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Arthur Nigel Davenport

Birthplace: Shelford, Warwickshire, United Kingdom
Death: Died
Immediate Family:

Son of * Davenport and * Davenport
Ex-husband of Maria Penelope Katharine Aitken and Helena Davenport
Father of Jack Davenport; <private> Davenport and <private> Davenport

Managed by: Michael Lawrence Rhodes
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Nigel Davenport

Arthur Nigel Davenport

From Wikipedia:

Arthur Nigel Davenport (23 May 1928 – 25 October 2013) was an English stage, television and film actor.[1]

Early life and education

Davenport was born in Great Shelford,[2] Cambridgeshire, to Katherine Lucy (née Meiklejohn) and Arthur Henry Davenport.[3] His father was a bursar at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. He grew up in an academic family and was educated at St Peter's School, Seaford, Cheltenham College and Trinity College, Oxford. Originally he chose to study Philosophy, Politics and Economics but switched to English on the advice of one of his tutors.[4]


Davenport first appeared on stage at the Savoy Theatre and then with the Shakespeare Memorial Company, before joining the English Stage Company, on of its earliest members, at the Royal Court Theatre in 1956.[5] He began appearing in British film and television productions in supporting roles, including a walk-on in Tony Richardson's film, Look Back in Anger (1959). Subsequent roles included a theatre manager opposite Laurence Olivier in the film version of The Entertainer and a policeman in Michael Powell's Peeping Tom (both 1960).[5]

He made an impression as Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk in A Man for All Seasons (1966), costarred with Michael Caine in the war movie Play Dirty, and had a major role as Lord Bothwell in Mary, Queen of Scots. In 1972, he appeared as George Adamson, opposite Susan Hampshire in Living Free, the sequel to Born Free.

Speaking of working with Jack Palance on the Dan Curtis production of Dracula (1973), Davenport said "I was pretty frightened of that gentleman because he was so bloody tall! He was six-foot-four and, as he wanted to look like Dracula, he had three-inch lifts in his shoes, so he was like six-foot-seven - and he was a big guy".[6] During the production of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, Davenport read the lines of HAL 9000 off-camera during the computer's dialogues with actors Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood. Canadian actor Douglas Rain was ultimately chosen for the role of HAL's voice.[7] Davenport took the leading role in the off-beat Phase IV (1974), which failed to find an audience.

In February 1997, Davenport was the subject of This Is Your Life when he was surprised by Michael Aspel at David Nicholson's stables near Cheltenham. He retired from acting at the turn of the 21st century when he could no longer memorise lines from scripts.

Personal life

Davenport was married twice, first to Helena Margaret White whom he met while he was studying at Oxford University. They married in 1951 and had a daughter, Laura and a son, Hugo. His second wife was actress Maria Aitken with whom he had a second son, Jack, also an actor, best known for co-starring in Pirates of the Caribbean. According to Jerry Bruckheimer, producer of the Pirates of the Caribbean films, Jack was cast as the James Norrington character, partly because of Nigel's involvement in A High Wind in Jamaica.[citation needed]


The Adventures of Robin Hood (1957–58; episodes: "Too Many Earls"; "The Mystery of Ireland's Eye"; "The Infidel"; "The Road in the Air"; "The Path of True Love", and "Bride for an Outlaw") Look Back in Anger (1959) Peeping Tom (1960) The Entertainer (1960) Mix Me a Person (1962) Ladies Who Do (1963) The Third Secret (1964) A High Wind in Jamaica (1965) Where the Spies Are (1965) Sands of the Kalahari (1965) Life at the Top (1965) A Man for All Seasons (1966) Sebastian (1968) Play Dirty (1968 film) The Strange Affair (1968) The Royal Hunt of the Sun (1969) The Virgin Soldiers (1969) No Blade of Grass (1970) The Mind of Mr. Soames (1970) Mary, Queen of Scots (1971) Villain (1971) The Last Valley (1971) Living Free (1972) South Riding (TV series) Bram Stoker's Dracula (1973) The Picture of Dorian Gray (1973) Phase IV (1974) The Regent's Wife (1975) Trick or Treat (1975) (unfinished) Oil Strike North (1975 TV Series) The Island of Dr. Moreau (1977) Stand Up, Virgin Soldiers (1977) Prince Regent (1979) The London Connection (1979) Zulu Dawn (1979 alongside Simon Ward) Cry of the Innocent (1980- Gray Harrison Hunt) Chariots of Fire (1981) Nighthawks (1981) Masada (1981) Minder (1982) An Inspector Calls (Arthur Birling) (1982 TV series) A Christmas Carol (1984) Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984) Caravaggio (1986) Lord Mountbatten: The Last Viceroy (1986) Death of a Snowman Without a Clue (1988) Howards' Way (TV series) (1985–1990) Trainer (TV series as James Brant) (1991) Keeping Up Appearances ("The Commodore") (1993) The Treasure Seekers (1996) Shanghai 1937 (1997) Mosley (TV Serial as Viscount Rothermere) (1998) Longitude (miniseries) (2000) David Copperfield (TV series) (2000) (USA) Midsomer Murders (TV series) (2000)


Jump up ^ Coveney, Michael. "Nigel Davenport obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 October 2013. Jump up ^ "Cambridge-born actor Nigel Davenport, star of Chariots of Fire and Howards' Way, dies aged 85". Retrieved 31 October 2013. Jump up ^ Profile of Nigel Davenport at Jump up ^ Anthony Hayward "Obituary: Nigel Davenport, character actor sought by directors in all mediums for nearly half a century", The Independent, 30 October 2013 ^ Jump up to: a b Obituary:Nigel Davenport,, 29 October 2013 Jump up ^ IMDb profile of Nigel Davenport Jump up ^ "2001: A Space Odyssey revisited". BBC News. Retrieved 30 November 2014.

External links

Nigel Davenport at the Internet Movie Database Nigel Davenport recalls his appearance on This Is Your Life

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Nigel Davenport's Timeline

May 23, 1928
Shelford, Warwickshire, United Kingdom
Age 22
Age 43
March 1, 1973
Age 44
October 25, 2013
Age 85