DoctorDoctor Who Guide

George Coulouris

Last updated 05 March 2013


George Coulouris (1903-1989)
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George Coulouris

Born: Thu 1st October 1903
Died: Tue 25th April 1989 (age: 85)

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George Coulouris was a prominent English film and stage actor.

Coulouris was born in Manchester, England,  and was educated at Manchester Grammar School. He attended London's Central School of Speech and Drama, in the company of fellow students Laurence Olivier and Peggy Ashcroft.

Coulouris's stage debut was in 1926 with Henry V at the Old Vic, and by 1929 he made his first Broadway appearance, followed by his first Hollywood film role in 1933.

A major impact on his life was Orson Welles, whom he met in 1936. He joined Welles' Mercury Theatre, and played Mark Antony in their opening modern dress production of Julius Caesar. In Citizen Kane (1941), Coulouris played Walter Parks Thatcher, a financier similar to J. P. Morgan. George Coulouris won a National Board of Review 'Best Actor' award in 1941 for his performance in Citizen Kane. Orson Welles was the only other Citizen Kane actor to win the same award.

During the 1930s and 1940s he remained a regular figure on the stage and screen, starring in his own Broadway production of Richard III in 1943. His films in this period included For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943), Mr. Skeffington (1944) and Watch on the Rhine (1943), for which he received an Oscar nomination. He also gave a notable performance as Robert de Baudricourt, in the Technicolor spectacular, Joan of Arc (1948), starring Ingrid Bergman. 

Coulouris returned to Britain after 1950, and appeared in more films, theatre and television productions. His stage work included the title role in King Lear at the Glasgow Citizens' Theatre (1952); the lead (Dr. Stockmann) in An Enemy of the People (1959) at the Cambridge Arts Theatre; Peter Flynn in Sean O'Casey's The Plough and the Stars at the Mermaid Theatre (1962); a part in August Strindberg's The Dance of Death; and Big Daddy in Tennessee Williams's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1970).

Later film roles included parts in the Doctor in the House films, Papillon, the biography of Mahler, The Long Good Friday and Murder on the Orient Express. During his life he played in over eighty films.

Radio roles were also numerous, and his television roles included parts in Danger Man and The Prisoner episode "Checkmate", and an appearance as Arbitan in the Doctor Who serial The Keys of Marinus.

 He died on April 25, 1989, of heart failure following Parkinson's disease in London.






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