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Eric Porter

A highly respected Shakespearean for five decades until his death of colon cancer in 1995, classical actor Eric Porter's claim to international fame would, ironically, be outside of that realm, with one superb portrayal in one superb miniseries, The Forsyte Saga(1967), in which he won the BAFTA award. The son of Richard John Porter and Phoebe Elizabeth Spall, Porter first attended Wimbledon Technical College before stepping onto the stage as a walk-on in a production of William Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" in February 1945 at the Arts Theatre in Cambridge. He continued in repertory until joining the National Service with the RAF during the war years. Early post-war credits would include touring with Sir Donald Wolfit and Sir Barry Jackson in their prestigious companies. Favorite roles in his repertoire would eventually include "Macbeth", "King Lear" and "Uncle Vanya". He won London's Evening Standard Award for "Rosmersholm" in 1959. Joining the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1960, he became a prime, esteemed resident for decades. Porter made his film debut in mid-career with The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964) at age 36, but it was the BBC that made him an international favorite as the ever-proper but intensely emotional and unhinged "Soames Forsyte". Taboos were broken on that series with a violent rape scene that had people talking for months. Along with the newly acquired fame came leads in lesser films such as The Lost Continent(1968) and Hands of the Ripper (1971), adding class to both those atmospheric horrors. On the plus side, Porter engaged himself frequently in quality TV miniseries fare includingAnna Karenina (1977), The Jewel in the Crown (1984) and Oliver Twist (1985) (as Fagin), while transferring many classics to TV as well, with "Cyrano de Bergerac", "Man and Superman" and "Macbeth" being but a few.

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Apr 8, 1928 In Shepard's Bush, London, UK
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie The Fall of the Roman Empire 1964-03-26
Latest Project:
Movie Message for Posterity 1994-10-28
Known For
Poster of The Crucible
Poster of The Winslow Boy
Poster of The Shetland Experience
Poster of The Belstone Fox
Movie Message for Posterity James Player 1994-10-28
Series Unknown 1985-10-13
Movie Delete dooblicate Professor Moriarty 1985-09-29
Movie Oliver Twist Fagin 1985-01-01
Series Sherlock Holmes Professor Moriarty 1984-04-24
Series The Jewel in the Crown Dimitri Bronowsky 1984-01-09
Series Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years 1981-09-06
Movie Little Lord Fauntleroy Mr. Havisham 1980-11-25
Movie Why Didn't They Ask Evans? Dr. Nicholson 1980-03-30
Movie The Crucible 1980-01-01
Series BBC Television Shakespeare Unknown 1978-12-01
Movie The Thirty Nine Steps Chief Superintendent Lomas 1978-11-04
Series Anna Karenina Karenin 1977-09-25
Movie The Winslow Boy Arthur Winslow 1977-01-16
Movie The Shetland Experience 1977-01-01
Movie Hennessy Tobin 1975-12-31
Movie Callan Hunter 1974-01-01
Movie The Day of the Jackal Colonel Rodin 1973-05-15
Movie Hitler: The Last Ten Days Generalfeldmarschall Robert Ritter von Greim 1973-04-19
Movie The Belstone Fox Asher Smith 1973-01-01
Movie Antony and Cleopatra Enobarbus 1972-03-18
Movie Hands of the Ripper Dr. John Pritchard 1971-10-17
Series Play for Today Unknown 1970-10-15
Movie The Lost Continent Lansen 1968-06-19
Series The Forsyte Saga Soames Forsyte 1967-01-07
Movie The Forsyte Saga 1967-01-01
Movie Kaleidoscope Harry Dominion 1966-09-22
Movie Els herois de Telemark Terboven 1965-11-22
Series Play of the Month Unknown 1965-10-19
Movie The Fall of the Roman Empire Julianus 1964-03-26