(b. Bury, Lancashire, 17/12/1860 – d. Westminster, London, 05/03/1922). British actor. Marcellus Raymond Morand had been an amateur actor and had had experience touring with various repertory companies before the production of Offenbach’s The Brigands at the Avenue Theatre in September 1889 first took him to the London stage. Though he also appeared in straight drama, including Chekhov’s The Seagull for the Scottish Repertory Theatre, he was primarily a musical comedy/operetta performer and acted with both Horace Lingard’s Opera Company and the Thomas Beecham Opera Comique Company. However, he was most closely identified with the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company, for which he appeared in a variety of roles between 1894 and 1897, and again between 1898 and 1903.
Amongst the operettas in which he appeared were The Mikado, Merrie England, Tales of Hoffman, Die Fledermaus and The Belle of New York, but in 1915 he came to South Africa to join the Ethel Irving company that was appearing at the Palladium Theatre in Johannesburg. During this time he also acted in Gloria (1916), a film adapted by Harold M. Shaw from a novel by Charlotte Mansfield and directed by Lorimer Johnston. He played the role of the villain opposite Mabel May and Frank Cellier. He arrived back home in March 1917, travelling via the Far East and Canada, and resumed his theatrical career in Great Britain. He acted in two films by Thomas Bentley and also in The Land of Mystery (1920), Harold M. Shaw’s account of the fall of the Romanov dynasty and the rise of Bolshevism.
In 1901 he had married Helena Woodley Nash and in 1912/1913 he was involved in a celebrated divorce case when he sued her and Captain James Archibald Morrison, an ex-MP for Nottingham East, accusing her of “habitual adultery” while he was in Scotland. In a settlement between the two parties he received ₤5,500 in compensation, a then unheard of amount. He later married Lena Leibrandt, described as an amateur soubrette and dancer with the Exeter Dramatic Society who, for a while, was also a member of the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company. From 1912 to 1922 he served as Chairman of the charitable Royal General Theatrical Fund. (FO)
The Register, Adelaide, 3 May 1913
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