Timothy West

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Timothy West
CBE
Timothy West in 2010.JPG
West at the Rose Theatre, Kingston upon Thames, 15 February 2010
Born Timothy Lancaster West
(1934-10-20) 20 October 1934 (age 82)
Bradford, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
Education The John Lyon School
Bristol Grammar School
Regent Street Polytechnic
Occupation Actor
Years active 1956 - present
Spouse(s) Jacqueline Boyer
(m. 1956; div. 1961)

Prunella Scales CBE
(m. 1963)
Children 3, including Samuel West
Parent(s) Lockwood West
Olive Carleton-Crowe

Timothy Lancaster West,[1] CBE (born 20 October 1934) is an English film, stage and television actor.

Early life and education[edit]

West was born in Bradford, Yorkshire, the son of Olive (née Carleton-Crowe) and actor Lockwood West.[1] He was educated at the John Lyon School, Harrow on the Hill, at Bristol Grammar School,[2] where he was a classmate of Julian Glover, and at Regent Street Polytechnic (now the University of Westminster).[3]

Career[edit]

West worked as an office furniture salesman and as a recording technician, before becoming an assistant stage manager at the Wimbledon Theatre in 1956.[4]

Stage[edit]

West played repertory seasons in Newquay, Hull, Northampton, Worthing and Salisbury before making his London debut at the Piccadilly Theatre in 1959 in the farce Caught Napping. He was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company for three seasons: the 1962 Arts Theatre Experimental season (Nil Carborundum and Afore Night Come), the 1964 'Dirty Plays' season (Victor, the premiere production of Marat/Sade and the revival of Afore Night Come) and the 1965 season at Stratford and later at the Aldwych Theatre appearing in The Comedy of Errors, Timon of Athens, The Jew of Malta, Love's Labour's Lost and Peter Hall's production of The Government Inspector, in a company which included Paul Scofield, Eric Porter, Janet Suzman, Paul Rogers, Ian Richardson, Glenda Jackson and Peter McEnery.[5]

West has played Macbeth twice, Uncle Vanya twice, Solness in The Master Builder twice and King Lear four times: in 1971 (aged 36) for Prospect Theatre Company at the Edinburgh Festival; on a worldwide tour in 1991 in Dublin for Second Age; in 2003 for English Touring Theatre, on tour in the UK and at the Old Vic; and in 2016 at the Bristol Old Vic.

Screen[edit]

Having spent years as a familiar face who never quite became a household name, West's big break came with the major television series, Edward the Seventh (1975), in which he played the title role from the age of twenty-three until the King's death;[6] his real-life sons, Samuel and Joseph, played the sons of King Edward VII as children. Other screen roles have included Nicholas and Alexandra (1971), The Day of the Jackal (1973), The Thirty Nine Steps (1978), Masada (1981), Cry Freedom (1987) and Luc Besson's The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc (1999). In Richard Eyre's Iris (2001) he plays Maurice and his son Samuel West plays Maurice as a young man.

West starred as patriarch Bradley Hardacre in Granada TV's satirical Northern super-soap Brass over three seasons (1982–1990). West appeared in the series Miss Marple in 1985 (in A Pocket Full of Rye as the notorious Rex Fortescue), and made a memorable appearance as Professor Furie in A Very Peculiar Practice in 1986. In 1997, he played Gloucester in the BBC television production of King Lear, with Ian Holm as Lear. From 2001 to 2003, he played the grumpy and frequently volatile Andrew in the BBC drama series Bedtime.

At Christmas 2007, he joined Not Going Out as Geoffrey Adams. He reprised this role in two episodes of series three; Geoffrey Whitehead played the role in later seasons. In 2011, he appeared alongside John Simm and Jim Broadbent in BBC series Exile, written by BAFTA-winning Danny Brocklehurst.

In February 2013, West joined the cast of ITV soap Coronation Street, playing Eric Babbage.[7] He joined the cast of EastEnders in 2013, playing Stan Carter from January 2014.[8] He filmed his final scenes for EastEnders in February 2015.

