Robert Atkins (actor)

Alexander Robert Atkins CBE (10 August 1886 – 9 February 1972) was an English actor, producer and director.[1]

Robert Atkins

"Old Vic" Shakespeare Co. photo
Robert Alexander Atkins

(1886-08-10)10 August 1886
Dulwich, London, England
Died9 February 1972(1972-02-09) (aged 85)
London, England
OccupationActor, producer & director
Spouse(s)Ethel Davey


Born in Dulwich, London, England, Atkins was most famous for his participation in the theatre.[2] An early graduate of Beerbohm Tree's Academy of Dramatic Art, he joined the Old Vic company in 1915, and became Director of Productions for Lilian Baylis from 1921 to 1926.[2][3][4] He also appeared many times on film and in television, though not with the success of his theatre career.

His first film was a 1913 production of Hamlet, as the First Player, with Johnston Forbes-Robertson in the title role.[5] Atkins went on to appear in several other film and television roles over the next 50 years with the most famous production possibly being A Matter of Life and Death.[6] He also produced and/or directed several adaptations of William Shakespeare plays during the '40s and '50s for British TV.[7][8]

He was director of the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford, and along with Sydney Carroll, also founded Regent's Park Open Air Theatre.[4][9][10]

Robert Atkins was married twice: to Mary Sumner whom he divorced, and to Ethel Davey, a film editor. He died in London, England in 1972.[2]

Selected filmography


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