Miles Malleson

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Miles Malleson
Milles Malleson.jpg
in Stage Fright (1950)
Born
William Miles Malleson

(1888-05-25)25 May 1888
Died15 March 1969(1969-03-15) (aged 80)
Other namesMiles Malieson
OccupationActor/screenwriter
Years active1921– 1965
Spouse(s) Lady Constance Malleson (1915–1923)
Joan G. Billson (1923–1940)
Tatiana Lieven (1946–1969)

William Miles Malleson (25 May 1888 – 15 March 1969), generally known as Miles Malleson, was an English actor and dramatist, particularly remembered for his appearances in British comedy films of the 1930s to 1960s. Towards the end of his career he also appeared in cameo roles in several Hammer horror films, with a fairly large role in The Brides of Dracula as the hypochondriac and fee-hungry local doctor. Malleson was also a writer on many films, including some of those in which he had small parts, such as Nell Gwyn (1934) and The Thief of Bagdad (1940). He also translated and adapted several of Molière's plays ( The Misanthrope , which he titled The Slave of Truth, Tartuffe and The Imaginary Invalid ).

Hammer Film Productions The birthplace of classic British horror films

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 Frankenstein, Count Dracula, and The Mummy, which Hammer re-introduced 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 their most successful years, Hammer dominated the horror film market, enjoying worldwide distribution and considerable financial success. This success was, in part, due to their 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.

<i>The Brides of Dracula</i> 1960 film by Terence Fisher

The Brides of Dracula is a 1960 British horror film made by Hammer Film Productions. Directed by Terence Fisher, the film stars Peter Cushing, David Peel, Freda Jackson, Yvonne Monlaur, Andrée Melly, and Martita Hunt.

<i>Nell Gwynn</i> (1934 film) 1934 film by Herbert Wilcox

Nell Gwynn is a 1934 British historical drama film directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Anna Neagle, Cedric Hardwicke, Jeanne de Casalis, Miles Malleson and Moore Marriott. The film portrays the historical romance between Charles II of England and the actress Nell Gwynn. In the opening credits, the screenplay is attributed to Miles Malleson, "in collaboration with King Charles II, Samuel Pepys and Nell Gwyn." It was also released as Mistress Nell Gwyn.

Contents

Biography

Malleson was born in Avondale Road, South Croydon, Surrey, England, the son of Edmund Taylor Malleson (1859-1909), a manufacturing chemist, and Myrrha Bithynia Frances Borrell (1863-1931), a descendant of the numismatist Henry Perigal Borrell and the inventor Francis Maceroni. (Miles' cousin and contemporary Lucy Malleson had a long career as a mystery novelist, mostly under the pen name "Anthony Gilbert".)

Numismatics is the study or collection of currency, including coins, tokens, paper money and related objects. While numismatists are often characterised as students or collectors of coins, the discipline also includes the broader study of money and other payment media used to resolve debts and the exchange of goods. Early money used by people is referred to as "Odd and Curious", but the use of other goods in barter exchange is excluded, even where used as a circulating currency. The Kyrgyz people used horses as the principal currency unit and gave small change in lambskins; the lambskins may be suitable for numismatic study, but the horses are not. Many objects have been used for centuries, such as cowry shells, precious metals, cocoa beans, large stones and gems.

Henry Perigal Borrell was a British numismatist. He was the son of John Henry Borrell, a London clockmaker from Couvet, and Kitty Borrell. Having learned the numismatics trade in London, he traveled to the Ottoman Empire and set up home and shop in Smyrna as a trader, from 1818 right up until his death. Two years after his arrival, in 1820, he married Emelia Boddington in Smyrna. In the 1820s, he obtained an inscription from Aphrodisias, a copy of which he sent to August Boeckh. In 1838 he met the 6th Duke of Devonshire at Smyrna and sold him the Chatsworth Head. Via the Bank of England, Borrell also supplied coins to the British Museum.

Francis Maceroni British inventor

Colonel Francis Maceroni, born Francis Macirone (1788–1846), was a soldier, diplomat, revolutionary, balloonist, author and inventor.

He was educated at Brighton College and Emmanuel College, Cambridge. At Cambridge, he created a sensation when it was discovered that he had successfully posed as a politician and given a speech instead of the visitor who had failed to attend a debating society dinner. [1]

Brighton College Independent day and boarding school public school in Brighton, East Sussex, England

Brighton College is an independent, co-educational boarding and day school for boys and girls aged 3 to 18 in Brighton, England. The school has three sites: Brighton College ; Brighton College Preparatory School ; and the Pre-Prep School.

Emmanuel College, Cambridge college of the University of Cambridge

Emmanuel College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge. The college was founded in 1584 by Sir Walter Mildmay, Chancellor of the Exchequer to Elizabeth I.

University of Cambridge university in Cambridge, United Kingdom

The University of Cambridge is a collegiate public research university in Cambridge, United Kingdom. Founded in 1209 and granted a royal charter by King Henry III in 1231, Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world's fourth-oldest surviving university. The university grew out of an association of scholars who left the University of Oxford after a dispute with the townspeople. The two 'ancient universities' share many common features and are often referred to jointly as 'Oxbridge'. The academic standards, history, influence and wealth of the University of Cambridge has made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

Malleson made his first appearance on stage as an actor in September 1911, turning professional two months later. He studied acting at Herbert Beerbohm Tree's Academy of Dramatic Art, which later was renamed the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). Here he met his first wife in 1913. In September 1914 he enlisted in the Army, and was sent to Malta, but was invalided home and discharged in January 1915. By June 1916 he was writing in support of conscientious objectors. [2] Malleson was a supporter of the Bolshevik revolution and a founder member of the socialist 1917 Club in Soho.

