Jack May

Last updated 09 January 2020

Jack May (1922-1997)
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Jack May

Born: Sunday 23rd April 1922
Died: Friday 19th September 1997 (age: 75)


Jack May was an English actor. Born in Henley-on-Thames, he was educated at Forest School, Walthamstow and after war service with the Royal Indian Navy in India was offered a place at RADA, but he instead went to Merton College, Oxford. Here with the OUDS he played parts, which included John of Gaunt in Richard II and Polonius inHamlet.

On television he became familiar as the butler William E. Simms in two series of the BBC1 fantasy/adventure television series Adam Adamant Lives! from 1966–67.

A noted voice actor, he provided the voice for Igor, long-suffering butler to Count Duckula in the cartoon series of the same name. He also appeared as the waiter Garkbit in the television version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the GalaxyThéoden in the 1981 BBC Radio adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, as General Hermack in the 1969 Doctor Who serial The Space Pirates, and in Bachelor Father. The long-running BBC Radio 4 series, The Archers also featured the voice of May as Nelson Gabriel, son of Walter Gabriel.

His other credits in film and television included Dr. Denny in the 1960 serial The Citadel, and the District Commissioner in The Man Who Would Be King (1975).

On stage he played many leading and supporting roles, spending five years with Birmingham Repertory Theatre during which time he attracted considerable notice in the title part of Shakespeare's Henry VI. This trilogy of plays came to the Old Vic in London, and from then on began to be far more regularly revived. For Birmingham Rep, he also played parts as diverse as Richard II, Alec in Coward's Still Life (the story better known as Brief Encounter) and the Elephant in Obey's Noah. He returned to the Old Vic for the 1958-59 season, as Julius Caesar among other parts. Later stage roles included The Headmaster in A Voyage Round My Father, and Colonel Pickering in Pygmalion with Alec McCowenand Diana Rigg.

In 1957, he married the actress Petra Davies who survives him together with his daughter Henrietta and his son, David.

He played the voice of Muzzy in Muzzy in Gondoland.

Biography from the Wikipedia article, licensed under CC-BY-SA