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Bronze bust of Michael Hordern
Bronze bust of Michael Hordern

Michael Hordern (3 October 1911 – 2 May 1995) was an English stage and film actor best known for his Shakespearean roles, especially King Lear, whom he played on stage in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1969 and London in 1970 and on television five years later. Hordern came to prominence in the 1950s with the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre where he played Caliban in The Tempest and Jaques in As You Like It. With Michael Benthall's company at the Old Vic, he played Polonius in Hamlet, and the title role in King John. In 1958 he won a best actor award at the British Academy Television Awards for his role as the barrister in John Mortimer's courtroom drama The Dock Brief. He appeared in nearly 140 cinema roles, including Cleopatra (1963) and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1966). His television credits include Paradise Postponed, the BAFTA-award-winning Memento Mori, and the BBC adaptation of Middlemarch. He was knighted in 1983. (Full article...)

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