Hugh Griffith


Hugh Emrys Griffith (30 May 1912 – 14 May 1980) was a Welsh film, stage and television actor.

Griffith was born in Marian Glas, Anglesey, Wales and educated at local schools. He attempted to gain entrance to university, but failed the English examination. He was then urged to make a career in banking. He became a bank clerk and transferred to London to be closer to acting opportunities. Just as he was making progress and gained admission to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, he had to suspend his plans in order to serve in the army in India and Burma during World War II. He resumed his acting career in 1947.

Griffith began his film career in British films during the late 1940s, and by the 1950s was also appearing in Hollywood films. He also had a successful career as a stage actor. In 1958, he was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for his performance in Look Homeward, Angel on Broadway. He won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Ben-Hur (1959), and received a second nomination for his role in Tom Jones (1963). In 1960, he appeared in an adaptation of A. J. Cronin’s The Citadel, and in 1968, he appeared as the magistrate in Oliver!.

On television, he had major roles in Quatermass II (1955) and Clochemerle (1972), but is best remembered for his role as lecherous funeral director Caradog Lloyd-Evans in the 1978 comedy Grand Slam. Griffith received an honorary degree from the University of Wales, Bangor in 1980. He died from a heart attack in London, 16 days before his 68th birthday.

Filmography

  • Neutral Port (1940) Bit
  • Silver Darlings (1947) Packman
  • So Evil My Love (1948) Coroner
  • The First Gentleman (1948) Bishop of Salisbury
  • London Belongs to Me (1948) Headlam Fynne
  • Dr. Morelle: The Case of the Missing Heiress (1949) Bensall, the butler
  • The Last Days of Dolwyn (1949) The Minister
  • A Run for Your Money (1949) Huw
  • Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) Lord High Steward
  • Gone to Earth (1950) Andrew Vessons
  • The Galloping Major (film) (1951) Harold Temple, Process Server
  • Laughter in Paradise (1951) Henry Russell
  • The Wild Heart (1952) Andrew Vessons
  • The Million Pound Note (1953) (uncredited) The Reporter
  • The Titfield Thunderbolt (1953) Dan Taylor
  • The Beggar’s Opera (1953) The Beggar
  • The Sleeping Tiger (1954) The Inspector
  • Passage Home (1955) Pettigrew
  • The Good Companions (1957) Morton Mitcham
  • Lucky Jim (1957) Professor Welch
  • Ben-Hur (1959) Sheik Ilderim
  • The Story on Page One (1959) Judge Edgar Neilsen
  • The Day They Robbed the Bank of England (1960) O’Shea
  • Exodus (1960) Mandria
  • The Counterfeit Traitor (1962) Collins
  • Lisa (1962) Van der Pink
  • Term of Trial (1962) O’Hara
  • Mutiny on the Bounty (1962) Alexander Smith
  • Tom Jones (1963) Squire Western
  • The Bargee (1964) Joe Turnbull
  • The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders (1965) Prison Governor
  • Marito è mio e l’ammazzo quando mi pare, Il (1966) Ignazio
  • How to Steal a Million (1966) Bonnet
  • Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mama’s Hung You in the Closet and I’m Feelin’ So Sad (1967) Commodore Roseabove
  • Brown Eye, Evil Eye (1967)
  • Cintura di castità, La (1968) Ibn-el-Rascid
  • Oliver! (1968) The Magistrate
  • The Fixer (1968) Lebedev
  • Start the Revolution Without Me (1970) King Louis
  • Wuthering Heights (1970) Dr Kenneth
  • Cry of the Banshee (1970) Mickey
  • The Abominable Dr Phibes (1971) Rabbi
  • Whoever Slew Auntie Roo? (1971) The Pigman (Mr Harrison)
  • Crescete e moltiplicatevi (1972)
  • Dr Phibes Rises Again (1972) Harry Ambrose
  • The Canterbury Tales (1972) Sir January
  • What? (1972) Joseph Noblart
  • The Final Programme (1973) Professor Hira
  • Take Me High (1973) Sir Harry Cunningham
  • Luther (1973) John Tetzel
  • Craze (1974) Solicitor
  • Cugini carnali (1974) Barone di Roccadura
  • Legend of the Werewolf (1975) Maestro Pamponi
  • The Passover Plot (1976) Caiaphas
  • Joseph Andrews (1977) Squire Western
  • Casanova & Co. (1977) The Caliph
  • The Last Remake of Beau Geste (1977) Judge
  • Grand Slam (1978) Caradog Lloyd-Evans
  • The Hound of the Baskervilles (1978) Frankland
  • A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square (1979) Sid Larkin