18 Facts About Alec McCowen


Alexander Duncan Alec McCowen, was an English actor.

FactSnippet No. 575,865

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

FactSnippet No. 575,866

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

FactSnippet No. 575,867

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.

FactSnippet No. 575,868

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

FactSnippet No. 575,869

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.

FactSnippet No. 575,870

Alec McCowen joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in September 1962, appearing at Stratford-upon-Avon playing Antipholus of Syracuse in The Comedy of Errors and the Fool to Paul Scofield's King Lear, subsequently appearing in both plays at the Aldwych Theatre in December 1962 – performing these roles again for a British Council tour of the Soviet Union, Europe and the United States from February to June 1964.

FactSnippet No. 575,871

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

FactSnippet No. 575,872

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

FactSnippet No. 575,873

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.

FactSnippet No. 575,874

Two years later, again at the Mermaid, Alec McCowen gave a portrayal of the British poet Rudyard Kipling in a one-man play by Brian Clark, performed in a setting that exactly matched Kipling's own study at Bateman's "and turning", as Michael Billington wrote, "an essentially private man into a performer.

FactSnippet No. 575,875

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

FactSnippet No. 575,876

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.

FactSnippet No. 575,877

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.

FactSnippet No. 575,878

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.

FactSnippet No. 575,879

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

FactSnippet No. 575,880

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 (CBE) in the 1986 New Year Honours.

FactSnippet No. 575,881

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.

FactSnippet No. 575,882