Jump to content

Stephen Greif

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Stephen Greif
Stephen John Greif

(1944-08-26)26 August 1944
Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire, England
Died23 December 2022(2022-12-23) (aged 78)
Years active1968–2022
Known for
Judith Price
(m. 1980, divorced)

Stephen John Greif (/ɡrf/; 26 August 1944 – 23 December 2022) was an English actor known for his roles as Travis in Blake's 7, Harry Fenning in three series of Citizen Smith, Signor Donato in Casanova and Commander John Shepherd in Shoot on Sight.

Early life[edit]

Greif was born in Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire, England, in a building originally belonging to Anne Boleyn as a gift from King Henry VIII. Greif was the son of Pauline (née Rubinstein) and Franz Greif. He was of Polish, Russian and Hungarian Jewish descent.[1] He was educated at Sloane Grammar School, where he was school champion in athletics and swimming, and represented the school and the county in athletics at the White City Stadium amongst other venues. He briefly attended the Regent Street Polytechnic before entering a variety of jobs, including troubleshooter at a TV and radiogram manufacturer and as a negotiator in a boutique West End estate agency, before applying for drama school.


Drawing of Greif (left) as Travis in Blake's 7

Greif was an honours graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, where he won numerous awards including Best Actor and Most Promising Actor, and was an Associate Member and served on the audition panel. He was a member of the National Theatre Company both at the Old Vic in Laurence Olivier's company and on the South Bank for Peter Hall's company. Among the productions he appeared in were Danton's Death, A Woman Killed with Kindness, The Merchant of Venice (with Olivier), Long Day's Journey into Night (again with Olivier), The School for Scandal, Richard II, The Front Page and Macbeth.

Greif was invited back to appear with them at Queen's Theatre in the West End in the Italian comedy Saturday, Sunday, Monday, directed by Franco Zeffirelli and Laurence Olivier, where he won a Best Actor nomination in the Critics' Circle Theatre Award. Later, he was invited to join the National again on the South Bank under Peter Hall in the revival of Death of a Salesman, directed by Michael Rudman and with Warren Mitchell winning himself another Best Actor nomination in the Olivier Awards. Grief was back again at the invitation of Nicholas Hytner to join his inaugural season appearing in His Girl Friday, Edmund and the Christmas production His Dark Materials. He acted alongside Elaine Stritch in The Gingerbread Lady, Denholm Elliott in The Paranormalist, Frank Langella in Abracadaver, Albert Finney in Ronald Harwood's Reflected Glory, Felicity Kendal and Frances de la Tour in Fallen Angels, Joseph Fiennes in George Dillon and Lesley Manville in Six Degrees of Separation. He appeared in three plays by his friend Bernard Kops, an East End playwright and poet, at the Jewish Museum, the JW3 and the National Portrait Gallery to celebrate the author's 85th and 90th birthdays.

From 2016 to 2018, together with Fenella Fielding, Greif appeared at Crazy Coqs at Zedel's Brasserie on multiple occasions, and various other venues in David Stuttard's adaptation of drama and comedy from famous ancient Greek literature called Tears, Treachery..and Just a little Murder produced by Simon McKay. The production was revived in 2020/21, with Dame Sian Phillips replacing Fielding, and retitled Savage Beauty, playing again at Crazy Coqs with further shows to come, this time entitled Lovers, Traitors...and bloody Greeks.

Greif appears in many films including Gerry, Risen, Woman in Gold, Bill, D is for Detroit, Lasse Hallström's Casanova, Shoot on Sight, Eichmann, Spartan, The Upside of Anger, Boogie Woogie and Fakers. His many television appearances include Only When I Laugh, Thriller (1 episode, 1976), Howard's Way, Spooks, Mistresses, He Kills Coppers, Silent Witness, the last story of Waking the Dead, The Crown, The Alienist: Angel of Darkness, Doctors and New Tricks.

Greif reprised his Blake's 7 role of Travis from season 1 of the TV series in eleven new audio stories for Big Finish Productions. He voiced Raymond Maarloeve in the video game The Witcher. He voiced and was nominated for best narrator for Sony's PlayStation Video game Puppeteer in addition to many more games and cartoon series including Elliott from Earth for the Cartoon Network.

Greif won the BBC audio books of America award for narrating The Boy with the Magic Numbers by Sally Gardner. He also narrated various documentaries on Channel 5, and in 2021 contributed to and participated in the documentary tribute Alfred Burke is Frank Marker.

Personal life and death[edit]

Greif enjoyed golf, and was a member and past President of the Stage Golfing Society. He married in 1980; the marriage produced twin sons in 1982. He resided near Richmond in London.