Directing[edit]

He was Artistic Director of the Forum Theatre, Billingham in 1973,[9] where he directed We Bombed in New Haven by Joseph Heller, The Oz Obscenity Trial by David Livingstone and The National Health by Peter Nichols. He was co-artistic director of the Old Vic Theatre from 1980–81,[10] where he directed Trelawny of the 'Wells' and The Merchant of Venice. He was Director-in-Residence at the University of Western Australia in 1982.[citation needed]

In 2004, he toured Australia with the Carl Rosa Opera Company as Director of the production of H.M.S. Pinafore, also singing the role of Sir Joseph Porter. He was replaced in the singing role by Dennis Olsen for the Perth and Brisbane performances.

Personal life[edit]

West is married to the actress Prunella Scales, with whom he has two boys. One of their sons, Samuel West, is also an actor.

The Guardian crossword setter Biggles (actually a collective of four established setters) referred to West's 50th wedding anniversary in its prize crossword puzzle (number 26,089) on 26 October 2013.[11]

West and Scales are both prominent supporters of the Labour Party. They are also patrons of the Lace Market Theatre in Nottingham, The Kings Theatre in Gloucester and of Conway Hall Sunday Concerts[12] programme, the longest running series of chamber music concerts in Europe. West is an Ambassador of SOS Children's Villages,[13] an international orphan charity providing homes and mothers for orphaned and abandoned children. He currently supports the charity's annual World Orphan Week[14] campaign which takes place each February.

West is patron of the National Piers Society,[15] a charity dedicated to preserving and promoting seaside piers. He and Prunella Scales are patrons of Avon Navigation Trust, the charity that runs the River Avon from Stratford-upon-Avon to Tewkesbury. They both support ANT by attending the Stratford River Festival every year.[16] West supports Cancer Research UK.[citation needed]

West is a supporter of the Talyllyn Railway, the first preserved railway in the world. He has visited on a number of occasions, the last being the summer of 2015 to attend the Railway's 150th anniversary. He is also a keen supporter of the Inland Waterways Association, and since 2014 has featured together with his wife in the Great Canal Journeys series for Channel 4.

West is president of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and President of the Society for Theatre Research. He is also patron of London-based drama school, The Associated Studios.[17]

Honours[edit]

In 1984, he was appointed CBE for his services to drama.

Selected theatre[edit]

Filmography[edit]

Selected television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1960 Persuasion Charles Hayter
1969 Big Breadwinner Hog Lennox dir Mike Newell/Michael Apted.
1972 Horatio Bottomley Bottomley
1975 Edward the Seventh King Edward VII
1977 Hard Times Josiah Bounderby
1979 Crime and Punishment Porfiry Petrovich
Henry VIII Cardinal Wolsey Part of the BBC Television Shakespeare.
Churchill and the Generals Winston Churchill
1980 Tales of the Unexpected: Royal Jelly Albert Taylor
1981 Masada Emperor Vespasian
1983-1990 Brass Bradley Hardacre Three series
1984 The Last Bastion Winston Churchill
1985 Miss Marple: A Pocket Full of Rye Rex Fortescue
1986 A Very Peculiar Practice Professor Furie
The Good Doctor Bodkin Adams John Bodkin Adams A TV drama based on the 1957 trial of the doctor.
The Monocled Mutineer Brigadier General Thompson
1987 When We Are Married Councillor Albert Parker
What the Butler Saw Dr Rance
1988 The Contractor Frank Ewbank By David Storey
1989 Campion: Police at the Funeral Uncle William Faraday
Blore, M.P. Derek Blore A TV drama loosely based on the Profumo Affair.
1990 Beecham Sir Thomas Beecham Adapted from the play about the conductor
The Tragedy of Flight 103 Colonel Wilfred Wood
1992 Shakespeare: The Animated Tales: The Tempest Prospero voice
Framed DCI Jimmy McKinnes
1998 King Lear Gloucester
Goodnight Sweetheart MI5 agent Tufty MacDuff
2000–2008 Water World presenter eight series for Central TV:). Dedicated to 'the people who live and work on the canals of the Midlands'
2001–2003 Bedtime Andrew Oldfield three series
2002 Martin Luther Martin Luther PBS Empires series
2005 New Tricks Professor Ian Mears Episode #2.8
Bleak House Sir Leicester Dedlock
2007–2009 Not Going Out Geoffrey Series 2 and 3
2010 Terry Pratchett's Going Postal Mustrum Ridcully
Agatha Christie's Poirot: Hallowe'en Party Reverend Cottrell
2011 Exile Don Metzler
2012 Titanic Lord Pirrie
2013 Coronation Street Eric Babbage
Last Tango in Halifax Ted
2014–2015 EastEnders Stan Carter
2014 Inside No. 9 Andrew Episode 1, "Sardines"

