Eric Porter

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Eric Porter
Born
Eric Richard Porter

(1928-04-08)8 April 1928
Shepherd's Bush, London, England, UK
Died15 May 1995(1995-05-15) (aged 67)
London, England, UK
OccupationActor
Years active1945–1994

Eric Richard Porter (8 April 1928 15 May 1995) was an English actor of stage, film and television.

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north-northwest. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

Contents

Early life

Porter was born in Shepherd's Bush, London, to bus conductor Richard John Porter and Phoebe Elizabeth (née Spall). His parents hoped he would become an electrical engineer, so he was educated at the Technical College in Wimbledon, then worked for the Marconi Telegraph and Wireless company as a joint-solderer. He made his stage debut in Cambridge in 1945 at the age of 17. [1]

Shepherds Bush area of west London in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham

Shepherd's Bush is a district of west London, England, within the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham 4.9 miles (7.9 km) west of Charing Cross, and identified as a major metropolitan centre in the London Plan.

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

The Marconi Company was a British telecommunications and engineering company that did business under that name from 1963 to 1987. It was derived from earlier variations in the name and incorporation, spanning a period from its inception in 1897 until 2006, during which time it underwent numerous changes, mergers and acquisitions. The company was founded by the Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi and began as the Wireless Telegraph & Signal Company. The company was a pioneer of wireless long distance communication and mass media broadcasting, eventually becoming one of the UK's most successful manufacturing companies. In 1999, its defence manufacturing division, Marconi Electronic Systems, merged with British Aerospace to form BAE Systems. In 2006, extreme financial difficulties led to the collapse of the remaining company, with the bulk of the business acquired by the Swedish telecommunications company, Ericsson.

Career

In 1955, he played the title role in Ben Jonson's Volpone at the Bristol Old Vic. In 1960 he joined the Royal Shakespeare Company; that year, he played Ferdinand in John Webster's The Duchess of Malfi . In 1962, he performed as Iachimo in Cymbeline . Other roles included Ulysses, Macbeth, Leontes, Malvolio, Shylock, King Lear and Henry IV, as well as Barabas in Marlowe's Jew of Malta . Porter was seen as the tortured solicitor Soames Forsyte in the BBC drama The Forsyte Saga (1967). For this role he won a BAFTA Best Actor award.

Ben Jonson 16th/17th-century English playwright, poet, and actor

Benjamin Jonson was an English playwright, poet, actor, and literary critic, whose artistry exerted a lasting impact upon English poetry and stage comedy. He popularised the comedy of humours. He is best known for the satirical plays Every Man in His Humour (1598), Volpone, or The Fox, The Alchemist (1610) and Bartholomew Fair (1614) and for his lyric and epigrammatic poetry. "He is generally regarded as the second most important English dramatist, after William Shakespeare, during the reign of James I."

<i>Volpone</i> literary work

Volpone is a comedy play by English playwright Ben Jonson first produced in 1605–1606, drawing on elements of city comedy and beast fable. A merciless satire of greed and lust, it remains Jonson's most-performed play, and it is ranked among the finest Jacobean era comedies.

Bristol Old Vic theatre in Birstol, England

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His 1981 portrayal of Neville Chamberlain in Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years won critical praise. He played Count Bronowsky in The Jewel in the Crown ; he was also seen as Fagin in the 1985 BBC version of Oliver Twist ; as Thomas Danforth in the 1980 BBC production of The Crucible ; and as Professor Moriarty opposite Jeremy Brett's Sherlock Holmes in Granada Television's The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes stories The Red-Headed League and The Final Problem (both 1984). He also played Polonius in a 1980 television production of Hamlet , made as part of the BBC Shakespeare series, and starring Derek Jacobi in the title role.

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Porter continued to act on stage, winning the London Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Actor in 1988 for his role in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof . His last on-screen role was as painter James Player in the remake of Message for Posterity (1994), a television play by Dennis Potter. Susan Engel told biographer Robert Sellers that Eric Porter was gay: "His memorable BAFTA Best Actor Award - winning performance as Soames in the BBC's 1967 television adaptation of The Forsyte Saga should have led to greater things, but it didn't. 'He couldn't cope with his own sexuality,' says Susan. 'It was so awful for gay men in those days. I don't know how some of them managed to survive; and many didn't. You went to prison if you were caught. I think he suffered terribly. He was tortured.' [2]

<i>Cat on a Hot Tin Roof</i> stage play

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Dennis Potter English TV dramatist, screenwriter, journalist

Dennis Christopher George Potter was an English television dramatist, screenwriter and journalist. He is best known for his BBC TV serials Pennies from Heaven (1978), The Singing Detective (1986), and the television plays Blue Remembered Hills (1979) and Brimstone and Treacle (1976). His television dramas mixed fantasy and reality, the personal and the social, and often used themes and images from popular culture. Potter is widely regarded as one of the most influential and innovative dramatists to have worked in British television.

Susan Engel actress

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Filmography

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Death

Porter died of colon cancer in London in 1995, aged 67.

Biography

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References

  1. "OBITUARY:Eric Porter". www.independent.co.uk.
  2. Sellers, Robert (2016). Peter O'Toole: The Definitive Biography. Macmillan. p. 40. ISBN   9781250095954 . Retrieved 10 August 2017.

Bibliography