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Born in London, the son of a salesman in the steel industry, Dignam grew up in Sheffield, West Riding of Yorkshire, and was educated at the Jesuit College, where he appeared in numerous Shakespearean plays.
He learned his craft touring Britain and America with Ben Greet's Shakespeare company. His range extended from the Louis Macneice radio play, The Dark Tower in the 1940s to the TV thriller, The XYY Man in the late 1970s.
Along with Philip Guard and John Bryning, Dignam can be heard on the fade-out of the Beatles' song "I Am the Walrus", during which is played a 1967 BBC radio broadcast of King Lear, with Dignam in the role of the Earl of Gloucester.
- Train of Events (1949) - Bolingbroke (segment "The Actor")
- Murder in the Cathedral (1951) - First Knight
- The Maggie (1954) - The Laird
- Doctor in the House (1954) - Examiner at Microscope (uncredited)
- Beau Brummell (1954) - Mr. Burke
- Lease of Life (1954) - Mr. Black
- Passing Stranger (1954) - Inspector
- Carrington V.C. (1955) - Prosecutor
- The Prisoner (1955) - The Governor
- Escapade (1955) - Sykes
- They Can't Hang Me (1955) - Prison Governor
- The Adventures of Quentin Durward (1955) - Innkeeper (uncredited)
- Sink the Bismarck! (1960) - Captain (Ark Royal)
- The Pure Hell of St Trinian's (1960) - Prosecuting Counsel
- No Love for Johnnie (1961) - Earnley Constituent (uncredited)
- In Search of the Castaways (1962) - Rich Man at Yacht Party
- Lancelot and Guinevere (1963) - Merlin
- Siege of the Saxons (1963) - King Arthur
- Tom Jones (1963) - Lieutenant
- Dr. Syn, Alias the Scarecrow (1963) - The Bishop
- The Eyes of Annie Jones (1964) - Orphanage director
- Clash by Night (1964) - Sydney Selwyn
- A Jolly Bad Fellow (1964) - The Master
- Game for Three Losers (1965) - Attorney General
- The Taming of the Shrew (1967) - Vincentio
- Frozen Flashes (1967) - Sir John
- The Charge of the Light Brigade (1968) - Gen. Airey
- Isadora (1968) - (uncredited)
- Hamlet (1969) - Polonius
- There's a Girl in My Soup (1970) - Wedding Guest (uncredited)
- Jude the Obscure (1971) - Vicar
- Dead Cert (1974) - Clifford Tudor
- Memoirs of a Survivor (1981) - Newsvendor
- The Chain (1984) - Ambrose
- On the Black Hill (1988) - Reverend Latimer (final film role)
- "Mark Dignam". BFI.
- "Mark Dignam - Theatricalia". theatricalia.com.
- South Yorkshire did not exist prior to 1 April 1974
- Wearing, J. P. (15 May 2014). "The London Stage 1930-1939: A Calendar of Productions, Performers, and Personnel". Rowman & Littlefield – via Google Books.
- "BBC Radio 4 - The Dark Tower". BBC.
- "The Xyy Man Part 1 Law and Order (1977)". BFI.
- "Recording, mixing, editing: I Am The Walrus, Your Mother Should Know". The Beatles Bible. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
- McFarlane, Brian (16 May 2016). "The Encyclopedia of British Film: Fourth edition". Oxford University Press – via Google Books.
- "Basil Dignam - Biography, Movie Highlights and Photos". AllMovie.
- Walters, Max. "Campaign launched to save Old Oxgate Farm in Dollis Hill". Kilburn Times.
- "At Oxgate Farm - Spitalfields Life".