Dursley McLinden

Last updated 09 January 2020

Dursley McLinden (1965-1995)
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Dursley McLinden

Born: Saturday 29th May 1965
Died: Monday 7th August 1995 (age: 30)


Dursley McLinden was a Manx actor whose career was mostly focused on the London stage in musicals such as The Phantom of the Opera, Gigi, and Follies

McLinden was born and grew up in Douglas, Isle of Man, and at the age of eight, at Douglas High School, he played the Dame in Dick Whittington. He came to London when he was 16 to train at the Mountview Theatre School and first toured America and Sweden in productions of The Threepenny Opera and Macbeth. 

Shortly afterwards he won a role in Derek Nimmo's production of The Man Most Likely To . . ., touring the Middle and Far East. His work in repertory included Crucifer of Blood in Ipswich, To Kill a Mocking Bird and Damn Yankees in Birmingham, and Robert and Elizabeth at the Chichester Festival Theatre. He appeared in the West End in Lerner and Loewe's Gigi at the Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, and in Stephen Sondheim's Follies at the Shaftesbury Theatre.  

In 1988 he was diagnosed with AIDS. Over the next seven years he became one of the moving spirits behind West End Cares, the theatrical wing of the Aids charity Crusaid. He was particularly the inspiration behind cabaret nights at Smith's restaurant in Covent Garden 

McLinden, who was also an accomplished conjuror, continued working as an actor up until a few weeks before his death. His last performance was in Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty's, on the night before his 30th birthday.