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|Nigel McGown Green|
Green in trailer for "The Ipcress File" (1965)
15 October 1924|
Pretoria, South Africa
|Died||15 May 1972
Brighton, East Sussex, England, UK
|Cause of death||accidental barbiturate overdose|
Pamela Gordon (?-1972) (his death) (1 child)
Nigel McGown Green (15 October 1924 – 15 May 1972) was a South African-born English character actor. Because of his strapping build and commanding demeanour he would often be found playing military types and men of action in such classic sixties films as Jason and the Argonauts, Zulu, Tobruk and The Ipcress File.
Early life and career
The son of a professor, Green attended King's College School, Wimbledon and the University of London followed by the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. During the Second World War, he trained as an Observer in the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm.
He appeared on stage at the Old Vic before making his first forays into British films and television in the mid-1950s.
Early film roles include Reach for the Sky (1956), The Criminal (1960), The League of Gentlemen (1960), and Beat Girl (1960). His large physique led to his being cast as Little John in the film Sword of Sherwood Forest (1960).
He had one of his most memorable roles as Hercules in Jason and the Argonauts (1963) followed by his co-starring role as Colour Sergeant Frank Bourne in Zulu (1964). He had a leading role as Nayland Smith in The Face of Fu Manchu (1965) and in the supporting role of Major Dalby in The Ipcress File (also 1965) where he played the superior of Michael Caine's secret agent Harry Palmer.
Other roles include Carl Petersen in the Bulldog Drummond movie Deadlier Than the Male (1967), Count Contini in the Matt Helm film The Wrecking Crew (1969) and "Lord Ashley's Whore" in John Huston's The Kremlin Letter (1969).
Green also appeared in a number of horror films including Corridors of Blood (1958), The Masque of the Red Death (1964), as the father of Jane Asher's character, The Skull (1965), Let's Kill Uncle (1966) and Countess Dracula (1971).
His last role was as "the Electric Messiah", a mental patient believing himself to be God, in The Ruling Class (1972).
Television appearances include The Adventures of Sir Lancelot, The Adventures of William Tell, The Other Man, Danger Man, The Power Game, The Avengers, Sherlock Holmes, Jason King, The Protectors and The Persuaders!.
Green's first wife was the actress Patricia Marmont. His second wife was the actress Pamela Gordon, with whom he had one daughter.
Green died following an overdose of sleeping pills in 1972, aged 47. It is unknown if his death was intentional. Peter O'Toole said on his commentary on The Ruling Class that he believed Green was very depressed, and that his death shortly after filming ended was a suicide, although Green's family believed it to be accidental. He was separated from Gordon at the time.
|1954||The Sea Shall Not Have Them||Met Officer Howard|
|1955||As Long as They're Happy||Peter Pember|
|1956||Reach for the Sky||Streatfield|
|1956||Find the Lady||Photographer||uncredited|
|1957||Bitter Victory||Private Wilkins|
|1958||The Gypsy and the Gentleman||Game Pup|
|1958||Corridors of Blood||Inspector Donovan|
|1959||Witness in the Dark||The Intruder|
|1960||League of Gentlemen||Kissing man in truck||uncredited|
|1960||Sword of Sherwood Forest||Little John|
|1961||Pit of Darkness||Jonathan|
|1961||The Queen's Guards||Abu Sibdar|
|1962||The Spanish Sword||Baron Breaute|
|1962||The Durant Affair||Sir Patrick|
|1963||Mystery Submarine||Chief ERA Lovejoy|
|1963||Jason and the Argonauts||Hercules|
|1963||The Man Who Finally Died||Sergeant Hirsch|
|1964||Zulu||Colour Sergeant Bourne|
|1964||Saturday Night Out||Paddy|
|1964||The Masque of the Red Death||Ludovico|
|1965||The Skull||Inspector Wilson|
|1965||The Ipcress File||Dalby|
|1965||The Face of Fu Manchu||Nayland Smith|
|1966||Let's Kill Uncle||The Uncle-Major Kevin Harrison|
|1967||Deadlier Than the Male||Carl Petersen|
|1967||The Queen's Traitor||John Hawkins|
|1967||Africa Texas Style||Karl Bekker|
|1968||Play Dirty||Colonel Masters|
|1969||The Wrecking Crew||Count Massimo Contini|
|1969||Fräulein Doktor||Colonel Mathesius|
|1970||The Kremlin Letter||The Whore|
|1971||Countess Dracula||Captain Dobi the Castle Steward|
|1972||The Ruling Class||Mckyle|
|1973||Gawain and the Green Knight||Green Knight|
|1953||Broadway Television Theatre||Prince Sirki of Vitalba Alexa|
|1956||The Adventure of Robin Hood||Prival|
|1956-57||The Adventures of Sir Launcelot||Jailer/2nd thief/farmer|
|1958-59||William Tell||Fertog (The Bear)|
|1959||The Flying Doctor||Haggerty|
|1959||World Theatre||Recruiting officer||mini series|
- Hall, Sheldon (2014). "Green, Nigel McGown (1924–1972)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/94147.
- McGillivray, D. (1988). "Now you know". Films and Filming (London) 34 (April 1988): 47. ISSN 0015-167X.
- Pettigrew, Terence. (1982). British Character Actors. Rowman & Littlefield