Maurice Denham


Actor

About

Birth Place
Kent, England, GB
Born
December 23, 1909
Died
July 24, 2002

Biography

A prolific British character player from the stage, whose film and TV appearances were usually in decidedly supporting roles, Maurice Denham was originally an engineer. He did not make his theatrical debut in until he was in his mid-20s, playing Hubert in "The Marquise" at the Little Theatre in Hull, England. Denham made his London debut in "Rain Before Seven" (1936). Already an establis...

Family & Companions

Margaret Dunn
Wife
Deceased.

Biography

A prolific British character player from the stage, whose film and TV appearances were usually in decidedly supporting roles, Maurice Denham was originally an engineer. He did not make his theatrical debut in until he was in his mid-20s, playing Hubert in "The Marquise" at the Little Theatre in Hull, England. Denham made his London debut in "Rain Before Seven" (1936). Already an established character player with a long list of stage credits, he joined the Old Vic Company in 1961 playing both "King Lear" and "Macbeth" that year. Denham played the title role in a West End production of "Nathan the Wise" (1967) and Serebryakov a Hampstead production of "Uncle Vanya" (1979).

Denham had made an early foray in films in 1941 in a bit part in "Barnacle Bill" but did not come to the medium in earnest until 1947 when he appeared in a small role in "Daybreak" and played the uppercrust Major Frazer in "Blanche Fury," a film based on a real-life murder case. These films set a standard for Denham's roles, often cast as uppercrust sometimes stolid domestic workers, but always 'veddy, veddy English'. Later, he often played working stiffs, such as his small role as the trawler skipper in "Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines" (1965) and an undertaker in "Julia" (1977). Virtually all his films were British productions, with exceptions like "23 Paces to Baker Street" (1956) and "Midas Run" (1969). Still working into his 80s, Denham portrayed George Martin, the aged bachelor bookstore clerk, warmed by the letters sent by Helen Hanft (Anne Bancroft) in "84 Charing Cross Road" (1987).

Denham's small screen work has been frequent, but rarely provided him with leading roles. An exception was "From a Far Country: Pope John Paul II" (NBC, 1981), in which he had the title role. (The movie also had a theatrical run in Europe.) He played another priest in the British TV production "The Potting Seed," one of the first dramas shown on the CBS Cable channel during its short life in 1981. Denham also was cast as Senor Diego alongside Alec Guinness and Leo McKern in "Mongsignor Quixote" (PBS, 1987). One of his last roles was in the Harlequin Romance "Tears in the Rain" (Showtime, 1988).

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

Robert Rylands' Last Journey (1996)
Hume
Tears in the Rain (1988)
Fordingbridge
Mr. Love (1986)
Theo
84 Charing Cross Road (1986)
The Chain (1985)
From a Far Country: Pope John Paul II (1981)
Sapieha
Julia (1977)
Undertaker
Shout at the Devil (1976)
Luther (1974)
The Day of the Jackal (1973)
Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971)
Mr. Greville
Nicholas and Alexandra (1971)
[Vladimir] Kokovtsov
The Virgin and the Gypsy (1970)
The Rector
Countess Dracula (1970)
The Best House in London (1969)
Editor of "The Times"
Midas Run (1969)
Crittenden
Thank You All Very Much (1969)
Dr. Prothero
Some Girls Do (1969)
Mr Mortimer
Danger Route (1968)
Peter Ravenspur
Torture Garden (1968)
Colin's uncle
Attack on the Iron Coast (1968)
Sir Frederick Grafton
Negatives (1968)
Father
The Long Duel (1967)
Governor
After the Fox (1966)
Chief of Interpol
The Uncle (1966)
Mr. Ream
The Heroes of Telemark (1966)
Doctor at hospital
Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines; or How I Flew From London to Paris in 25 Hours and 11 Minutes (1965)
Trawler skipper
The Nanny (1965)
Dr. Beamaster
The Alphabet Murders (1965)
Inspector Japp
Hysteria (1965)
Hemmings
Operation Crossbow (1965)
R.A.F. Officer
The Heroes of Telemark (To Be Deleted) (1965)
Doctor At Hospital
The 7th Dawn (1964)
Tarlton
Paranoiac (1963)
John Kossett
Damn the Defiant! (1962)
Surgeon Goss
Loss of Innocence (1961)
Uncle William Bullock
The Mark (1961)
Arnold Cartwright
Invasion Quartet (1961)
Dr. Barker
Two-Way Stretch (1961)
Cmdr. Horatio Bennet, the prison governor
Sink the Bismarck! (1960)
Commander Richards
Our Man in Havana (1960)
Admiral
All at Sea (1958)
[Mayor] Crowley
The Captain's Table (1958)
Checkpoint (1958)
23 Paces to Baker Street (1956)
Inspector Grovening
Simon and Laura (1956)
Wilson
Animal Farm (1955)
Voices of all animals
The Purple Plain (1955)
Blore
Doctor at Sea (1955)
Easter
Man with a Million (1954)
Mr. Reid
Carrington V.C. (1954)
Eight O'Clock Walk (1954)
Terror on a Train (1953)
Mr. [Jim] Warrilow
The Malta Story (1953)
Voice
The Net (1953)
No Highway in the Sky (1951)
Maj. Pearl
Quartet (1949)
Coroner
Landfall (1949)
The Spider and the Fly (1949)
Colonel De La Roche
The Blue Lagoon (1949)
Madness of the Heart (1949)
Escape (1948)
Crown counsel
They Made Me a Fugitive (1948)
London Belongs to Me (1948)
Blanche Fury (1948)
Daybreak (1947)
The Man Within (1947)
The End of the River (1947)
Jassy (1947)

