Ian Ogilvy

Ian Raymond Ogilvy (born 30 September 1943) is an English actor, playwright, and novelist.[1]

Ian Ogilvy
Ian Ogilvy in 2007
Ian Raymond Ogilvy

(1943-09-30) 30 September 1943
Woking, Surrey, England, United Kingdom
OccupationActor, playwright, novelist
Years active1958–present
Diane Hart
(m. 1968; div. 1983)

Kathryn Holcomb (m. 1992)
Parent(s)Francis Fairfield Ogilvy
Aileen Raymond
RelativesDavid Ogilvy (uncle)

Early life

Ogilvy was born in Woking, Surrey, England, to Francis Fairfield Ogilvy, brother of advertising executive David Ogilvy,[2] and actress Aileen Raymond (who had previously been married to actor John Mills). His grandfather, Francis John Longley Ogilvy, was born in Argentina and a self-taught Gaelic-speaker who was a classics scholar and a failed financial broker.[3] He was educated at Sunningdale School, Eton College, and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.[4]


Return of the Saint

He is best known as the star of the television series Return of the Saint (1978–79), in which he assumed the role of Simon Templar from Roger Moore (1962–69).[5]

The role led to his being considered a leading contender for the role of James Bond in the early 1980s, when Moore announced his intention to leave the role. He never played the part (in part due to Moore's reconsidering his resignation on several occasions), although he did play a Bond-like character in a series of North American TV commercials broadcast in the early 1990s. At least once, in an episode of Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, "Dragon's Wing II," he played a Bond-like British agent, complete with white dinner jacket.[6]

He recorded a series of readings of Ian Fleming's James Bond novels in the early 1980s, which were released on audio cassette by the Listen for Pleasure label.

Other notable roles

Ogilvy has had an extensive career in the theatre playing leading roles in many London West End productions, including Design for Living, Happy Family, Three Sisters, Rookery Nook by Ben Travers, Run for Your Wife, The Millionairess by Shaw, The Waltz of the Toreadors, and others. He has also worked widely in the American theatre. Among his films, Ogilvy had a major part in the 1970 epic film Waterloo.

He co-starred with Boris Karloff in The Sorcerers, with James Mason, Bobby Darin, and Geraldine Chaplin in Stranger in the House (1967), with Vincent Price in Witchfinder General, with Tom Courtenay and Candice Bergen in The Day the Fish Came Out, with Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn in Death Becomes Her, with Peter Cushing in two films for horror specialists Amicus and with Richard Dreyfuss and Nia Vardalos in My Life in Ruins – among others.[7]

He was a friend of the film-maker Michael Reeves and starred in all three of Reeves's films: Revenge of the Blood Beast, The Sorcerers and Witchfinder General (also known as The Conqueror Worm). He also had a role in the short-lived 1990s American soap opera, Malibu Shores. He has had roles in over one hundred television shows, often appearing as a guest star. He appeared in the television series Upstairs, Downstairs (as Lawrence Kirbridge), and may be best known to American audiences for this role.

He guest-starred in The Avengers in the 1968 episode "They Keep Killing Steed" as Baron Von Curt, and on the BBC in Somerset Maugham's The Door of Opportunity, opposite Marianne Faithfull.

In 1976, he featured in the pilot episode of the television comedy series Ripping Yarns, co-produced by former Monty Python members Michael Palin and Terry Jones. He also appeared in I, Claudius (as Drusus), and guest-starred in 6 episodes of Murder, She Wrote and 4 episodes of Diagnosis Murder. He appeared as Edgar Linton in the 1970 film version of Wuthering Heights and as Owen Gereth in 1970's BBC dramatisation of The Spoils of Poynton.

In the 1990s, he guest-starred in the American television series Babylon 5, in the 1998 episode "In the Kingdom of the Blind".[8] The series' star, Bruce Boxleitner, is the former husband of Ogilvy's second wife, actress Kathryn Holcomb.

He was the subject of This Is Your Life in 1979 when he was surprised by Eamonn Andrews.[9]

Writing career

Ogilvy is also a playwright and novelist, currently working on a series of children's books: Measle and the Wrathmonk, Measle and the Dragodon, Measle and the Mallockee, Measle and the Slitherghoul, and Measle and the Doompit.[10] The books have been translated into at least 15 languages, and there are plans to produce a film based upon Measle and the Wrathmonk.

He has written and published two novels Loose Chippings and The Polkerton Giant – and two plays: A Slight Hangover and Swap!, currently running in Poland in its third successful year. His memoir, Once A Saint, was published by Little Brown/Constable, in May 2016.[11]

Personal life

Ogilvy was married to Diane Hart from 1968–83; they had one child. He married Kathryn Holcomb in 1992, and later became a naturalised United States citizen.[12]

Selected filmography

Year Title Role
1966 The She Beast Philip
1967 Stranger in the House Desmond Flower
1967 The Sorcerers Mike Roscoe
1967 The Day the Fish Came Out Peter
1968 Witchfinder General Richard Marshall
1970 Wuthering Heights Edgar Linton
1970 The Invincible Six Ronald
1970 Waterloo William Howe De Lancey
1973 No Sex Please, We're British David Hunter
1973 And Now the Screaming Starts! Charles Fengriffen
1974 From Beyond the Grave William Seaton
1978 Return of the Saint Simon Templar
1992 Death Becomes Her Chagall
1999 Fugitive Mind Dr. Grace
2009 My Life in Ruins Stewart Tullen
2010 They Do it With Mirrors Miss Marple Johnny Restarick
2014 We Still Kill the Old Way Richie Archer
2017 The Saint The Fixer


  1. "Ian Ogilvy profile". filmreference.com. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  2. "Ian Ogilvy profile". Ian Ogilvy. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  3. Roman, Kenneth (8 June 2010). The King of Madison Avenue: David Ogilvy and the Making of Modern Advertising. St. Martin's Press. ISBN 9780230618343.
  4. Saunders, Tim (8 November 2004). "The Saint who has turned scribe". telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
  5. Watkins, Nick (12 November 2014). "Ian Ogilvy: Cars don't impress women as much as men". Retrieved 22 January 2015.
  6. "Dragonswing II". IMDb.com. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  7. "Ian Ogilvy: Saints, Sorcerers and Secret Agents". cinemaretro.com. 15 January 2015. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
  8. "In the Kingdom of the Blind". radiotimes.com. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
  9. "Ian Ogilvy". Bigredbook.info. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  10. Hodges, Jodie. "Ian Ogilvy - Children's Author". unitedagents.co.uk. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
  11. Ian Ogilvy (Author). "Once A Saint: An Actor's Memoir eBook: Ian Ogilvy: Kindle Store". Amazon.com. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  12. Ian Ogilvy on IMDb
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