Griffith Jones (actor)

Last updated

Griffith Jones
Harold Jones

(1909-11-19)19 November 1909
Died30 January 2007(2007-01-30) (aged 97)
London, England
Years active1929–2000
Irene Isaac
(m. 1932;died 1985)
Children Gemma Jones
Nicholas Jones

Griffith Jones (born Harold Jones; 19 November 1909 30 January 2007) was an Anglo-Welsh film, stage and television actor.


Early life

Born in Notting Hill, London, on 19 November 1909, Jones was the 5th child of William Thomas Jones and Harriet Eleanor J. Doughty (1878–1973), a Welsh-speaking dairy owner. In 1930, he was studying law at University College London when Kenneth Barnes, the Principal of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, noticed him in a student performance and offered him a career as an actor. His first professional engagement was in Carpet Slippers at the Embassy Theatre, Swiss Cottage, in 1930, while still at RADA. He won the annual RADA Gold Medal in 1932. [1]


His first West End production was Vile Bodies at the Vaudeville and Richard of Bordeaux (in which he appeared with John Gielgud) at the New Theatre. The following year he appeared with Laurence Olivier in The Rats of Norway. In 1932, he made his film debut, in The Faithful Heart, and he continued to appear in British films throughout the 1930s. He achieved success on the London stage and on Broadway as "Caryl Sanger" in the play, Escape Me Never , with Elizabeth Bergner, and also starred with her in the 1935 film version . [1]

In 1940, he joined the British Army, but spent most of the Second World War in a touring concert party, returning to the West End in 1945 to star in Lady Windermere's Fan . [1] He then became a fairly big star of the British cinema in the late 1940s, showing a particular talent for comedies. He was the leading man in a number of films, including Miranda (1948), opposite Glynis Johns and Googie Withers, and Once Upon a Dream (1949), opposite Withers again. He was mainly seen in supporting roles from the mid-1950s onwards, among the most prominent being in the film The Sea Shall Not Have Them (1954). He still played occasional lead roles, notably as a man who is framed for murder in The Scarlet Web (1954) and as a husband who tries to have his wife murdered in the crime thriller Kill Her Gently (1957).[ citation needed ]

Royal Shakespeare Company

He was a stalwart of the Royal Shakespeare Company, appearing in 50 productions with the company between 1975 and 1999. [2]

His first season was in director Buzz Goodbody's noted opening year at The Other Place theatre, playing the Ghost to Ben Kingsley's Hamlet and Sir William Stanley in Perkin Warbeck . His later roles included Duncan, opposite Ian McKellen, in Macbeth , Antigonus in The Winter's Tale , Aegeon in A Comedy of Errors , Gower in Pericles, Prince of Tyre , The Comedy of Errors , Chebutiken and Ferrapont in separate productions of Chekhov's Three Sisters and Tim Linkinwater and Fluggers in Nicholas Nickleby .

His last role, at the age of 90, was Tubal in The Merchant of Venice .

Personal life and death

Jones was married to actress Irene Isaac (known as "Robin") from 1932 until her death in 1985. [3] They had two children, who both became actors: Gemma Jones (who was named after the main character in Escape Me Never ) and Nicholas Jones. [1]

Jones died in his sleep from natural causes at his home in London, England, on 30 January 2007, aged 97.

Selected filmography

Selected stage credits

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cedric Hardwicke</span> English actor (1893–1964)

Sir Cedric Webster Hardwicke was an English stage and film actor whose career spanned nearly 50 years. His theatre work included notable performances in productions of the plays of Shakespeare and Shaw, and his film work included leading roles in several adapted literary classics.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jack Hawkins</span> British actor (1910-1973)

John Edward Hawkins, CBE was an English actor who worked on stage and in film from the 1930s until the 1970s. One of the most popular British film stars of the 1950s, he was known for his portrayal of military men.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Barton MacLane</span> Actor, playwright, screenwriter (1902–1969)

Barton MacLane was an American actor, playwright, and screenwriter. He appeared in many classic films from the 1930s through the 1960s, including his role as General Martin Peterson on the 1960s NBC television comedy series I Dream of Jeannie, with Barbara Eden and Larry Hagman.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John McCallum (actor)</span> Australian Actor

