Family & Companions
Nicholas Clay was born to working-class parents in Streatham, London and had a yen for the stage very early in his life. After graduating from the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, he immediately began securing roles on the stage, being cast in several productions at the Old Vic Theatre, led by Sir Laurence Olivier. He quickly moved on to films and TV productions in England. His first breakthrough role came with 1972's "The Darwin Adventure," in which he was cast as Charles Darwin. Audiences came in droves to 1981's "Lady Chatterley's Lover," but that was more due to co-star Sylvia Kristel's nude scenes. His career really started to take off in the 1980s, when he was cast in his biggest role as Lancelot in John Boorman's Arthurian epic, "Excalibur." That film was a worldwide success, and opened the door for many other roles throughout the decade. In the 1980s, Clay was given a screen test for the role of James Bond, but sadly didn't get the role. He primarily worked in television for the latter half of his career, with a recurring role on the BBC series "Virtual Murder" being the most notable. Clay passed away of liver cancer in 2000, leaving behind a wife and two daughters.