16 Facts About Alec McCowen


Alec McCowen was known for his work in numerous film and stage productions.


Alec McCowen was born in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, the son of Mary, a dancer, and Duncan Alec McCowen, a shopkeeper.


Alec McCowen attended The Skinners' School in Tunbridge Wells - he was known as 'Squeaker' McCowan by his friends - and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.


Alec McCowen first appeared on stage at the Repertory Theatre, Macclesfield, in August 1942 as Micky in Paddy the Next Best Thing.


Alec McCowen made his London debut on 20 April 1950 at the Arts Theatre as Maxim in Anton Chekhov's Ivanov, and made his first appearances on the New York City stage at the Ziegfeld Theatre on 19 December 1951 as an Egyptian Guard in Caesar and Cleopatra, and on 20 December 1951 as the Messenger in Antony and Cleopatra.


Alec McCowen enjoyed a career breakthrough at the Mermaid Theatre in April 1968 as Fr.


At the Royal Court in August 1970, Alec McCowen was cast to play the title role in Christopher Hampton's sophisticated comedy, The Philanthropist.


Alec McCowen devised and directed his own solo performance of the complete text of the St Mark's Gospel, for which he received international acclaim and another Tony nomination.


Alec McCowen made his film debut in The Cruel Sea released in 1953.


Alec McCowen appeared alongside Maureen Lipman and Arthur Askey performing comic monologues in The Green Tie on the Little Yellow Dog, which was recorded 1982, and broadcast by Channel 4 in 1983.


Alec McCowen appeared in the BBC Television Shakespeare series as Malvolio in Twelfth Night and as Chorus in Henry V In 1984 and 1985 McCowen starred in the ten episodes of the short-lived television series Mr Palfrey of Westminster as a "spy catcher" working for British intelligence under the direction of a female boss.


Alec McCowen was the subject of This Is Your Life in 1989, when he was surprised by Michael Aspel at the Strand Theatre in London.


Alec McCowen was annoyed when no mention was made of his long-term male partner, fellow actor Geoffrey Burridge and threatened to stop the show from being broadcast.


Alec McCowen published his first volume of autobiography, Young Gemini in 1979, followed a year later by Double Bill.


Alec McCowen was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the 1972 New Year Honours and promoted to Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1986 New Year Honours.


On 2 May 2017 Alec McCowen was accorded a memorial service at St Paul's Church in Covent Garden, conducted by the Reverend Simon Grigg.