John Neil McCallum, was an Australian theatre and film actor, highly successful in the United Kingdom. He was also a television producer.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Reginald Denny (actor)</span> English actor

Reginald Leigh Dugmore, known professionally as Reginald Denny, was an English actor, aviator, and UAV pioneer.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Raymond Huntley</span> English actor (1904–1990)

Horace Raymond Huntley was an English actor who appeared in dozens of British films from the 1930s to the 1970s. He also appeared in the ITV period drama Upstairs, Downstairs as the pragmatic family solicitor Sir Geoffrey Dillon.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Leonard Mudie</span> English actor

Leonard Mudie was an English character actor whose career lasted for nearly fifty years. After a successful start as a stage actor in England, he appeared regularly in the US, and made his home there from 1932. He appeared in character roles on Broadway and in Hollywood films.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Reginald Owen</span> British actor (1887–1972)

John Reginald Owen was a British actor, known for his many roles in British and American films and television programs.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Raymond Hatton</span> American actor (died 1971)

Raymond William Hatton was an American film actor who appeared in almost 500 motion pictures.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Basil Sydney</span> English actor (1894–1968)

Basil Sydney was an English stage and screen actor.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Torin Thatcher</span> British actor (1905–1981)

Torin Herbert Erskine Thatcher was a British actor who was noted for his flashy portrayals of screen villains.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Grant Withers</span> American actor (1905–1959)

Granville Gustavus Withers was an American film actor who acted under the screen name Grant Withers. With early beginnings in the silent era, Withers moved into sound films, establishing himself with a list of headlined features as a young and handsome male lead. "As his career progressed ... his importance diminished, but he did manage a 10-year contract with Republic."

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ian Hunter (actor)</span> British actor (1900–1975)

Ian Hunter was a Cape Colony-born British actor of stage, film and television.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">J. Farrell MacDonald</span> American actor and director (1875–1952)

John Farrell MacDonald was an American character actor and director. He played supporting roles and occasional leads. He appeared in over 325 films over a four-decade career from 1911 to 1951, and directed forty-four silent films from 1912 to 1917.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ian Wolfe</span> American actor (1896–1992)

Ian Marcus Wolfe was an American character actor with around 400 film and television credits. Until 1934, he worked in the theatre. That year, he appeared in his first film role and later television, as a character actor. His career lasted seven decades and included many films and TV series; his last screen credit was in 1990.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Paul Cavanagh</span> English actor

William Grigs Atkinson, known professionally as Paul Cavanagh, was an English film and stage actor. He appeared in more than 100 films between 1928 and 1959.

Peter Gawthorne was an Anglo-Irish actor, probably best known for his roles in the films of Will Hay and other popular British comedians of the 1930s and 1940s. Gawthorne was one of Britain's most called-upon supporting actors during this period.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nicholas Phipps</span> British actor (1913–1980)

William Nicholas Foskett Phipps was a British actor and writer who appeared in stage roles between 1932 and 1967 and more than thirty films between 1940 and 1970. He wrote West End plays, songs and sketches for revues, and film scripts.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">George Merritt (actor)</span> English actor (1890–1977)

Frederick George Merritt was an English theatre, film and television actor, often in authoritarian roles. He studied German theatre in Magdeburg, Germany, and taught at the Berlitz School at the outbreak of the First World War, when he was held as a British Civil Prisoner of War, and interned at Ruhleben, 1914–1918. He was involved in over 50 plays at Ruhleben. He lived for many years in Lissenden Gardens, Parliament Hill, north west London.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cyril Smith (actor)</span> Scottish actor

Cyril Edward Bruce-Smith was a Scottish actor who began his career as a child in 1900 and went on to appear in numerous stage plays as well as over 100 films between 1914 and his death almost 50 years later. The son of Frederick and Elsa Smith; his mother travelled with him on his engagements during his boyhood.


  1. 1 2 3 4 Shorter, Eric (15 February 2007). "Obituary: Griffith Jones". the Guardian.
  2. Trowbridge, Simon (2008). "Griffith Jones". Stratfordians, a dictionary of the RSC. Oxford, England: Editions Albert Creed. pp. 291–292. ISBN   978-0-9559830-1-6.
  3. "Griffith Jones". . 7 February 2007.