stanford University Libraries. Retrieved 13 August 2015.[permanent dead link]

External links[edit]