John Van Eyssen

Last updated

John Van Eyssen
John Van Eyssen.jpg
Photo by Anthony Buckley, 1955
Born
Matthew John Du Toit Van Eyssen

(1922-03-19)19 March 1922
Died13 November 1995(1995-11-13) (aged 73)
Fulham, London, England, UK
OccupationActor
Literary agent
Producer
Years active1950–1991
Spouse(s)Shirley Goulden (divorced 1977)
Partner(s) Ingrid Bergman
ChildrenDavid van Eyssen

John Van Eyssen (born Matthew John Du Toit Van Eyssen, [1] 19 March 1922 – 13 November 1995) was a South African born actor, agent and film production executive. He moved to Britain following the Second World War, attending the Central School of Speech and Drama. [2] In 1951 and in 1954 he played the role of Lucifer in the York Cycle of Mystery Plays, first revived in 1951 as part of the Festival of Britain. [3]

Contents

Van Eyssen appeared in films from 1950 as well as on stage (playing Cassio in Orson Welles' 1951 production of Othello, for example [4] ) but achieved his greatest fame as an actor when he portrayed Jonathan Harker in the Hammer Film Productions version of Dracula (released as Horror of Dracula in the US) in 1958. [5]

He left acting in 1961 to become head of the Grade Organisation literary agency. [6] His subsequent clients were Franco Zeffirelli, Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller. [5] He left the business in 1965 to work for the UK division of Columbia Pictures, eventually becoming Managing Director in July 1969. [6] Among the films he oversaw were A Man for All Seasons (1966), Born Free (1966), Georgy Girl (1966), To Sir, with Love (1967), The Taming of The Shrew (1967), and Oliver! (1968). [5] Both Oliver! and A Man for All Seasons won Best Picture Academy Awards. [7] In 1970, he was promoted to Worldwide Head of Production (ex-USA) and moved to New York.

After his tenure at Columbia, Van Eyssen became an independent producer, returning to the UK in 1991 to establish Britain's premier showcase for talented young filmmakers, the Chelsea Film Festival. [8] He was longtime companion to Ingrid Bergman in the years before her death in 1982. [9]

His son, David Van Eyssen, is a US-based producer and director known for the webseries RCVR . [10] [5]

Filmography

YearTitleRoleNotes
1950 The Angel with the Trumpet Albert Drauffer
1951 Murder in the Cathedral 5th Priest
1953 Four Sided Triangle Robin
1953 Three Steps in the Dark Henry Burgoyne
1954 The Men of Sherwood Forest Will Scarlett
1955 The Cockleshell Heroes Marine Bradley
1957 Brothers in Law Mr. Forbes - Barrister.Uncredited
1957 The Traitor Lieut. Grant
1957 Quatermass 2 The P.R.O.
1957 Account Rendered Clive Franklyn
1957 The One That Got Away German prisoner #5
1958 Dracula Jonathan Harker
1958 The Whole Truth Archer
1958 Moment of Indiscretion Corby
1959 Carlton-Browne of the F.O. Hewitt
1959 Carry On Nurse Surgeon Stephens
1959 I'm All Right Jack Reporter #1
1959 Blind Date Insp. Westover
1960 Make Mine Mink RowsonUncredited
1960 The Criminal Formby
1961 Exodus DetectiveUncredited
1961 A Story of David Joab
1963 Like Two Drops of Water Uncredited

Related Research Articles

Joseph Cotten American film, stage and television actor

Joseph Cheshire Cotten Jr. was an American film, stage, radio and television actor. Cotten achieved prominence on Broadway, starring in the original stage productions of The Philadelphia Story and Sabrina Fair.

Orson Welles American actor, director, writer and producer

George Orson Welles was an American actor and filmmaker who is remembered for his innovative work in radio, theatre and film. He is considered one of the greatest filmmakers of all time.

Hammer Film Productions Ltd. is a British film production company based in London. Founded in 1934, the company is best known for a series of Gothic horror films made from the mid-1950s until the 1970s. Many of these involved classic horror characters such as Baron Victor Frankenstein, Count Dracula, and the Mummy, which Hammer reintroduced to audiences by filming them in vivid colour for the first time. Hammer also produced science fiction, thrillers, film noir and comedies, as well as, in later years, television series. During its most successful years, Hammer dominated the horror film market, enjoying worldwide distribution and considerable financial success. This success was, in part, due to its distribution partnerships with American companies United Artists, Warner Bros., Universal Pictures, Columbia Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, American International Pictures and Seven Arts Productions.

Micheál Mac Liammóir 20th-century Irish actor, playwright, writer, and artist

Micheál Mac Liammóir was a British-Irish actor, dramatist, impresario, writer, poet and painter. Though born to a Protestant family living in London, with no Irish connections, he emigrated to Ireland in early adulthood, changed his name, and remained there for the rest of his life. He co-founded the Gate Theatre with his partner Hilton Edwards. He is one of the most recognizable figures in the arts in twentieth-century Ireland.

