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Ian Bannen

Ian Bannen

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Also Known As: Died: November 3, 1999
Born: June 29, 1928 Cause of Death: automobile accident
Birth Place: United Kingdom Profession: actor, professional photographer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Scottish-born actor Ian Bannen began his career in Ireland in 1947 and first appeared on the London stage as Captain Rickman in "Prisoners of War" (1955). Closely identified in England with the plays of Eugene O'Neill, he portrayed Hickey in "The Iceman Cometh" (1957) and Jamie Tyrone in "Long Day's Journey Into Night" (1958), later reprising the role of Jamie for 1983 productions of "A Moon for the Misbegotten" in London and NYC. Bannen made his feature debut in "Battle Hell" (1956), acquitted himself well in "The Risk/Suspect" (1960) and earned a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination as the cynical plane crash survivor in Robert Aldrich's "Flight of the Phoenix" (1965). His suave, dark good looks were fully utilized as Natalie Wood's stuffy husband in the lightweight "Penelope" (1967) and allowed him to be cast against type as a child molester in Sidney Lumet's taut "The Offense" (1973). As he aged into character roles, Bannen found success in a variety of roles from a unscrupulous religious in the underrated "Lamb" (1985) to the cantankerous grandfather in John Boorman's autobiographical "Hope and Glory" (1987). In addition, he made an indelible impression as The Leper in Mel Gibson's...

Scottish-born actor Ian Bannen began his career in Ireland in 1947 and first appeared on the London stage as Captain Rickman in "Prisoners of War" (1955). Closely identified in England with the plays of Eugene O'Neill, he portrayed Hickey in "The Iceman Cometh" (1957) and Jamie Tyrone in "Long Day's Journey Into Night" (1958), later reprising the role of Jamie for 1983 productions of "A Moon for the Misbegotten" in London and NYC. Bannen made his feature debut in "Battle Hell" (1956), acquitted himself well in "The Risk/Suspect" (1960) and earned a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination as the cynical plane crash survivor in Robert Aldrich's "Flight of the Phoenix" (1965). His suave, dark good looks were fully utilized as Natalie Wood's stuffy husband in the lightweight "Penelope" (1967) and allowed him to be cast against type as a child molester in Sidney Lumet's taut "The Offense" (1973). As he aged into character roles, Bannen found success in a variety of roles from a unscrupulous religious in the underrated "Lamb" (1985) to the cantankerous grandfather in John Boorman's autobiographical "Hope and Glory" (1987). In addition, he made an indelible impression as The Leper in Mel Gibson's "Braveheart" (1995). The Ealingesque comedy "Waking Ned Devine" (1998) also provided a fine showcase for David Kelly and him as two brothers who concoct an impersonation scam after discovering that their old friend Ned Devine has died clutching the winning ticket to the Irish Lottery.

Bannen is perhaps more familiar to American viewers for his extensive television work, both for American and British networks (airing primarily on PBS in the USA). After playing McDuff in an NBC version of "Macbeth" (1960), he later had the romantic leads in remakes of "Johnny Belinda" (ABC, 1967, opposite Mia Farrow) and "Jane Eyre" (NBC, 1971, with Susannah York). Well-cast as Amos in the Franco Zeffirelli's 1971 NBC miniseries "Jesus of Nazareth", the actor fully demonstrated his versatility undertaking a portrayal of Adolph Hitler in "The Gathering Storm", a 1974 NBC entry of "Hallmark Hall of Fame". For the BBC, Bannen acted in the highly acclaimed "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" (1979), starring Alec Guinness, and later in "Doctor Jekyll & Mr. Hyde" (1981) and "Ashenden" (1992). In addition to his appearances in "Perry Mason: The Case of the Desperate Deception" (NBC, 1990) and the TNT miniseries "The Sound and the Silence" (1993), Bannen's recent performances on PBS have been in "The Politician's Wife" ("Masterpiece Theatre", 1996), "Original Sin" ("Mystery!", 1997) and "The Treaty" (1998).

