Hugh Griffith


Actor
Hugh Griffith

About

Birth Place
United Kingdom
Born
May 30, 1912
Died
May 14, 1980

Biography

Wild-eyed, with a hook nose and often sporting a pointed beard and mustache, this Welsh character actor turned in a number of flamboyant, hearty performances. Hugh Griffith got a relatively late start. Born in Wales, he worked as a bank clerk until 1939, when he made his stage debut at the age of 27, and entered films the next year with the British-made "Neutral Port." Griffith spent the...

Biography

Wild-eyed, with a hook nose and often sporting a pointed beard and mustache, this Welsh character actor turned in a number of flamboyant, hearty performances. Hugh Griffith got a relatively late start. Born in Wales, he worked as a bank clerk until 1939, when he made his stage debut at the age of 27, and entered films the next year with the British-made "Neutral Port." Griffith spent the 1940s and 50s slowly building up his film career (making only one US release, "So Evil My Love" 1948). He played supporting roles in twenty or so films, including some successes like "Kind Hearts and Coronets" (1949) and "The Sleeping Tiger" (1954) before scoring his biggest hit in the US-made 1959 remake of "Ben Hur." Playing Sheik Ilderim, the wry chariot mogul, Griffith earned a Best Supporting Actor Oscar.

Griffith worked steadily for the next two decades, turning in estimable performances in another 34 films, most of them British-made. These included big-budget hits and misses such as "Story on Page One" (1959), "Exodus" (1960), "Mutiny on the Bounty" (1962), "Tom Jones" (for which he earned a second Best Supporting Actor nomination), "How to Steal a Million" (1966) and "Oliver!" (1968). Quality fell off somewhat in the 70s, with schlock like "The Abominable Dr. Phibes" (1971), "Who Slew Auntie Roo?" (1971) and "The Last Remake of Beau Geste" (1977).

Griffith also appeared in two TV-movies, "Inn of the Flying Dragon" (NBC, 1960) and "The Poppy is Also a Flower" (ABC, 1966).

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square (1979)
The Hound of the Baskervilles (1978)
The Last Remake of Beau Geste (1977)
Casanova & Co. (1977)
Caliph Of Shiraz
The Passover Plot (1976)
Caiaphas
Loving Cousins (1975)
Don Carlo
Luther (1974)
Craze (1973)
Solicitor
Che? (1973)
Owner Of Villa
The Last Days of Man on Earth (1973)
Dr. Phibes Rises Again (1972)
[Harry] Ambrose
The Canterbury Tales (1972)
Sir January
Who Slew Auntie Roo? (1971)
The Pigman, Mr. Harrison
The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)
Rabbi
Wuthering Heights (1970)
Dr. Kenneth
Start the Revolution Without Me (1970)
Louis XVI
Cry of the Banshee (1970)
Mickey
On My Way to the Crusades, I Met a Girl Who ... (1969)
Sultan of Bari
Oliver! (1968)
The Magistrate
The Fixer (1968)
Lebedev
Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mama's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feelin' So Sad (1967)
Commodore Roseabove
The Sailor From Gibraltar (1967)
Legrand
How to Steal a Million (1966)
Charles Bonnet
The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders (1965)
Prison governor
Hide and Seek (1964)
Wilkins
The Bargee (1964)
Tom Jones (1963)
Squire Western
The Counterfeit Traitor (1962)
Collins
Mutiny on the Bounty (1962)
Alexander Smith
Term of Trial (1962)
O'Hara
Lisa (1962)
Van der Pink
The Day They Robbed the Bank of England (1960)
O'Shea
Exodus (1960)
Mandria
The Story on Page One (1959)
Judge Nielsen
Ben-Hur (1959)
Sheik Ilderim
Lucky Jim (1957)
Professor Welch
Man with a Million (1954)
David Evans
The Sleeping Tiger (1954)
Insp. Simmons
The Beggar's Opera (1953)
The beggar
The Wild Heart (1952)
Andrew Vessons
Laughter in Paradise (1951)
Henry Russell
Gone to Earth (1950)
The Last Days of Dolwyn (1949)
Minister
So Evil My Love (1948)
Coroner

Cast (Special)

Inn of the Flying Dragon (1960)
Captain Harmonville

Cast (TV Mini-Series)

The Poppy Is Also a Flower (1966)
Tribal chief

Life Events

1939

Made stage debut

1940

Film debut in "Neutral Port"

1948

US film debut in "So Evil My Love"

1960

TV debut in film "Inn of the Flying Dragon"

1979

Made last film, "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square"

Videos

Movie Clip

Tom Jones (1963) - I Should Teach Him Some New Songs First scene with Sophie (Susannah York), returned from two years in London, for whom Albert Finney (title character) has captured a thrush, only to see it released by his prissy rival Blifil (David Warner) in Tony Richardson's Tom Jones, 1963.
Tom Jones (1963) - There's LIttle Hope Quickening events as Tom (Albert Finney) learns from Blifil (David Warner) of the accident, and both attend the deathbed of Squire Allworthy (George Devine), who fails to die in Tony Richardson's Tom Jones, 1963.
How To Steal A Million (1966) - Such A Scoundrel Opening with a Paris art auction, Hugh Griffith introduced as the seller, one Charles Bonnet, then news on the radio alerts Audrey Hepburn, whom will learn is his daughter, who then hurries home, in How To Steal A Million, 1966, directed by William Wyler, co-starring Peter O’Toole.
Exodus (1960) - He Thinks He's Moses Secreted to Cyprus the night before, Palestinian Jewish activist Ari Ben Canan (Paul Newman) joins comrades (Paul Stevens, Michael Wager) at the offices of friendly shipping agent Mandria (Hugh Griffith), making plans before the 1947 United Nations vote on Israel, in Exodus, 1960.
Mutiny On The Bounty (1962) - Lieutenant Christian Still in director Lewis Milestone's opening sequence, designated December 23, 1787, Plymouth Harbor, the first meeting of Captain Bligh (Trevor Howard) and his newly-assigned aide Fletcher Christian (Marlon Brando), in the large 1962 remake, Mutiny On The Bounty.
Mutiny On The Bounty (1962) - A Matter Of Supernatural Indifference As Tahiti comes into view, Captain Bligh (Trevor Howard) lectures Mr. Christian (Marlon Brando) and crew on the natives, followed by spectacle, in Mutiny On The Bounty, 1962.
Mutiny On The Bounty (1962) - Too Busy To Eat Marlon Brando (as Fletcher Christian) with a close eye on Maimiti (Tarita, who became Mrs. Brando) then chat among the sailors (Gordon Jackson, Richard Harris, Hugh Griffith) during island festivities in Mutiny On The Bounty, 1962.
Tom Jones (1963) - Let Dogs Delight Michael MacLiammoirr's narration introduces a scene at church which devolves into mayhen with Tom (Albert Finney) rescuing Molly (Diane Cilento) in Tony Richardson's Tom Jones, 1963.

Trailer

Bibliography