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Christopher Gable

Last updated 09 January 2020

Christopher Gable (1940-1998)
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Christopher Gable

Born: Wednesday 13th March 1940
Died: Friday 23rd October 1998 (age: 58)


Christopher GableCBE was an English ballet dancerchoreographer, and actor.

He played anti-hero Sharaz Jek in the 1984 Doctor Who serial The Caves of Androzani

Born in London, Gable studied at the Royal Ballet School, joining the Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet in 1957. He was promoted to soloist in 1959 and a principal in 1961.

Gable's roles included Romeo in the Kenneth MacMillan production of Romeo and JulietMercury in Offenbach's comic operetta Orpheus in the Underworld, a production that was filmed and released on DVD. and Colas in La fille mal gardée. Gable frequently partnered with Lynn Seymour.

Gable suffered from a chronic rheumatoid condition in his feet  and left the Royal Ballet in 1967 to pursue a career in acting. He appeared in a number of television and film productions directed by Ken Russell, including the BBC films Song of Summer (1968) and The Dance of the Seven Veils (1970), The Music Lovers (1970), an adaptation of The Boy Friend (1971), and The Rainbow (1989). Other roles included that of John, valet and friend of Prince Edward, in the Cinderella film musical The Slipper and the Rose, the composer Peter Cornelius in Wagner (1983). He also appeared on stage in the 1974 West End musical The Good Companions.

In 1982, Gable founded the Central School of Ballet with Ann Stannard. Five years later he was appointed Artistic Director of Northern Ballet Theatre. He transformed the small regional troupe into a company of national renown by presenting imaginative new works and staging impressive revivals of old classics. Among the productions mounted during his eleven-year regime were Swan LakeA Christmas CarolThe BrontesThe Amazing Adventure of Don QuixoteDraculaGiselle, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Many of the projects he created later were performed by other dance companies, including the Atlanta Ballet and the Royal New Zealand Ballet. He played Arthur Ainsley in the 1984 tv British mini series A Woman of Substance.

In 1996 Gable was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his services to British Dance. The following year he was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters by the University of Bradford.

Gable was married to dancer Carole Needham. He died from cancer in Yorkshire at the age of 58.

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