Eric Porter

For the Australian filmmaker and animator, see Eric Porter (filmmaker).
Eric Porter

Porter in The Pumpkin Eater
Born Eric Richard Porter
(1928-04-08)8 April 1928
Shepherd's Bush, London, England, UK
Died 15 May 1995(1995-05-15) (aged 67)
London, England, UK
Occupation Actor
Years active 1945–1994

Eric Richard Porter (8 April 1928  15 May 1995) was an English actor of stage, film and television.

Early life

Porter was born in Shepherd's Bush, London, to Richard John Porter and Phoebe Elizabeth (née Spall) Porter. He was educated at the Technical College in Wimbledon before making his stage debut in Cambridge in 1945 at the age of 17.


In 1955, he played the title role in Ben Jonson's Volpone at the Bristol Old Vic. In 1960 he joined the Royal Shakespeare Company; that year, he played Ferdinand in John Webster's The Duchess of Malfi. In 1962, he performed as Iachimo in Cymbeline. Other roles included Ulysses, Macbeth, Leontes, Malvolio, Shylock, King Lear and Henry IV, as well as Barabas in Marlowe's Jew of Malta. Porter was seen as the tortured solicitor Soames Forsyte in the BBC drama The Forsyte Saga (1967). For this role he won a BAFTA Best Actor award.

His 1981 portrayal of Neville Chamberlain in Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years won critical praise. He played Count Bronowsky in The Jewel in the Crown; he was also seen as Fagin in the 1985 BBC version of Oliver Twist; as Thomas Danforth in the 1980 BBC production of The Crucible; and as Professor Moriarty opposite Jeremy Brett's Sherlock Holmes in Granada Television's The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes stories The Red-Headed League and The Final Problem (both 1985). He also played Polonius in a 1980 television production of Hamlet, made as part of the BBC Shakespeare series, and starring Derek Jacobi in the title role.

Porter continued to act on stage, winning the London Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Actor in 1988 for his role in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. His last on-screen role was as painter James Player in the remake of Message for Posterity (1994), a television play by Dennis Potter.



Porter died of colon cancer in London in 1995, aged 67.


External links

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