Robert (I) Hardy filmography and biography
Date of birth: 29 October 1925, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England, UK
Robert (I) Hardy biography
One of England's most enduringly successful character actors, Robert
Hardy is noted for his versatility and depth. Born in Cheltenham in
1925, he studied at Oxford University and, in 1949, he joined the
Shakespeare Memorial Theatre at Stratford-upon-Avon. Television viewers
most fondly remember him as the overbearing Siegfried Farnon in
All Creatures Great and Small but his most critically
acclaimed performance was as the title character of
Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years. His portrayal
of Britain's wartime leader was so accurately observed that, in the
following years, he was called on to reprise the role in such
productions as The Woman He Loved (1988) (TV) and
War and Remembrance.
Unlike some British character actors, Hardy has never been recognized by Hollywood and his work in films has therefore been restricted to appearances in predominantly British-based productions such as The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, Frankenstein and Sense and Sensibility. He has been awarded the CBE for services to acting.
Robert (I) Hardy trivia
- His ex-wife, Sally Pearson, is Gladys Cooper (I)'s daughter.
- He became an expert on the longbow when he played Henry V at Stratford. He became a longbow/weapons consultant for the Mary Rose Trust when that 16th c. warship was recovered at Portsmouth, England, UK
- Was a good friend of actor Richard Burton (I).
- He was awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 1981 Queen's Birthday Honours List for his services to drama.
- Spoke at the funeral of "James Herriot". Herriot was the pseudonym of Alf Wight (due to legal requirements of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons) and Hardy and Wight became close friends over the years of the All Creatures Great and Small series, adapted from Wight's books.
- He is one of the patrons of the Wensleydale Railway, a group that has been set up to re-open the mainly derelict line between Northallerton and Garsdale in Yorkshire, because of his connection with the area from when he played Siegfried Farnon in All Creatures Great and Small.
- Has played British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in five separate films (Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years, The Woman He Loved (1988) (TV), War and Remembrance, "Bomber Harris" (1989) (TV), Agatha Christie Marple: The Sittaford Mystery (2006) (TV)) as well as the fictitious Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge in the Harry Potter series. He has also twice played Winston Churchill's World War II ally and friend, American President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
- Father of three children: Son Paul from his first marriage, daughters Emma (actress and photographer) and Justine (journalist and author) from his second marriage. Grandfather of four.
Robert (I) Hardy quotes
- Playing villains is half the fun, and you may not be an absolute villain yourself, but finding something in the villain, the horrid creature, that you enjoy.