Cast (Special)

Sherlock Holmes: The Last Vampyre (1994)
Fat Chance (1993)
Memento Mori (1992)
Rumpole and the Quality of Life (1990)
Justice Gwent-Evans
All Passion Spent (1989)
Agatha Christie's Miss Marple, Series IV (1989)
Love Song (1987)
Sir William
Monsignor Quixote (1987)
The Potting Shed (1982)
Father William Callifer

Life Events

1934

Began stage career in repertory in Hull

1936

Made London stage debut in "Rain Before Seven"

1941

Made screen acting debut in "Barnacle Bill"

1961

With Old Vic Company

1961

Played "Macbeth" with Old Vic

1982

Made cable TV debut in "The Potting Sled"

1987

Had featured role in "84 Charing Cross Road"

1988

Co-starred in "Tears in the Rain" for Showtime

Videos

Movie Clip

Terror On A Train (1953) - It's A Detonator You're Playing With Director Ted Tetzlaff has established a train, packed with explosives, leaving Birmingham, as we meet a stowaway (Victor Maddern), constable Baron (John Horsley), his supervisor Collins (Martin Wyldek), then railroad cop Warrilow (Maurice Denham), in Terror On A Train< 1953, starring Glenn Ford.
Terror On A Train (1953) - Straight Through The Graveyard Authorities are evacuating the fictional English town of Felsworth, police officials Branson, Warrilow and Reed (Campbell Singer, Maurice Denham, Bill Fraser) explaining to engineer Lyncort (Glenn Ford) about the train wired with explosives, Harcourt Williams the vicar, in Terror On A Train, 1953.
Curse Of The Demon (1957) - For Myself And My Followers Professor Harrington (Maurice Denham) knows evil Karswell (Niall MacGinnis) really is running a devil cult, but offers to revoke his charges in return for the lifting of a curse, then leaves, encountering special effects, opening Curse Of The Demon, 1957.
Two Way Stretch (1960) - Blimey Sauerkraut! Otherwise-relaxed prison trusty Dodger (Peter Sellers) is alarmed at the arrival of the notorious screw Crout (Lionel Jeffries), who proceeds to visit the warden (Maurice Denham) in the British prison comedy Two Way Stretch, 1960.
Two Way Stretch (1960) - Not Enough Rocks To Go Around? Tough prison guard Crout (Wilfrid Hyde-White) has re-opened the quarry, cracking down on inmates Jelly (David Lodge), Lennie (Bernard Cribbins) and Dodger (Peter Sellers), which doesn't work out, in Two Way Stretch, 1960.
Two Way Stretch (1960) - You Know Your Vicar We don’t initially know that Wilfrid Hyde-White isn’t really a vicar, as he visits the prison warden (Maurice Denham), but when cagey inmate Dodger (Peter Sellers) is brought in for counseling, we learn he’s really the notorious crook Soapy, in the British-made comedy Two Way Stretch, 1960.
Operation Crossbow (1965) - Buried The Roosters Thirty minutes in, we start meeting Allied officers who’ll undertake the WWII spy mission, first Anthony Quayle and Tom Courtenay waiting, then George Peppard as swaggering American (leading man) Curtis, and Jeremy Kemp as the bothered Brit Bradley, in Operation Crossbow, 1965.
Man With A Million (1953) - Tailor Todd the tailor's assistant (Bryan Forbes) goes to pieces though Mr. Reid (Maurice Denham) copes better when Adams (Gregory Peck) offers payment in Man With A Million, 1953.
Mark, The (1961) -- That's The Blue Boy Still mysterious as Fuller (Stuart Whitman), having taken a room in an un-named English city, chats with landlady Mrs. Cartwright (Brenda De Banzie) and husband (Maurice Denham), some emphasis on a print of a famous painting, early in The Mark, 1961, co-starring Rod Steiger and Maria Schell.
Nanny, The (1965) - Mind Of A Child Bill (James Villiers) consults with the doctor (Maurice Denham) at the asylum-like place, where he's come to collect son Joey (William Dix), who's played a trick on Mrs. Griggs (Nora Gordon), "Nanny" (Bette Davis) waiting outside, in The Nanny, 1965.
They Made Me A Fugitive - Those Motherly Ideas Second part of an otherwise stand-alone scene, escapee Clem (Trevor Howard) with housewife (Vida Hope) who took him in, hoping he could help with her husband (Maurice Denham), in They Made Me A Fugitive, 1947.

Trailer

Family

Norman Denham
Father
Winifred Denham
Mother

Companions

Margaret Dunn
Wife
Deceased.

Bibliography