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James Villiers

James Villiers

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Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

James Villiers was an English character actor known for his aristocratic lineage and the precise, even clichéd, articulation often associated with such supreme breeding. A graduate of RADA, where he schooled with and befriended Peter O'Toole, Villiers had a lifelong love for the theater, performing live Shakespeare with the Old Vic and on the BBC. After debuting on television and in film in 1958, Villiers took on several intriguing projects in the mid-'60s, including Roman Polanski's horror thriller "Repulsion," alongside Catherine Deneuve, and a supporting role in "The Wrong Box," a comedy with then-rising English star Michael Caine. In the '70s, he appeared with old pal O'Toole in, appropriately, the comedy "The Ruling Class," and he later appeared as Mr. Booby in the Ann-Margret comedy "Joseph Andrews." Villiers gained wider visibility when he played Tanner, a secret service colleague of Roger Moore's James Bond in "For Your Eyes Only," a thankfully high-profile role. Villiers especially hit his stride on television with roles including Professor Henry Higgins in the romantic drama "Pygmalion," a 1973 part on the "BBC Play of the Month" series, and, in perhaps an even more perfect bit of casting,...

James Villiers was an English character actor known for his aristocratic lineage and the precise, even clichéd, articulation often associated with such supreme breeding. A graduate of RADA, where he schooled with and befriended Peter O'Toole, Villiers had a lifelong love for the theater, performing live Shakespeare with the Old Vic and on the BBC. After debuting on television and in film in 1958, Villiers took on several intriguing projects in the mid-'60s, including Roman Polanski's horror thriller "Repulsion," alongside Catherine Deneuve, and a supporting role in "The Wrong Box," a comedy with then-rising English star Michael Caine. In the '70s, he appeared with old pal O'Toole in, appropriately, the comedy "The Ruling Class," and he later appeared as Mr. Booby in the Ann-Margret comedy "Joseph Andrews." Villiers gained wider visibility when he played Tanner, a secret service colleague of Roger Moore's James Bond in "For Your Eyes Only," a thankfully high-profile role. Villiers especially hit his stride on television with roles including Professor Henry Higgins in the romantic drama "Pygmalion," a 1973 part on the "BBC Play of the Month" series, and, in perhaps an even more perfect bit of casting, as Baron de Batz in the 1982 version of the drama "The Scarlet Pimpernel," with Jane Seymour and Ian McKellen in co-starring roles. Villiers continued acting in films well into the '90s, making his final feature performance in the 1998 drama "The Tichborne Claimant," about an heir seeking his inheritance. Villiers passed away from cancer at age 67.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Tichborne Claimant, The (1998) Uncle Henry Seymour
2.
 Wavelength (1996) Mullins
3.
 Uncovered (1994) Montegrifo
4.
 King Ralph (1991) Hale
5.
 Let Him Have It (1991)
6.
 Scandal (1989) Martin Redmayne
7.
 Honor, Profit and Pleasure (1985) Addison
8.
 Under the Volcano (1984) Brit
9.
 Mantrap (1984) Tony Walmsley
10.
 Notes From Under the Volcano (1984) Himself
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