Owen Nares

Owen Ramsay Nares (11 August 1888 in Maiden Erlegh, Berkshire, England – 30 July 1943 in Brecon, Brecknockshire, Wales) had a long stage and film career. Besides his acting career, he was the author of Myself, and Some Others (1925).

Owen Nares
Owen Nares
Owen Ramsay Nares

(1888-08-11)11 August 1888
Died30 July 1943(1943-07-30) (aged 54)
Years active1913–1941
Spouse(s)Marie Pollini (1910-1943); 2 sons

Early life

Educated at Reading School, Nares was encouraged by his mother to become an actor, and in 1908 he received his training from actress Rosina Filippi. The following year, he was playing bit parts in West End productions, including the St. James’s Theatre and the Pinero’s Mid Channel. Over the next few years, as his reputation grew, he performed with many of the outstanding actors of the era including Beerbohm Tree, Constance Collier and Marion Terry.


In 1914, Nares appeared in Dandy Donovan, the first of the 25 silent films in which he appeared. The early 1920s was his golden period and he was the male lead opposite such actresses as Gladys Cooper, Fay Compton, Madge Titheradge and Daisy Burrell. His stage career also continued to flourish.

In 1915, he played Thomas Armstrong, opposite Doris Keane, in Edward Sheldon's Romance; it opened at the Duke of York's Theatre, transferring during the run to the Lyric Theatre.[1] In 1917, he starred with Lily Elsie at the Palace Theatre in the musical comedy, Pamela. He appeared opposite Meggie Albanesi in The First and the Last for a long-run during the 1920s. Nares continued to star in popular West End shows, almost without pause, until 1926, when he then took a break and set off with his own company for a tour of South Africa.

Later years

With the advent of talkies, his considerable stage experience meant that, in the early days, he was still much in demand and starred in four films. He was, however, too mature to be the youthful, handsome star he had been a decade earlier. In the last six films he made, he played supporting roles. In 1942, he appeared in a revival of Robert E. Sherwood’s The Petrified Forrest, and afterwards he went on tour with the play to Northern England and Wales.


Nares married actress Marie Pollini in 1910; the couple had two sons, David and Geoffrey.


During tour through Wales, touring Army training camps,[2] he visited Brecon, and the Shoulder of Mutton (now the Sarah Siddons public house), the birthplace of actress Sarah Siddons. While he was in the very room where Siddons had been born, Nares had a heart attack and died shortly afterwards, aged 54, on 30 July 1943.



  1. Owen Ramsay Nares - Actor (1888-1943) accessed 16 January 2017.
  2. Associated Press, no headline, The San Bernardino Daily Sun, San Bernardino, California, Tuesday 3 August 1943, Volume 49, page 3.
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