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1966 The Deadly Affair Matrevis uncredited
1968 Twisted Nerve Superintendent Dakin
1969 The Looking Glass War Taylor
1971 Nicholas and Alexandra Dr. Botkin
1973 Hitler: The Last Ten Days Prof. Karl Gebhardt
The Day of the Jackal Commissioner Berthier
1974 Soft Beds, Hard Battles Convent Chaplain
1975 Hedda Judge Brack
1977 Joseph Andrews Mr. Tow-Wouse
The Devil's Advocate Father Anselmo
1978 News From Nowhere William Morris
The Thirty Nine Steps Porton
1979 Agatha Kenward
1980 Rough Cut Nigel Lawton
1987 Cry Freedom Captain De Wet
1988 Consuming Passions Dr Rees
1998 Ever After King Francis
1999 The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc Cauchon
2000 102 Dalmatians Judge
2001 The Fourth Angel Jones
Iris Older Maurice
2002 Villa des Roses Hugh Burrell
2003 Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas King Dymas Voice
Beyond Borders Lawrence Bauford
2009 Endgame P.W. Botha
2016 Delirium College Bursar

Selected radio[edit]

Timothy West was a member of the BBC Radio Drama Repertory Company in 1962[18] and has taken part in over 500 radio broadcasts.[19]

Audiobooks[edit]

Timothy West has read many unabridged audiobooks, including the complete Barchester Chronicles and the complete Palliser novels by Anthony Trollope, and seven of George MacDonald Fraser's The Flashman Papers books. He has received four AudioFile Earphones Awards for his narration.[20]

Books[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Timothy West Biography (1934–)". Filmreference.com. 20 October 1934. Retrieved 4 July 2012. 
  2. ^ A Moment Towards the End of the Play, p 14
  3. ^ Who's Who in the Theatre, 16th edition (1977), ISBN 978-0-273-00163-8.
  4. ^ A Moment Towards the End of the Play, p 27
  5. ^ A Moment Towards the End of the Play, p 88
  6. ^ A Moment Towards the End of the Play, p 140
  7. ^ Coronation Street: Timothy West makes his debut, RadioTimes.com, 16 February 2013; accessed 20 June 2015.
  8. ^ Brown, David (12 December 2013). "EastEnders: Timothy West and Annette Badland to join as Danny Dyer's screen family expands". Radio Times. Retrieved 20 June 2015. 
  9. ^ A Moment Towards the End of the Play, p 131
  10. ^ A Moment Towards the End of the Play, p 194
  11. ^ Biggles, Set by:; Biggles, Set by: (26 October 2013). "Prize crossword No 26,089" – via The Guardian. 
  12. ^ http://www.conwayhallsundayconcerts.org.uk/[dead link]
  13. ^ "SOS Children's Villages United Kingdom - No child should grow up alone". 
  14. ^ "WOW World Orphan Week". 15 October 2009. Archived from the original on 15 October 2009. 
  15. ^ "National Piers Society – Celebrating Seaside Piers". 
  16. ^ "Avon Navigation Trust - Home". 
  17. ^ The Associated Studios website: http://www.associatedstudios.co.uk
  18. ^ A Moment Towards the End of the Play, p 72
  19. ^ "Press Office - LAMDA". 
  20. ^ AudioFile reader page[dead link]

External links[edit]