Greif died on 23 December 2022, aged 78.[2][3][4][5][6][7]


Film and television[edit]

Dates Title Roles
TV The Crown Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Bernard Weatherill
TV Angel of Darkness Judge
F Gerry Royston
TV Doctors Ian Tilworth
F Risen Caiaphus
F Woman in Gold Bergen
TV D is for Detroit Greg
TV New Tricks Peter Russell
VG Puppeteer Narrator
TV Coronation Street Ron Dent
TV Silent Witness Gordon Cairns
TV Waking The Dead Bill Knight
VG Xenoblade Chronicles Zanza/Arglas
VG Venetica Various
F Boogie Woogie Bob's Lawyer
VG Anno 1404 Lord Richard Northburgh
TV Mistresses Alexander
TV The Cold Way Narrator
TV Spooks Claude Denizet
VG Fable II Barnum
TV He Kills Coppers The Proprietor
VG Momento Mori Various
F Shoot on Sight Commander John Shepherd
VG The Witcher Raymond Maarloeve
F Eichmann Hans Lipmann
VG Doragon Sir Dick Worthington
TV Doctor Who Gurney
TV Back in Business Leonidov
VG Medieval II Total War Various
F Sixty Six Uncle Henry
TV Judge John Deed Lorne Michaels
TV Space Race Colonel Toftoy/Toftoy
TV Holby City Rabbi Ben Silver
F Casanova Donato
F The Upside of Anger Emily's Doctor
VG Dragon Quest: Cursed King Voices/Additional Voices
F Fakers Alfonse Potrelli
F Spartan Business Man
TV Shackleton Valiente
VG Medieval: Total War General Kihoto
TV The Bill A.C. Lampriere / Neville Juke
TV Killer Net Harvey Levin
TV Crime Traveller Leonard Gebler
TV EastEnders Brian Lassiter
TV Castles Adam Robins
TV Space Precinct Eric Volker
TV Stick with Me, Kid Gordon Lundey
TV Midnight Movie Johnny
TV Lie Down With Lions Grigor
TV The House of Eliott Abraham Barak
TV Comics Tony Fratelli
TV The Upper Hand Jason McCloud
TV Drop the Dead Donkey Valdez
TV Trainer Stavros Mikhalides
TV Dark Justice Tony Hastings
F Leon the Pig Farmer Doctor
TV Birds of a Feather Marcus Green
TV Rab C. Nesbitt DI Sergeant
TV The Gravy Train Rudolph
TV Zorro Torres
TV Face To Face Grant Ross
TV About Face Neville
TV Young Gifted and Broke Colegate
TV Chelworth Tony Evrington
TV Laura and Disorder Jim Lipthorpe
TV Ticket To Ride Capt. Szigismund
TV Bust John Evans
TV Howards' Way John Reddings
TV Pretorius Vaneck
TV C.A.T.S. Eyes Jack Brand
TV Boon Lomas
TV Rumpole of the Bailey Vanberry
TV The Life and Loves of a She-Devil Dr Ghengis
TV Love with a Perfect Stranger Andrea
TV Auf Wiedersehen, Pet Prince Stefano
TV One By One Richard Neville
TV Dempsey and Makepeace Bernie Silk
TV Ellis Island Jesse Lasky
TV Cold Warrior Dr Mohammed Riffi
TV Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense Clifford Richardson
TV The Last Days of Pompeii Sporus
TV Hart To Hart Anthony Vlachos
TV Tales of the Unexpected Rinaldo
TV The Cleopatras Demetrius
TV The Professionals Dr Lowe
TV The Bounder Count Montefiore
TV Play For Tomorrow Shapiro
TV Minder Spencer
TV Goodbye Darling Victor
TV Cry Wolf Professor Ion Porphiriou
TV Only When I Laugh Nicos
TV Citizen Smith Harry Fenning
TV Kids David Newman
TV Dick Turpin Major Walther Von Gerhardt
TV Thomas & Sarah Pocock
F The Great Riviera Bank Robbery Rocco
TV Famous Five Pottersham
TV The Sandbaggers DI Gomez
TV Return of the Saint Masrouf
TV Blake's 7 Space Commander Travis
TV Armchair Thriller Juan
TV Treasure Island Job Anderson
TV Target Duroy
TV Spaghetti Two-Step Luigi
TV The New Avengers Juventor
TV Play for Today Gerry Joe Marks
TV Killers Stinie Morrison
TV Thriller Thriller Ben Kroom / Enrico
TV Dixon of Dock Green DCI. Basset / Charles Negri / Tony
TV The Aweful Mr Goodall Doctor
TV A Little Bit of Wisdom Jacques
TV Special Branch Finch / Mikhali Joanides
TV Intimate Strangers Doctor
F Soft Beds, Hard Battles Colonel Hiller
TV The Protectors Policeman at Cafe
TV The Merchant of Venice Prince of Morocco
F No Sex Please, We're British Niko
TV The Persuaders! Krilov
F Nicholas and Alexandra Martov
TV Eyeless in Gaza Young Englishman
TV The Tragedy of King Richard II Mowbray / Glendower
TV Edward II Earl of Pembroke
TV Boy Meets Girl Lounge Lizard


