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Bernard Miles

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Also Known As: Died: June 15, 1991
Born: September 27, 1907 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Uxbridge, England, GB Profession: actor, director, producer, screenwriter, teacher

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Prolific actor of the London stage who entered film in 1933 in small supporting roles. Specializing in portraying country rustics, Miles appeared in Michael Powell's "The Love Test" (1935) and "One of Our Aircraft Is Missing" (1942), Anthony Asquith's "Quiet Wedding" (1940) and the Boulting Brothers' "Pastor Hall" (1940) before his first starring role opposite Noel Coward in the Noel Coward-David Lean directed "In Which We Serve" (1942). He contributed to the script of Will Hay's wartime comedy hit "The Goose Steps Out" (1942) and made his directorial debut with "Tawny Pipit" (1944), a comedy about rare birds that he co-wrote, produced and co-directed. Although Miles continued writing "The Guinea Pig" (1948) and directing films "Chance of a Lifetime" (1950), he is best remembered for a gallery of superb character performances. Some of the most memorable included the "poor-but-honest" Joe Gargery in David Lean's "Great Expectations" (1946), the sinister phony minister/kidnapper in Alfred Hitchcock's 1956 remake of "The Man Who Knew Too Much", and the bourgeois father threatened by the prospect of his son's interracial marriage in "Sapphire" (1959). In 1959 Miles founded the Mermaid Theater with his...

Prolific actor of the London stage who entered film in 1933 in small supporting roles. Specializing in portraying country rustics, Miles appeared in Michael Powell's "The Love Test" (1935) and "One of Our Aircraft Is Missing" (1942), Anthony Asquith's "Quiet Wedding" (1940) and the Boulting Brothers' "Pastor Hall" (1940) before his first starring role opposite Noel Coward in the Noel Coward-David Lean directed "In Which We Serve" (1942). He contributed to the script of Will Hay's wartime comedy hit "The Goose Steps Out" (1942) and made his directorial debut with "Tawny Pipit" (1944), a comedy about rare birds that he co-wrote, produced and co-directed.

Although Miles continued writing "The Guinea Pig" (1948) and directing films "Chance of a Lifetime" (1950), he is best remembered for a gallery of superb character performances. Some of the most memorable included the "poor-but-honest" Joe Gargery in David Lean's "Great Expectations" (1946), the sinister phony minister/kidnapper in Alfred Hitchcock's 1956 remake of "The Man Who Knew Too Much", and the bourgeois father threatened by the prospect of his son's interracial marriage in "Sapphire" (1959).

In 1959 Miles founded the Mermaid Theater with his wife, actress Josephine Wilson. His most famous mermaid role was as Long John Silver in the annual Christmas production of "Treasure Island" which he co-wrote and starred in for a 1982 TV version. Miles was knighted in 1969 for his efforts to sustain the Mermaid Theater and was given a life peerage in 1979.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Chance of a Lifetime (1950) Director
2.
  Tawny Pipit (1944) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Contraband (1999) Smoker
2.
 Lady And The Highwayman, The (1989) Lord Justice Dalrymple
3.
4.
 Run Wild, Run Free (1969) Reg
5.
 Heavens Above! (1963) Simpson
6.
 Sapphire (1959) Mr Harris
7.
 tom thumb (1958) Jonathan
8.
 She Played with Fire (1958) Mr. Jerome
9.
 Smallest Show on Earth (1957) Old Tom
10.
 Saint Joan (1957) Master Executioner
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Worked as a teacher
1930:
Professional stage debut as 2nd messenger in "Richard III"
:
Joined the New Theatre in London
1933:
Film acting debut, "Channel Crossing"
1937:
Joined Herbert Farjeon's revue company
1942:
Appeared in first starring role, opposite Noel Coward in "In Which We Serve"
1942:
Contributed to the script of Will Hay's wartime comedy, "The Goose Steps Out"
1944:
Co-wroted, produced and co-directed (with Charles Saunders) first feature film, "Tawny Pipit"
1969:
His stage musical, "Lock Up Your Daughters", adapted from an 18th-century play by Henry Fielding, was subsequently made into a film by Columbia Pictures
1982:
Co-wrote a TV adaptation of his famed annual Christmas Mermaid stage production of Robert Louis Stevenson's "Treasure Island"; played Long John Silver
1991:
Friends in show business staged a benefit for Miles after learning he was nearly blind, confined to a wheelchair and living on a state pension (date approximate)
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Pembroke College, Oxford University: -

Notes

Miles was the only British actor, apart from Laurence Olivier, to be honored with a life peerage.

He formed the Mermaid Theatre Trust to build the first playhouse for 300 years in London's financial district; theater opened in May 1959

He was knighted in 1969.

He made life peer by British government in 1979.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Josephine Wilson. Actor. Died in November 1990.

Family close complete family listing

son:
John Miles.
daughter:
Bridget Miles.

Bibliography close complete biography

"The British Theatre"
"God's Brainwave"
"Favorite Tales from Shakespeare"
"Curtain Calls"
VIEW COMPLETE BIBLIOGRAPHY

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