<i>Dracula</i> (1958 film) 1958 horror film directed by Terence Fisher

Dracula is a 1958 British gothic horror film directed by Terence Fisher and written by Jimmy Sangster based on Bram Stoker's 1897 novel of the same name. The first in the series of Hammer Horror films starring Christopher Lee as Count Dracula, the film also features Peter Cushing as Doctor Van Helsing, along with Michael Gough, Melissa Stribling, Carol Marsh, and John Van Eyssen. In the United States, the film was retitled Horror of Dracula to avoid confusion with the U.S. original by Universal Pictures, 1931's Dracula.

Lewis Gilbert

Lewis Gilbert was a British film director, producer and screenwriter, who directed more than 40 films during six decades; among them such varied titles as Reach for the Sky (1956), Sink the Bismarck! (1960), Alfie (1966), Educating Rita (1983) and Shirley Valentine (1989), as well as three James Bond films: You Only Live Twice (1967), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979).

Michael Roy Kitchen is an English actor and television producer, best known for his role as Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle in the ITV drama series Foyle's War between 2002 and 2015. He also played the role of Bill Tanner in two James Bond films, and that of John Farrow in BBC Four's comedy series Brian Pern.

<i>Othello</i> (1951 film) 1951 film by Orson Welles

Othello is a 1951 tragedy film directed and produced by Orson Welles, who also adapted the Shakespearean play and played the title role. Recipient of the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film at the 1952 Cannes Film Festival, the film was distributed by United Artists when it was released in the United States in 1955. Othello was filmed on location over a three-year period in Morocco, Venice, Tuscany and Rome and at the Scalera Studios in Rome.

Robert Coote British actor

Robert Coote was an English actor. He played aristocrats or British military types in many films, and created the role of Colonel Hugh Pickering in the long-running original Broadway production of My Fair Lady.

Raymond Huntley

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.

Nigel Green

Nigel McGown Green was an English character actor. Because of his strapping build, commanding height and regimental demeanour he would often be found playing military types and men of action in such classic 1960s films as Jason and the Argonauts, Zulu, Tobruk and The Ipcress File.

Fletcher Markle

Fletcher Markle was a Canadian actor, screenwriter, television producer and director. Markle began a radio career in Canada, then worked in radio, film and television in the US.

Orson Welles filmography List article of movies which filmmaker Orson Welles worked on

Orson Welles (1915–1985) was an American actor, director, writer, and producer who is best remembered for his innovative work in radio, theatre and film. He is widely considered one of the greatest and most influential filmmakers of all time.

<i>Filming Othello</i>

Filming Othello is a 1978 documentary film directed by and starring Orson Welles about the making of his award-winning 1951 production Othello. The film, which was produced for West German television, was the last completed feature film directed by Welles.

Joseph OConor Anglo-Irish actor and playwright

Joseph O'Conor was an Irish actor and playwright.

Howard Smith (actor)

Howard Irving Smith was an American character actor with a 50-year career in vaudeville, theatre, radio, films and television. In 1938 he performed in Orson Welles's short-lived stage production and once-lost film, Too Much Johnson, and in the celebrated radio production, "The War of the Worlds". He portrayed Charley in the original Broadway production of Death of a Salesman and recreated the role in the 1951 film version. On television Smith portrayed the gruff Harvey Griffin in the situation comedy, Hazel.

<i>The Merchant of Venice</i> (1969 film) 1969 unfinished film directed by Orson Welles

The Merchant of Venice is a 1969 drama short film directed by Orson Welles based on William Shakespeare's play of the same name. While actually completed, it is frequently cited as an unfinished film, though better described as a partially lost film due to the loss of film elements.

RCVR is a transmedia science fiction series created for the Internet by producer-director David van Eyssen, which offers an explanation for the exponential growth in science and technology since the late 19th century. The series was also produced by Tavin Marin Titus through production company Science To Fiction. The original story on which RCVR was based was written by van Eyssen. Brian Horiuchi and van Eyssen wrote the first season of RCVR as a team.

Othello was a 1951 production of William Shakespeare's play of the same name, which was produced, directed by and starring Orson Welles in his first appearance on the London stage.

Dracula is the title of several horror-adventure film series centered on Count Dracula, who is accidentally resurrected, bringing with him a plague of vampirism, and the ensuing efforts of heroic Van Helsing family to stop him.

References

  1. "John Van Eyssen". Archived from the original on 15 January 2009.
  2. McFarlane, Brian; Slide, Anthony (5 May 2018). The Encyclopedia of British Film: Fourth Edition. Oxford University Press. ISBN   9780719091391 via Google Books.
  3. Mystery Play Archive http://www.yorkmysteryplays.org/?idno=193&a=d&item_id=184&k=Eyssen
  4. Othello (Orson Welles stage production)
  5. 1 2 3 4 Staff, Variety (18 December 1995). "John van Eyssen".
  6. 1 2 'Van Eyssen named MD Columbia (British)', Kinematograph Weekly vol. 625 no. 3223 19 July 1969
  7. Levy, Emanuel (1 January 2003). All about Oscar: The History and Politics of the Academy Awards. Continuum. ISBN   9780826414526 via Google Books.
  8. "John Van Eyssen - Biography, Movie Highlights and Photos - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  9. "Excuse me Miss Sheperd, Elvis is on the line..." Bournemouth Echo.
  10. RCVR