Donald Wolfit (1902–1968)

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One of the great British stage actors of his era Donald Wolfit was noted for his magnificent portrayals of King Lear and Tamburlaine. Yet no actor of his generation was surrounded by more controversy. He was temperamental and difficult to deal with, enraged by criticism and tyrannical with the companies he led. Although his talent was never in any ... See full bio »

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Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. See more awards »


Known For

Lawrence of Arabia General Murray
Room at the Top Mr. Brown
Becket Bishop Folliot
Svengali Svengali


Hide Hide Show Show Actor (59 credits)
 1968 Decline and Fall... of a Birdwatcher
Dr. Augustus Fagan
 1968 BBC Play of the Month (TV Series)
Pastor Manders
- Ghosts (1968) ... Pastor Manders
 1966 The Sandwich Man
Car Salesman
 1965 Life at the Top
Abe Brown
 1965 Ninety Degrees in the Shade
Bazant (as Sir Donald Wolfit)
 1964 Benbow Was His Name (TV Movie)
Admiral Benbow
 1964 Becket
Bishop Folliot
 1963 Dr. Crippen
R.D. Muir (as Sir Donald Wolfit)
 1962 Lawrence of Arabia
General Murray
 1961-1962 Ghost Squad (TV Series)
Sir Andrew Wilson
- Catspaw (1962) ... Sir Andrew Wilson
- The Green Shoes (1962) ... Sir Andrew Wilson
- The Princess (1962) ... Sir Andrew Wilson
- Million Dollar Ransom (1961) ... Sir Andrew Wilson
- Death from a Distance (1961) ... Sir Andrew Wilson
 1956-1961 ITV Television Playhouse (TV Series)
Schwedler / Montague Winthrop
- Death by Choice (1961) ... Schwedler
- The Burning Glass (1956) ... Montague Winthrop
 1961 BBC Sunday-Night Play (TV Series)
Stephen Spettigue
- Charley's Aunt (1961) ... Stephen Spettigue
 1961 The Mark
Andrew Clive
 1960 The Hands of Orlac
Professor Volchett (as Sir Donald Wolfit)
 1959-1960 Armchair Theatre (TV Series)
James Saward / Col. Louis Defoe
- The Great Gold Bullion Robbery (1960) ... James Saward
- The Last of the Brave (1959) ... Col. Louis Defoe
 1960 On Trial (TV Series)
Admiral Byng
- Admiral Byng (1960) ... Admiral Byng
 1959 Fredric March Presents Tales from Dickens (TV Series)
Sergeant Buzfuz
- Bardell Versus Pickwick (1959) ... Sergeant Buzfuz
 1959 Portrait of a Sinner
Lord Drewell
 1959 The House of the Seven Hawks
Inspector Van Der Stoor
 1959 After Hours (TV Series)
- Episode #2.1 (1959) ... (as Sir Donald Wolfit)
 1959 Saturday Playhouse (TV Series)
Archdeacon Brandon
- The Cathedral (1959) ... Archdeacon Brandon
 1959 World Theatre (TV Mini-Series)
- Volpone (1959) ... Volpone
 1959 The Angry Hills
Dr. Stergion
 1959 Room at the Top
Mr. Brown
 1958 Blood of the Vampire
 1951-1958 BBC Sunday-Night Theatre (TV Series)
King John / Admiral The Hon. John Byng / Lucas Edgerton / ...
- The Trial of Admiral Byng (1958) ... Admiral The Hon. John Byng
- The Reclining Figure (1956) ... Lucas Edgerton
- The Strong Are Lonely (1956) ... Father Provincial
- The Life and Death of King John/II (1952) ... King John
- The Life and Death of King John (1952) ... King John
 1958 The Killing Stones (TV Series)
de Haan
- The Bankrupting of Hammerman (1958) ... de Haan
- The Retirement of De Haan (1958) ... de Haan
- The Homecoming of Coetze (1958) ... de Haan
- The Fearfulness of Desai (1958) ... de Haan
- The Holiness of Ant Eater (1958) ... de Haan
 1958 I Accuse!
General Auguste Mercier
 1958 Television World Theatre (TV Series)
Halvard Solness
- The Master Builder (1958) ... Halvard Solness
 1957 The Accursed
Colonel Price
 1956 A Man on the Beach (Short)
 1956 London Playhouse (TV Series)
Judge Dee
- The Black Judge (1956) ... Judge Dee
 1956 Who Goes Home? (TV Movie)
The Prime Minister
 1956 Satellite in the Sky
Professor Merrity
 1956 Guilty?
 1956 The Man in the Road
Professor Cattrell
 1955 A Prize of Gold
Alfie Stratton
 1955 The Vise (TV Series)
- Two of a Kind (1955) ... Karnas
 1955 Theatre Royal (TV Series)
Sergeant Buzfuz
- Bardell vs. Pickwick (1955) ... Sergeant Buzfuz
 1954 Svengali
 1954 This Is Show Business (TV Series)
- Episode #3.1 (1954)
 1953 Uncle Willie's Bicycle Shop
Uncle Willie
 1952 The Ringer
Dr. Lomond
 1952 The Pickwick Papers
Sergeant Buzfuz
 1948 The Light of Heart (TV Movie)
Maddoc Thomas
 1939 England's Shakespeare (Documentary short)
 1938 The Claydon Treasure Mystery
Executive (uncredited)
 1936 Calling the Tune
Dick Finlay
 1935 Hyde Park Corner
Howard (uncredited)
 1935 Late Extra
Inspector Greville
 1935 Checkmate
Jack Barton
 1935 The Silent Passenger
Henry Camberley
 1935 Drake the Pirate
Thomas Doughty
 1934 Inasmuch... (Short)
St. Francis
 1934 Death at a Broadcast
Sydney Parsons
 1931 Down River
Show Show Writer (2 credits)
Show Show Miscellaneous Crew (1 credit)
Show Show Self (5 credits)
Show Show Archive footage (1 credit)

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Personal Details

Other Works:

He played Petruchio in William Shakespeare's play, "The Taming of the Shrew," in the Stratford Theatre Festival at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford, England with Barbara Couper, Trevor Howard (Lord), and Pamela Brown (Widow) in the cast. B. Iden Payne was director. See more »

Publicity Listings:

3 Print Biographies | 1 Article | See more »

Alternate Names:

Sir Donald Wolfit

Did You Know?

Personal Quote:

Garrick is my yardstick.


Although he was often accused of hiring mediocre actors for his theatre company deliberately so that he could outshine them, in fact a number of eminent theatrical personages had early chances under his management. These included Harold Pinter, Joan Greenwood, Eric Porter, Ronald Fraser and Alun Owen, most of whom spoke well of him after finding fame. See more »

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