Esmond Knight


Actor
Esmond Knight

About

Also Known As
Esmond Pennington Knight
Birth Place
East Sheen, England, GB
Born
May 04, 1906
Died
February 23, 1987

Biography

English actor Esmond Knight recovered from a devastating war wound to sustain a career spanning over 50 years in film, television, and stage productions. Starting before the age of 20, he performed on the London stage, moving into feature films a few years later. After playing numerous roles through the '30s, he fought in the Royal Navy in World War II and suffered a blinding injury in b...

Family & Companions

Nora Swinburne
Wife
Actor. Born in July 1902; died in May 2000.

Bibliography

"Seeking the Bubble"
Esmond Knight (1943)

Biography

English actor Esmond Knight recovered from a devastating war wound to sustain a career spanning over 50 years in film, television, and stage productions. Starting before the age of 20, he performed on the London stage, moving into feature films a few years later. After playing numerous roles through the '30s, he fought in the Royal Navy in World War II and suffered a blinding injury in battle, resulting in having one eye removed and prompting him to dictate his autobiography, "Seeking the Bubble." Renowned director Michael Powell coaxed the blind actor back to work for the film "The Silver Fleet." Shortly thereafter, an operation partially restored sight in his remaining eye, bringing greater opportunities, including the Powell-Pressburger landmark films, "Black Narcissus" and "The Red Shoes." He played a castle guard in Laurence Olivier's "Hamlet" and stepped up to a leading role in Jean Renoir's "The River." Beginning in the late '50s, Knight was frequently cast in British TV series, though he continued to act for films, including a part as the captain of the Prince of Wales, the same ship on which he was blinded, in "Sink the Bismarck!" He worked prodigiously into the '80s, with a late-career role in Lars von Trier's early feature "The Element of Crime." Knight died in 1987 while filming "The Balkan Trilogy" in Cairo, leaving behind actress Nora Swinburne, his wife of over 40 years.

Life Events

Videos

Movie Clip

Hamlet (1948) - This Is The Tragedy The star and director narrates the opening, guard Francisco (John Laurie) relieved by Bernardo (Esmond Knight), joined by Marcellus (Anthony Quayle) and Horatio (Norman Wooland), in Laurence Olivier's 1948 production of Hamlet.
Robin and Marian (1976) - I Want My Treasure Returning toward England after decades abroad, petulant King Richard (Richard Harris) insists that Robin (Sean Connery) and Little John (Nicol Williamson) loot a barren castle, despite its ornery defender (Esmond Knight) , opening Richard Lester's Robin and Marian, 1976.
River, The (1951) - It Brought A Young Man Further exposition, June Hillman reading from Rumer Godden's novel, from the perspective of young Harriet (Patricia Walter), emphasis this time on Valerie (Adrienne Corri), the parents (Nora Swinburne, Esmond Knight) and especially Nan (Suprova Mukerjee), early in Jean Renoir's The River, 1951.
River, The (1951) - Hindus Believe In One God Narration by June Hillman, in the voice of author Rumer Godden and the character Harriet (Patricia Walters), continues, as director Jean Renoir depicts the Indian festival Diwali, Thomas E. Breen as visiting "Captain John," in The River, 1951.
River, The (1951) - The Story Of My First Love Narration by June Hillman, text from the novel by Rumer Godden, cinematography by the director's nephew Claude, shooting on location on the Hooghly river in West Bengal, north of Calcutta, India, opening Jean Renoir's celebrated The River, 1951.
Contraband (1940) - Come On, Mata Hari! Danish merchant captain Andersen (Conrad Veidt) sneaking ashore with aide (Hay Petrie), pursuing passengers Pidgeon (Esmond Knight) and Mrs. Sorensen (Valerie Hobson) who have snatched his shore passes for England, early in Powell and Pressburger's Contraband, 1940.
Canterbury Tale, A (1944) - Another Kind Of Pilgrim Writing, directing and producing team Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger with their distinctive opening, Esmond Knight narrating,from the wartime A Canterbury Tale, 1944, starring Eric Portman, Sheila Sim and Dennis Price.
Crime Unlimited - Opening Credits Opening credits from Crime Unlimited, (1935) from Teddington Studios.
Crime Unlimited - Lip Read Undercover copper Pete Borden (Esmond Knight) communicates to a police lip-reader in Crime Unlimited, (1935).
Crime Unlimited - Blindfold Undercover policeman Pete Borden (Esmond Knight) attempts to win over the mysterious criminal Merrick (Wyndham Goldie) in Crime Unlimited, (1935).
Crime Unlimited - Addison The criminal mastermind known as Merrick (Wyndham Goldie) reveals himself to undercover cop Pete Borden (Esmond Knight) in Crime Unlimited, (1935).

Family

Rosalind Knight
Daughter
Actor.

Companions

Nora Swinburne
Wife
Actor. Born in July 1902; died in May 2000.

Bibliography

"Seeking the Bubble"
Esmond Knight (1943)