Murray Melvin

Last updated 15 April 2023

Murray Melvin

Born: Wednesday 10th August 1932
Died: Friday 14th April 2023 (age: 90)


Murray Melvin was an English stage and film actor.

The son of Hugh Victor Melvin and Maisie Winifred Driscoll, he was known for having created the role of Geoffrey in the Shelagh Delaney play, A Taste of Honey, which he also performed opposite Rita Tushingham in the 1961 film A Taste of Honey. In 1962 he won Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival for his performance, and was also nominated for the BAFTA "Most Promising Newcomer" award.

Melvin joined Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop company at the Theatre Royal Stratford East while still a student. In 1958, he appeared in productions of Brendan Behan's The Hostage. In 1963, he was in the original cast of Oh, What a Lovely War!.

He appeared in the very first episode of the cult television series The Avengers in 1960. Melvin's other film appearances have included roles in Alfie, and since 1964, regular appearances in the films of director Ken Russell, beginning with Diary of a Nobody and continuing withThe Devils (as the scheming, but ultimately deceived, Father Mignon), The Boy Friend and cameos inLisztomania and Prisoner of Honor. He had an important role as Reverend Samuel Runt in Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon (1975). He also appeared in Crossed Swords (1977) and the Italian mini-series Christopher Columbus (1985).

In 1998 he appeared in a Christmas Special episode of the BBC's Jonathan Creek called "The Black Canary".

In 2004 he appeared as Monsieur Reyer, the musical director and conductor of the Opera Populaire, in the film adaptation of the musical The Phantom of the Opera.

Melvin returned to the Theatre Royal as trustee and archivist and it is partly in this role that he is becoming widely known as a learned and popular film historian - he can be seen and heard, for example, on the BFI DVD release of the Bill Douglas Trilogy.

In 2007 he appeared as the sinister Bilis Manger in the Doctor Who spinoff, Torchwood.

In July 2011 Murray Melvin played The Professor in a short comedy/drama called The Grey Mile, a story about two ex master criminals who are now confined to a care home. The film, written by Jonathan Parramint and Simon Janes, co-stars Paul Shane as Terry 'The Taxman' Tempest and Maggie Tulip as Miss Match. The film was shot on location at Wolterton Hall in Norfolk.


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