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Taliesin Jones (2001) Billy Evans
2.
 To Walk With Lions (1999) Terence Adamson
3.
 Best (1999) Matt Busby
4.
 Waking Ned Devine (1998) Jackie O'Shea
5.
 Original Sin (1997) Gabriel Dauntsey
6.
 Braveheart (1995) The Leper
7.
 Pin for the Butterfly, A (1994) Grandpa
8.
 Damage (1992) Edward Lloyd
9.
 Crossing the Line (1990) Matt Mason
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1947:
Stage debut, "Armlet of Jade" at the Gate Theatre in Dublin, Ireland
:
Served his mandatory 18 months with the British Army
1951:
Performed with the Memorial Theatre Company in Stratford-on-Avon (now the Royal Shakespeare Company)
1955:
London stage debut, "Prisoners of War"
1956:
Film acting debut in "Battle Hell"
1956:
First West End appearance, Arthur Miller's "A View from the Bridge", directed by Peter Brook
1958:
Starred in "Wolf Pack" for British TV's "Armchair Theatre"
1960:
Portrayed McDuff in NBC-TV version of "Macbeth", which ultimately received a theatrical release
1961:
Played title role in "Hamlet", as well as Mercutio ("Romeo and Juliet") and Iago opposite Sir John Gielgud in a production of "Othello" (directed by Franco Zeffirelli), all for Memorial Theatre Company
1963:
Starred in first production outside of South Africa of Athol Fugard's "The Blood Knot"
1964:
Played one of five love-starved men vying for the attention of Carroll Baker in "Station Six-Sahara"
1965:
Won acclaim for his efforts in Sidney Lumet's "The Hill"
1965:
Earned an Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actor for Robert Aldrich's "The Flight of the Phoenix"
1967:
Starred opposite Mia Farrow in TV remake of "Johnny Belinda" (ABC)
1970:
Acted the part of St. John Rivers in NBC-TV version of "Jane Eyre"
1971:
Portrayed Amos in Zeffirelli's "Jesus of Nazareth", an NBC miniseries
1973:
Appeared as Slade in "The Mackintosh Man", starring Paul Newman
1974:
Essayed the role of Adolph Hitler in the "Hallmark Hall of Fame" production, "The Gathering Storm"
1979:
Acted opposite Alec Guinness in the acclaimed BBC serial "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy"; aired in USA as part of PBS' "Great Performances" in 1980
1981:
Appeared in "Eye of the Needle", starring Donald Sutherland
1981:
Scored a critical hit in the London premiere of Brian Friel's "Translations"
1982:
Had small role as a policeman in Richard Attenborough's "Gandhi"
1983:
US stage debut, Eugene O'Neill's "A Moon for the Misbegotten"
1985:
Played in David Drury's taut political thriller "Defence of the Realm"
1987:
Offered a marvelous turn as the cantakerous grandfather in John Boorman's "Hope and Glory"
1991:
Appeared in David Mamet adaptation of Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya", directed by Gregory Mosher for PBS' "Great Performances"
1991:
Portrayed Secret Service Controller 'R' in four part drama serial "Ashenden", based on short stories by Somerset Maugham; aired on A&E in 1992
:
Played Dr. Cameron in "Dr. Finlay" (a revival of the 1962-1971 BBC series "Dr Finlay's Casebook") for Scottish TV; Parts I and II aired on PBS' "Masterpiece Theatre"
1995:
Acted the part of The Leper in Mel Gibson's "Braveheart"
1998:
Portrayed Prime Minister David Lloyd George in "The Treaty" (PBS), an account of the signing of the Anglo-Irish treaty in 1921
1998:
Starred opposite David Kelly in "Waking Ned Devine", a folksy Irish comedy in the tradition of Ealing Studios
1999:
Wrapped "To Walk With Lions", the true story of drifter Tony Fitzjohn who lived with George and Joy Adamson and became a leader in the worldwide conservation movement; portrayed Terrence Adamson
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Ratcliffe College: -

Notes

"You can use tricks on stage, but never on screen. There's nowhere to hide from the camera." --Ian Bannen, quoted in PR for "The Courier" (1989)

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Marilyn Salisbury. Married in 1978.

Family close complete family listing

father:
James Bannen.
mother:
Clare Bannen.

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