Herbert Beerbohm Tree 19th/20th-century English actor and theatre manager

Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree was an English actor and theatre manager.

Royal Academy of Dramatic Art Drama school located in London, England

The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) is a drama school in London, England that provides training for film, television and theatre. It is one of the oldest drama schools in the United Kingdom, founded in 1904 by Herbert Beerbohm Tree.

British Army land warfare branch of the British Armed Forces of the United Kingdom

The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of British Armed Forces. As of 2018, the British Army comprises just over 81,500 trained regular (full-time) personnel and just over 27,000 trained reserve (part-time) personnel.

He married three times and had many relationships. In 1915, he married writer and aspiring actress Lady Constance Malleson. Like her, he was interested in social reform, one of his plays being on the subject of the Tolpuddle Martyrs. Theirs was an open marriage and they divorced amicably in 1923 so that he could marry Joan Billson; they divorced in 1940. His third wife was Tatiana Lieven, whom he married in 1946 and from whom he had been separated for several years at the time of his death. [3]

Lady Constance Malleson British actress

Lady Constance Malleson was a British writer and actress. The daughter of Hugh Annesley, 5th Earl Annesley, Malleson studied at the Royal Academy of Drama Art and was a popular theater performer.

Tolpuddle Martyrs Political prisoners in Tolpuddle, Dorset, England, UK

The Tolpuddle Martyrs were a group of six agricultural labourers in the village of Tolpuddle in Dorset, England, who were convicted of swearing a secret oath as members of the Friendly Society of Agricultural Labourers in 1834. The Tolpuddle Martyrs were arrested on a legal technicality during a labour dispute against decreasing wages before being convicted in R v Lovelass and Others and sentenced to penal transportation to Australia. The Tolpuddle Martyrs were pardoned in 1836 after mass protests by sympathisers and support from Lord John Russell, returning to England between 1837 to 1839.

Open marriage is a form of non-monogamy in which the partners of a dyadic marriage agree that each may engage in extramarital sexual relationships, without this being regarded by them as infidelity, and consider or establish an open relationship despite the implied monogamy of marriage.

He was tall and slender, but with a strongly receding chin and a sharp nose that produced the effect of a double chin like that of Robert Morley, who was not slender. His manner was gentle and absent-minded; his voice, soft and high. He is best remembered for his roles as the Sultan in The Thief of Bagdad (1940), the poetically-inclined hangman in Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) and as Dr. Chasuble in The Importance of Being Earnest (1952).

Robert Morley English actor

Robert Adolph Wilton Morley, CBE was an English actor who was usually cast as a pompous English gentleman representing the Establishment, often in supporting roles. In Movie Encyclopedia, film critic Leonard Maltin describes Morley as "recognisable by his ungainly bulk, bushy eyebrows, thick lips and double chin, ... particularly effective when cast as a pompous windbag." More politely, Ephraim Katz in his International Film Encyclopaedia describes Morley as "a rotund, triple-chinned, delightful character player of the British and American stage and screen." In his autobiography, Responsible Gentleman, Morley said his stage career started with managements valuing his appearance for playing "substantial gentleman" roles — as a doctor, lawyer, accountant or other professional member of society.

<i>The Thief of Bagdad</i> (1940 film) 1940 film by Ludwig Berger, Alexander Korda, Michael Powell, William Cameron Menzies, Zoltan Korda, Tim Whelan

The Thief of Bagdad is a 1940 British Technicolor Arabian fantasy film, produced by Alexander Korda, directed by Michael Powell, Ludwig Berger, and Tim Whelan, with additional contributions by Korda's brothers Vincent and Zoltán and William Cameron Menzies. The film stars child actor Sabu, Conrad Veidt, John Justin, and June Duprez. It was distributed in the US and the UK by United Artists.

<i>Kind Hearts and Coronets</i> 1949 British crime comedy film directed by Robert Hamer

Kind Hearts and Coronets is a 1949 British black comedy film. It features Dennis Price, Joan Greenwood, Valerie Hobson and Alec Guinness; Guinness plays nine characters. The plot is loosely based on the novel Israel Rank: The Autobiography of a Criminal (1907) by Roy Horniman. It concerns Louis D'Ascoyne Mazzini, the son of a woman disowned by her aristocratic family for marrying out of her social class. After her death, Louis decides to take revenge on the family, and to take the dukedom by murdering the eight people ahead of him in succession to the title.

Failing eyesight led to his being unable to work in his last years. He died in March 1969 following surgery to remove cataracts and was cremated in a private ceremony. A memorial service was held at St Martin-in-the-Fields during which Sybil Thorndike and Laurence Olivier both gave readings. [4]

Partial filmography

As actor

As screenwriter

Playwright credits

Translation work

Malleson translated many plays by Molière, including Le bourgeois gentilhomme , L'avare , L'école des femmes , [5] Le Misanthrope , Tartuffe , Le malade imaginaire and the one-act play Sganarelle . He also adapted a German play, Flieger, by Hermann Rossmann, under the English title The Ace. This was later filmed as

He wrote the subtitles for a filmed version of a Comédie Française production of Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme which was shown at the Academy Cinema in London in 1962. [6]

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References

  1. Catherine De La Roche (1 October 1949). "Miles of Characters". Picturegoer magazine.Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  2. Miles Malleson: Cranks and Commonsense, 1916; Miles Malleson: Second Thoughts, nd [1916]
  3. Malleson, Andrew Discovering the Family of Miles Malleson 1888 to 1969 Google Books (2012) pg 267
  4. Malleson, Andrew pg 268
  5. "Swan Theatre Company School for Wives production".
  6. Daily Telegraph 23 December 1982, p.8