donald sinden biog.
Date of Death
Is it just me or has Donald Sinden become more and more of a cariciature of himself over time. I mean, consider the restrained performance in The Cruel Sea (1953) to the I'm overacting sooo much my head's going to explode but i'm going to get the better of you Windsor so see if I do performance in Never the Twain. Ok, the latter is a TV sitcom comedy but the difference is such a chasm that it's hard to tally the two.
This isn't a criticism: there is room for both. No, it's a personal preference: I'd rather have the more subdued work he did in the 1950s, particularly the war movies (Above Us The Waves, 1955, springs to mind) to the more in your face stuff that he did later.
But then that probaly says more about me (that I'm a miserable git) than anything else for the humour of Never the Twain (1981-91) must have been infectious as it was incredibly popular. Each to their own, I suppose.
Here's something not alot of people know. How many degrees of seperation are there between Sinden and Oscar Wilde? One. As I recall, Sinden went to the house of Wilde's lover, Lord Alred Douglas (Bosie, "the love that dare not speak its name" guy), towards the end of the poet's life in the 1940s. Curious to meet such a figure, he just went and knocked at his door in Brighton.
Scarily, that also means there's only one degree of seperation between Oscar Wilde and Never the Twain!
His acting career took a dramatic change of direction when, in 1953, he was given a starring part in The Cruel Sea. For the next 10 years or so, he was a major star of the British cinema, starring in 22 films. Perhaps surprisingly for an actor with his classical background, many of the films he made were popular comedies, including You Know What Sailors Are (1954), Doctor in the House (1954), An Alligator Named Daisy (1955), Doctor at Large (1957) and Rockets Galore! (1957).
After five years working exclusively in films, he resumed his stage career in 1957. His distinctive, resonant voice and his broad experience as a classical and comedy actor meant that he was able to divide his time almost equally between work for the Royal Shakespeare Company and in popular commercial comedies. His impressive classical roles for the RSC have included Richard Plantagenet in John Barton’s The Wars of the Roses (1963), Lord Foppington in Vanbrugh’s The Relapse (1967), Sir Harcourt Courtly in London Assurance (1970), King Lear (1977), Othello (1979), and Sir Peter Teazle in Sheridan’s The School for Scandal (1983). His popular comedies have include There’s a Girl in My Soup, Not Now Darling and Noel Coward’s Present Laughter.
He has continued to appear occasionally in films, most recently in The Accidental Detective (2003). His substantial television appearances include the successful series Our Man at St. Marks (1963), Two’s Company (1975), Never the Twain (1981) and Judge John Deed (2001).
He is a keen theatre historian, collector of theatrical memorabilia and one of the fonder of the British Theatre Museum, which opened in 1987. He was awarded a CBE in 1979 and knighted in 1997.
His son confirmed his passing on 12th September 2014 at the age of 90. He had been suffering from prostate cancer for several years, and died of the disease at his home in Romney Marsh, Kent
Member of the famous & exclusive Garrick Club situated in the heart of London's West End and Theatre-land, in Old Covent Garden.
Wife Diana died in 2004 after 56 years of marriage. His son, Jeremy, an actor, died of cancer in 1996 at the age of 46. Has another son, Marc, an actor and producer.