Date/Venue Show Role/Director
Globe Theatre, Bankside Prince of West End Lane, Kerry Shale Role: Otto / Dir: Matthew Lloyd
Royal Shakespeare Theatre Maydays, David Edgar Role: Teddy Weiner / Dir: Polly Findlay
The Old Vic Six Degrees of Separation, John Guare Role: Dr Fine / Dir: David Grindley
Comedy Theatre (The Harold Pinter) George Dillon, John Osborne Role: Barney Evans /Dir: Peter Gill
National Theatre His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman Roles: The President and John Faa / Dir: Nick Hytner
National Theatre Edmund, David Mamet Roles: The Interrogator and Hotel Clerk / Dir: Edward Hall
National Theatre His Girl Friday, John Guare Role: Louis / Dir: Jack O’Brien
Hampstead Theatre Benchmark, Bud Shrake & M Rudman Role: Ginsberg / Dir: Michael Rudman
Apollo Theatre Fallen Angels, Noël Coward Role: Maurice / Dir: Michael Rudman
Hampstead Theatre Immaculate, Carl Djerassi Role: Menachem / Dir: Gordy Greenberg
Vaudeville Theatre Reflected Glory, Ronald Harewood Role: Robert / Dir: Elija Moshinsky
Almeida Theatre The Life of the World To Come, Rob Williams Role: Don Strohmeyer / Dir: Derek Wax
Wyndham's Theatre / Theatre Royal Windsor Abracadaver, Allan Scott & David Ambrose Role: Chief Insp Scott / Dir: Richard Olivier
Theatre Royal Windsor/ Old Vic A View from the Bridge, Arthur Miller Role: Marco / Dir: Peter Coe
Greenwich Theatre The Paranormalist, Jonathan Gems Role: Cedric / Dir: Alan Strachan
The National Theatre Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller Role: Biff (Nom. Best Supporting Actor – Olivier Awards) / Dir: Michael Rudman
Derby Playhouse View from The Bridge, Arthur Miller Role: Eddie Carbone / Dir: Patrick Lau
National Theatre at the Queen's Theatre Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Eduardo De Fillipo Role: Luigi / Nom. Best Supporting Actor – Critics' Circle Theatre Award / Dir: Franco Zeffirelli, Laurence Olivier
Theatre Royal Windsor The Gingerbread Lady, Neil Simon Role: Lou
National Theatre at the Old Vic The Merchant of Venice, William Shakespeare Role: Prince of Morocco / Dir: Jonathan Miller
National Theatre at the Old Vic A Woman Killed with Kindness, Thomas Heywood Role: Sir Francis Acton / Dir: John Dexter
National Theatre at the Old Vic The Front Page, Hecht & Macarthur Role: Diamond Louis / Dir: Michael Blakemore
National Theatre at the Old Vic The School For Scandal, Sheridan Role: Moses / Dir: Jonathan Miller
National Theatre at the Old Vic Long Day's Journey into Night, Eugene O'Neill Role: Edmund / Dir: Michael Blakemore
National Theatre at the Old Vic Richard II, William Shakespeare Role: Willoughby, Dir: David William
National Theatre at the Old Vic Macbeth, William Shakespeare Role: Caithness / Dir: Michael Blakemore
National Theatre at the Old Vic Danton's Death, Georg Büchner Role: Bertrand / Dir: Jonathan Miller
Forum Theatre Henry IV, Part 1, William Shakespeare Role: Hotspur / Dir. Brian Shelton
Piccadilly Theatre Richard II, William Shakespeare Role: Mowbray / Dir: Richard Cotterel
Mermaid Theatre Edward II, Christopher Marlowe Role: Pembroke / Dir: Toby Robertson
Royal Shakespeare Company King Lear, William Shakespeare Role: Edmund's Captain / Dir: Trevor Nunn
Royal Shakespeare Co & North American Tour Dr Faustus, Christopher Marlowe Role: Valdes, Wrath / Dir: Clifford Williams
Royal Shakespeare Co & North American Tour Much Ado About Nothing, William Shakespeare Role: Soldier / Dir: Trevor Nunn
Royal Shakespeare Co & North American Tour As You Like It, William Shakespeare Role: Forester / Dir: David Jones
Royal Shakespeare Co & North American Tour The Duchess of Malfi, John Webster Role: Antonio / Dir: Christie Dickason
Royal Shakespeare Company Troilus & Cressida, William Shakespeare Role: Prologue / Dir: John Barton

