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Simon Callow

Simon Callow

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Also Known As: Simon Philip Hugh Callow Died:
Born: June 13, 1949 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: London, England, GB Profession: Cast ... actor author translator director box office staffer
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BIOGRAPHY

Short, stocky triple-threat talent from the English stage. A deliciously rich character actor, Callow first won notice in 1979 when he originated the starring role of the abrasively immature Mozart in the National Theater's premiere production of Peter Shaffer's "Amadeus" and appeared as the opera impresario Emanuel Schikaneder in Milos Forman's film version (1984). He then went on to create a bevy of mostly comic supporting characters, notably in the Merchant-Ivory films based on E.M. Forster novels: "A Room With a View" (1986) as the Reverend Mr. Beebe and "Maurice" (1987) as schoolmaster Mr. Dulcie; he was also featured in their "Mr. and Mrs. Bridge" (1990) and played Meryl Streep's sharp-tongued film director in Mike Nichols' "Postcards From the Edge" (1990).

Callow made an uncredited appearance as a music lecturer in James Ivory's well-received period drama "Howards End" (1992), played one half of a gay couple in the much talked about "Four Weddings and A Funeral" (1994), and--in a complete departure--showed up in the Jean-Claude Van Damme action feature "Street Fighter" (1994) as a pompous official of an international organization. He remained in Hollywood for a far more eagerly anticipated commercial venture: playing the hissable villain in "Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls" (1995).

An established theater ("Shirley Valentine" on the London and Broadway stage), TV and opera director, Callow helmed his first feature, "The Ballad of the Sad Cafe" (1991) for the Merchant-Ivory team. He is also the author of the non-fiction books, "Being an Actor" (1984), "Charles Laughton: A Difficult Actor" (1988), "Shooting the Actor" based on a diary he kept during the shooting of Dusan Makavejev's "Manifesto" (1988) and "Orson Welles: The Road to Xanadu" (1995).

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