James Maxwell

Last updated 09 January 2020

James Maxwell (1929-1995)
(this image appears for illustrative purposes only and no attempt is made to supersede any copyright attributed to it)

James Maxwell

Born: Saturday 23rd March 1929
Died: Friday 18th August 1995 (age: 66)


James Maxwell was an American actor, theatre director and writer, particularly associated with the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester.

He appeared in the 1978 story Underworld.

He was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, USA, but spent most of his career in the United Kingdom and died in London. 

He came to England at the age of 20 to train at the Old Vic theatre school. 

He acted in many productions including Prospero in The Tempest in 1969 and Thomas More in A Man for All Seasons in 1975. He also directed Arms and the Man with Tom Courtenay, Jenny Agutter and Brian Cox in 1973.

He was one of the founding artistic directors of the Royal Exchange theatre in Manchester. He appeared in both the opening productions: Kleist's The Prince of Homburg and Sheridan's The Rivals and remained an artistic director until his death in 1995. 

As well as acting in many productions over the course of 20 years, he adapted several novels including The Count of Monte Cristo, Pride and Prejudice and The Moonstone. He also directed over 20 productions.

His best-known television role was as King Henry VII in a BBC2 drama series, Shadow of the Tower. He also appeared as Osmond in a television serial of Henry James' Portrait of a Lady (1967), The Avengers and The Saint.

He also seen in the films Private Potter (1962), Far from the Madding Crowd (1967), Otley (1968) and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (1970).