Radio and audiobooks[edit]

Date/Venue Name Role
BBC R4 Keeping The Wolf Out Sandor Farkas
BBC R4 The Carter Mysteries Phil
BBC R4 Waterloo: The Ball at Brussells Prince Tallyrand
BBC R4 The Letters of JKF Krushchev
BBC R4 Second Body Jacobin
BBC R4 Austerlitz Narrator
BBC R4 Life & Death, Vasily Grossman Karimov
BBC R4 Extra The Man in Black, Mathew Collins Mr Rubinstein
BBC R4 Small Acts of Kindness, Trevor Preston Charlie
BBC R4 Harry and the Angels, Bernard Kops Harry
BBC R4 The Art of Deception, Philip Palmer Stefan Hunt
USA Radio Charlie's Choice Sir Philip
BBC R4 Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, John le Carré Polyakov
BBC R4 The Grand Babylon Hotel, Arnold Bennett Felix Babylon
USA Radio The Captive Kanye
BBC R4 The Babbington Plot, Michael Butt Narrator
BBC R4 Peter Lorre V Peter Lorre, Michael Butt Peter Lorre
BBC R4 Beat the Dog in His Own Kennel, Gary Brown Avi
BBC Wales Blake's 7 Interview Himself as Travis
BBC R3 The Devil was Here Yesterday, Colin Teevan Hector
BBC R4 Take Away, Gary Brown Narrator
BBC R4 Classic Serial Witness, Nick Warburton John The Baptist
BBC R4 Classic Serial Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Louis de Bernières Dr Iannis
BBC R4 The Iceman, Simon Bovey Supt. Malpacket
BBC R4 Classic Serial Down and Out in Paris and London, George Orwell Boris
BBC R4 Hooligan Nights, Mike Walker PC91
BBC R4 Speed and Silver, Catherine Bailey Ch. Insp. Collinson
BBC R4 (1987–92) Flying The Flag The American Ambassador
BBC R4 The Nine Tailors, DL Sayers Nobby Cranton
BBC R4 Call for the Dead, John le Carré Dieter Frey
BBC R2 Hinge & Bracket, Gerald Frow Roberto
BBC R4 (1985–1986) Brogue Male Count Laszlo Stroganoff
AudioGo "The Tractate Middoth", M R James Narrator
AudioGo Dr Palfrey of Westminster (5 books), John Creasey Narrator
AudioGo The Siege of the Villa Lipp, Eric Ambler Narrator
The Story Circle Random House His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman Metatron
Isis He Kills Coppers, Jake Arnott Narrator
Isis In a True Light, John Harvey Narrator
Isis Seeking Robinson Crusoe, Tim Severin Narrator
Isis The Lowlife, Alexander Baron Narrator
Isis The Sergeant's Tale, Bernice Rubens Narrator
BBC Audio The Match King, Frank Partnoy Narrator
BBC Audio Bad Dog and all that Hollywood Hoo Haa, Martin Chatterton Narrator
BBC Audio (Won BBC Audio Books USA Earphones Award) The Boy with the Magic Numbers, Sally Gardner Narrator
BBC Audio The Pianist, Wladyslaw Szpilman Narrator
BBC Audio The Darkness of Wallis Simpson, Rose Tremain Narrator (With Eleanor Bron)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
2013 Navtgr Awards Best Narrator Puppeteer Nominated
2008 BBC Audio Books Best Narrator Boy with the magic No's Won
1979 Oliver Awards Best Supporting Actor Death of Salesman Nominated
1975 Critics Circle Best Supporting Actor Sat, Sun, Mon Nominated


  1. ^ Klein, Emma (16 March 2023). "Obituary: Stephen Greif". The Jewish Chronicle. Archived from the original on 17 March 2023.
  2. ^ Hayward, Anthony (5 January 2023). "Stephen Greif obituary". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 5 January 2023.
  3. ^ "The Crown and Blake's 7 actor Stephen Greif dies at 78". The Guardian. 26 December 2022. Archived from the original on 26 December 2022.
  4. ^ "The Crown and EastEnders actor Stephen Greif dies aged 78". The Independent. 27 December 2022. Archived from the original on 27 December 2022.
  5. ^ "British actor Stephen Greif of 'Blake's 7' dies at 78". Los Angeles Times. 27 December 2022. Archived from the original on 27 December 2022.
  6. ^ "The Crown actor Stephen Greif dies aged 78". Sky News. 26 December 2022. Archived from the original on 26 December 2022.
  7. ^ "STEPHEN GREIF RIP". Blake's 7 Online. 26 December 2022. Archived from the original on 27 December 2022.

External links[edit]