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Leslie Armande Norman (25 February 1911 – 18 February 1993) was an English post-war film director, producer and editor who also worked extensively on 1960s television series later in his career.[1][2][3]

Leslie Norman
Leslie Armande Norman

(1911-02-25)25 February 1911
Fulham, London, England
Died18 February 1993(1993-02-18) (aged 81)
OccupationDirector, producer, editor
Years active1930 – 1978
Military career
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service1942-1945
Service number238604
UnitRoyal Army Ordnance Corps



Early lifeEdit

Norman was born on 25 February 1911 in Fulham, London, the second youngest of eleven children.[4][5] Leaving school at 14, Norman worked in the film industry from the age of 16, working his way up from sweeper of the cutting-room floors at Ealing Studios to become an editor at 19. In 1939, prior to joining the British Army, Norman co-directed with Anthony Hankey the thriller Too Dangerous to Live starring Sebastian Shaw and Anna Konstam.[3]

Second World WarEdit

In 1942 Norman was enlisted in the British Army rising to the rank of Major. In August 1945 he was deployed to Burma as part of a secret mission to trial sonic warfare in the fight against the Japanese. This involved Norman and his platoon broadcasting the sound of troop movements in the Burmese jungle as a decoy to allow strategic Allied troop activity to take place in what would otherwise have been heavily fortified or armoured Japanese positions.

Film careerEdit

His film career spanned nearly fifty years, from 1930 until 1978. In that time he had many different roles in the industry, ending his career directing episodes of filmed television series. He directed three cinema films in the 1950s, The Night My Number Came Up (1955), the sci-fi horror film X the Unknown (1956) and the Second World War drama Dunkirk (1958), while his production credits include another Second World War drama in the form of The Cruel Sea (1953).[6] Amongst the films he directed in the early 1960s was the war drama The Long and the Short and The Tall (1960).

Television careerEdit

In the 1960s, he worked as director on several notable British TV series including Gideon's Way (7 episodes), The Baron (3 episodes), The Saint (21 episodes), The Avengers (2 episodes), Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) (3 episodes), Department S (3 episodes), The Persuaders! (6 episodes).[6]

Retirement and deathEdit

Norman was forced into retirement after a laryngectomy for cancer in 1978. He died in Knebworth, Hertfordshire on 18 February 1993 at the age of 81 after suffering a seizure whilst driving near his home.[3][2]


Norman's son, Barry, was a prominent UK film critic and broadcaster, whilst his daughter, Valerie, is a script editor and director.

Selected filmographyEdit



Executive ProducerEdit



  1. ^ Brian McFarlane, An Autobiography of British Cinema, Metheun 1997 p439-441
  2. ^ a b Oxford, Esther (21 February 1993). "'Cruel Sea' producer dies". The Independent. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Vallance, Tom (27 February 1993). "Obituary: Leslie Norman". The Independent. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  4. ^ "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  5. ^ Norman, Barry (2002). And why not? (As I never did say). London: Simon & Schuster. p. 26. ISBN 0743230965.
  6. ^ a b "Leslie Norman". IMDb.

External linksEdit