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Neil North

Date of Birth: 18th October 1932
Details of Death: 7th March 2007
Country of Birth: India

IMDb

Biography

Neil North was born in Quetta, British India, the youngest son of an officer in the Indian army. After a peripatetic boyhood spent at various schools in India and Britain, North became a pupil at the King's School in Canterbury, Kent. He developed an interest in drama, and in 1947 was cast in the role of the Boy King, Richard II, in a production of Laurie Lee's play "Peasant's Priest", which was staged as part of that year's Canterbury Festival. His performance impressed director Bernard Miles, and when Miles learned that film director Anthony Asquith was searching for a public school boy with acting experience for the title role in a screen version of "The Winslow Boy", he put North's name forward. "The Winslow Boy" proved to be a box-office success and North's performance was widely admired, notably in a famous scene with Robert Donat in which the latter (cast as a barrister) harries and bullies the boy to satisfy himself of the boy's innocence before agreeing to accept the brief in his defence. North then enjoyed some minor roles, before disaster struck in 1951, when he was called up for his compulsory National Service. Not fancying a stint in His Majesty's army, North fled - initially to the Republic of Ireland and thence to Italy, where he spent several years, before finally settling in the United States, where he made a living as an antiques dealer. His only screen acting role during this time was in the TV play "A Night to Remember", made for the "Kraft Television Theater" American anthology series. Later on, after staying for a while in Cuernavaca, Mexico, North returned to England, where he learned that director David Mamet was planning a remake of "The Winslow Boy", and managed to arrange an audition. Mamet was suitably impressed, and cast North in the role of First Lord of the Admiralty - at the time of casting Mamet had no idea that North had starred in the 1948 film, and only learnt about this later on! Following this film, North managed to secure further minor roles, before his death in London in 2007. The Profile picture on this page shows North in a publicity shot for "The Winslow Boy" (1948).

Picture for Neil North

Filmography

Roles when Neil North was older than 15

Page Last Modified: 7th January 2020
Page Added: 7th January 2020

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