Alec Clunes

Alexander Sheriff de Moro "Alec" Clunes (17 May 1912 – 13 March 1970) was an English actor and theatrical manager.[1]

Alec Clunes
Alexander Sheriff de Moro Clunes

(1912-05-17)17 May 1912
Brixton, London
Died13 March 1970(1970-03-13) (aged 57)
London, England
OccupationActor and director
Spouse(s)Stella Richman (divorced)
Daphne Acott (19561970; his death)
ChildrenAmanda Clunes
Martin Clunes

Among the plays he presented were Christopher Fry's The Lady's Not For Burning.[2] He gave the actor and dramatist Peter Ustinov his first break with his production The House of Regrets.[3] His film career was brief, but varied. He played Hastings in Laurence Olivier's Richard III (1955), and also appeared in wartime films such as One of Our Aircraft Is Missing (1942), although he was in fact a conscientious objector. He also appeared in The Adventures of Quentin Durward (1955).[4]

Clunes' later stage work included succeeding Rex Harrison as Henry Higgins in the stage musical My Fair Lady in 1959.[5] His final stage appearance was in 1968.

Personal life

Alexander Sheriff de Moro Clunes was born to a show business family,[6] he was the son of Alexander Sydenham Sherriff Clunes (1881–1960) and Georgina Ada Sumner (1882–1969). He began his stage career with Ben Greet's company before playing at the Old Vic theatre in 1934.[7] He played numerous Shakespearian roles, before taking over the management of the Arts Theatre, London in 1942, where he remained until 1950. He later ran a theatre bookshop in Cecil Court.[7]

He was twice married: to actress Stella Richman, later a television producer, and Daphne Gyllian Acott (married 1956-13 March 1970) with whom he had one son.

He died from lung cancer in 1970, aged 57. He left a widow, a son (actor Martin Clunes) and a daughter, Amanda Clunes.

Notable TV guest appearances

  • Undermind playing "Police Sergeant" in episode: "Onset of Fear" (episode No. 1.1) 24 April 1968
  • The Ronnie Barker Playhouse playing "Peregrine" in episode: "The Incredible Mister Tanner" (episode No. 1.4) 24 April 1968

Clunes played Governor Woodes Rogers, the lead in the first three episodes of The Buccaneers in 1956. He was also offered the lead part of Professor Bernard Quatermass in the famous BBC science-fiction serial Quatermass and the Pit in 1958, but declined the role (André Morell was cast instead).[8]


Year Title Role Notes
1940ConvoyMinor RoleUncredited
1940Let George Do It!OfficerUncredited
1940Saloon BarEddie Graves
1940Sailors ThreeBritish Pilot
1942One of Our Aircraft Is MissingThe Organist
1949Now BarabbasGale
1952La bergère et le ramoneurThe Blind ManEnglish version, Voice
1953MelbaCesar Carlton
1955The Adventures of Quentin DurwardCharles - Duke of Burgundy
1955Richard IIIThe Lord Hastings
1956Tiger in the SmokeAsst. Commissioner Oates
1963Tomorrow at TenAnthony Chester


  1. McFarlane, Brian (16 May 2016). "The Encyclopedia of British Film: Fourth edition". Oxford University Press via Google Books.
  2. Special To the New York Times. "ALEC CLUNES DIES, LONDON PRODUCER".
  3. "Production of House of Regrets - Theatricalia".
  4. "Alec Clunes".
  5. Gibbs, A. M. (14 June 1990). "Shaw". Springer via Google Books.
  6. "FreeBMD Home Page".
  7. Daily Mail Year Book 1965 (paperback). London: Associated Newspapers Ltd. 1964. p. 87.
  8. Murray, Andy (2006). Into the Unknown: The Fantastic Life of Nigel Kneale (paperback). London: Headpress. p. 67. ISBN 1-900486-50-4.
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