(1949/50?-) Celebrated actor, artist and novelist. Born Sea Point, South Africa, trained at UCT(?), then went to England in 1968 to study drama at the Weber Douglas Academy, attained British citizenship in 1979, where he made a name for himself as a classical actor. An Associate of the Royal Shakespeare Company, he has won a number of British theatre awards. Perhaps his best remembered role is that of Richard III for which he won the Laurence Olivier Award in 1985 and of which he kept diaries and made sketches, published as The Year of the King. Has directed and performed in a number of British productions of South African plays over the years, including Hello and Goodbye (200*, with Estelle Kohler), *. He returned to South Africa on a number of occasions to perform and direct. For example The Tempest( a co-production with the Baxter Theatre), Primo(), a controversial Titus Andronicus at the Market Theatre (1995), which then went on a tour of Britain and Spain, Broken Glass (the Fugard Theatre, 2011). In 1994, he and his partner Greg Doran ran workshops at the Market Theatre. Among numerous awards, he has won the Olivier Best Actor Award on two occasions (Richard III, Torch Song Trilogy and Stanley), The Evening Standard Best Actor Award (Richard III), the Evening Standard Peter Sellers Film Award (Mrs Brown). In New York his work has been acknowledged with both the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Solo Performance (Primo). In South Africa he has also won The Fleur du Cap Award for Best Solo Performance (Primo). As an author his published work includes several novels (including Middlepost), theatre journals (including Year of the King), plays (including I.D. and The Giant), and his autobiography, Beside Myself. His film and television roles have included Mrs Brown, Alive and Kicking, The History Man, Home, Macbeth and Primo.
As an artist, he has released a book of his paintings and drawings, Characters, and his most recent exhibitions have been in London, Sheffield and Coventry. He has received honorary doctorates from three British universities and last December from the University of Cape Town. In 2000 he was knighted for his services to acting and writing.
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