Friday, November 10, 2017

Born Today in 1911: English Actor Harry Andrews

Harry Andrews was born today, November 10, in 1911. He was an English actor known for playing the tough guy. Prior to his film career, Andrews was an accomplished Shakespearean stage actor.

The New York Times reports Andrews two "most acclaimed performances were as a British army prison warden opposite Sean Connery in The Hill (1965), for which he was voted best supporting actor by the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures, and in the 1970 film version of Joe Orton's Entertaining Mr. Sloane."

Andrews was born in Tonbridge, Kent. He didn't just play a tough guy, but was a tough guy. From October 1939 to October 1945, Andrews served with the Royal Artillery during the Second World War.

Andrews made his first two screen appearances with Alan Ladd in the films The Red Beret and The Black Knight. He went on to perform in a number of historical and adventure films, including Alexander the Great and Moby Dick in 1956, Ice Cold in Alex in 1958, Solomon and Sheba in 1959 and 633 Squadron in 1964.

Andrews later appeared in such films as the comedy The Jokers in 1967, the musical comedy The Night They Raided Minsky's in 1968, the 1970 film adaptation of Emily Brontë's novel Wuthering Heights, the 1972 comedy The Ruling Class, and the 1972 horror film Theatre of Blood.

Andrews roles as rugged military officers included playing Sergeant Payne in A Hill in Korea in 1956, Major Henry in I Accuse! in 1958, Major Swindon in the 1959 film adaptation of George Bernard Shaw's play The Devil's Disciple, Captain Graham in A Touch of Larceny in 1959, Lord Lucan in The Charge of the Light Brigade (1968) Colonel Thompson in Too Late the Hero in 1970, and Grand Duke Nicholas, commander of the Russian army, in Nicholas and Alexandra in 1971.

According to his New York Times obituary, he once said that he was offered a Hollywood contract, but ''they wanted me to have my ears pinned back like Clark Gable and the gap filled in between my front teeth.''

''I wouldn't have minded that,'' he went on, ''but then they said the name was too plain and would have to go, and a bit of chin. So I said no.''

In 1978, he played one of the Kryptonian elders during the sentencing of the three villains in the film Superman.

Andrews died at the age of 77 on March 6, 1989, at his home in Salehurst, leaving behind his long-term friend and partner Basil Hoskins. They are now buried alongside each other at St Mary the Virgin's Church, Salehurst.


Raybeard said...

He could always be depended on to provide a good, solid on-screen presence, giving his films some real 'backbone'.

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