Donald Henry Pleasence
October 5, 1919
|Died||February 2, 1995 (aged 75)|
|Alma mater||Ecclesfield School|
|Spouse(s)||Miriam Raymond (1941–58)|
Josephine Crombie (1959–70)
Meira Shore (1970–88)
Linda J. Kentwood (1988–95)
Donald Henry Pleasence OBE (October 5, 1919 – February 2, 1995) was an English actor. Pleasence was born in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, England. He was raised in Lincolnshire, England. During his career, Pleasence was nominated for four Tony Awards. He won a BAFTA TV Award for Best Actor in 1959.  In his whole career, Pleasence appeared in over 200 movies.
He made his first movie The Dybbuk in 1952. It was a television movie. He acted in several movies, such as You Only Live Twice, where he played James Bond villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld, and The Great Escape. Pleasence is known for his role as Dr. Samuel Loomis in John Carpenter's Halloween. Since then, he appeared in five out of the six movies of the Halloween movie series. Pleasence did not appear in Halloween III: Season of the Witch because it was a different story from the last two movies.
Early life[change | change source]
Pleasence was born Donald Henry Pleasence in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, England on October 5, 1919. His parents were Alice and Thomas Pleasence. Pleasence was raised as a Methodist. He was raised in Lincolnshire, England. Pleasence studied at the Ecclesfield School in Yorkshire, England.
During World War II, Pleasence was sent to serve in the Royal Air Force. He served with 166 Squadron, RAF Bomber Command. His war plane was shot down in August 1944, during a raid on Agenville. He was placed in the German prisoner-of-war camp. Pleasence was released before the war's end in 1945.
Career[change | change source]
In 1939, Pleasence started working on stage as an assistant stage manager. His first acting job was as Hareton in the stage version of Wuthering Heights. He worked in theatres in Birmingham and Bristol. Later, Pleasence moved to London. There he appeared as Valentine in Twelfth Night in 1942.
Pleasence's first television work was in I Want to Be A Doctor in 1946. In 1954, he played Syme in a BBC adaptation of George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. The adaptation was by Nigel Kneale. Pleasence played Prince John in several episodes of the ITV series The Adventures of Robin Hood.
Pleasence made his big-screen debut with the 1954 movie The Beachcomber. Some early roles include Parsons in 1984 (his second Orwell movie). He also appeared in minor roles such as in Barnacle Bill and in The Wind Cannot Read. In Tony Richardson's movie, Look Back in Anger, he plays a market inspector.
During the early 1960s, Pleasence recorded several children's-story records. They were released in the United States as Tale Spinners For Children by United Artists. The stories included Don Quixote and the Brave Little Tailor. Pleasence did the voice-over for the British Public Information Film, The Spirit of Dark and Lonely Water in 1973. He was the author of the 1977 children's book Scouse the Mouse.
In his later years, he appeared as Lucas Deranian in Walt Disney's Escape to Witch Mountain, Dr. Loomis in Halloween, Dr. Kobras in The Pumaman and the President in Escape from New York. He reprised his Dr. Loomis role in Halloween II, Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers and Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers. Pleasence's acting career ended when he died in 1995.
Awards[change | change source]
Pleasence was nominated four times for the Tony Award. He was nominated for Best Performance By a Leading Actor in a Broadway Play. He was nominated in 1962 for Harold Pinter's The Caretaker, in 1965 for Jean Anouilh's Poor Bitos, in 1969 for Robert Shaw's The Man in the Glass Booth, and in 1972 for Simon Gray's Wise Child.
Personal life[change | change source]
Pleasence was married four times. He married Miriam Raymond in 1941. They divorced in 1958. He married Josephine Crombie in 1959. They divorced in 1970. He married Meira Shore in 1970. They divorced in 1988. He was last married to Linda J. Kentwood in 1988. Their marriage lasted until Pleasance died in 1995.
Death[change | change source]
Pleasence died from heart failure after heart surgery in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France on February 2, 1995, aged 75. His remains were later cremated. His last full movie, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers was dedicated in his memory.
Movies[change | change source]
|1952||The Dybbuk||Second Batlon||TV movie|
|1952-1959||BBC Sunday-Night Theatre||Corporal||TV series, episode Arrow to the Heart (I) (1952)|
|Chamberlain||Episode Such Men are Dangerous (1954)|
|Syme||Episode Nineteen Eighty-Four (1954)|
|Foreign Minister||Episode The Moment of Truth (1955)|
|Doctor||Episode The Millionairess (1959)|
|Montserrat||Juan Alvarez||TV movie|
|The Face of Love||Alex||TV movie|
|Orders Are Orders||Corporal Martin||credited as Donald Plesance|
|1955||Value for Money||Limpy|
|The Black Tent||Ali|
|1956-1958||The Adventures of Robin Hood||Prince John (4 episodes)||TV series, episodes The Prisoner (1956), Isabella (1956), Ambush (1957), Marian's Prize (1958)|
|Bailiff Baldwin (1 episode)||Episode A Village Wooing (1956)|
|1956-1959||ITV Television Playhouse||William||TV series, episode Ever Since Paradise (1956)|
|Albert||Episode Chance Meeting (1956)|
|Captain Browne||Episode Fate and Mister Browne (1958)|
|Leonard Browne||Episode Mr. Browne Comes Home (1959)|
|Robert Robertson||Episode The Silk Purse (1959)|
|1957||The Man in the Sky||Crabtree||Titled Decision Against Time in the United States|
|Assignment Foreign Legion||Commandant||TV series, episode The Coward|
|Barnacle Bill||Cashier||Titled All at Sea in the United States|
|1958||I Spy||Mr. Frute||TV movie|
|A Tale of Two Cities||John Barsad|
|Heart of a Child||Spiel|
|The Wind Cannot Read'||Doctor|
|The Man Inside||Organ-grinder|
|The Two-Headed Spy||General Hardt|
|1959||The Scarf||Detective Inspector Harry Yates||TV series, six episodes|
|Look Back in Anger||Hurst|
|William Tell||The Spider||TV series, episode The Spider|
|The Traitor||Grantley Caypor||TV movie|
|Killers of Kilimanjaro||Captain|
|The Battle of the Sexes||Irwin Hoffman|
|1960||The Shakedown||Jessel Brown|
|Hell Is a City||Gus Hawkins|
|The Four Just Men||Paul Koster||TV series, episode The Survivor|
|Interpol Calling||Karl Haussman||TV series, episode The Absent Assassin|
|1962||The Inspector||Sergeant Wolters|
|1963||The Great Escape||Flight Lieutenant Colin Blythe RAF, "The Forger"|
|1965||The Hallelujah Trail||Oracle Jones|
|1966||Fantastic Voyage||Dr. Michaels|
|1967||You Only Live Twice||Ernst Stavro Blofeld|
|1968||The Other People||Clive||Film never released|
|1970||Soldier Blue||Isaac Q. Cumber|
|1971||THX 1138||SEN 5241|
|Wake in Fright||Doc Tydon|
|1972||Death Line||Inspector Calhoun|
|Henry VIII and His Six Wives||Thomas Cromwell|
|The Jerusalem File||Major Samuels|
|1973||Columbo||Adrian Carsini||"Any Old Port in a Storm"|
|1974||Watch Out, We're Mad||The Doctor|
|From Beyond The Grave||Jim Underwood||(segment 2 "An Act of Kindness")-|
|1976||The Eagle Has Landed||Himmler|
|The Passover Plot||Pontius Pilate|
|1978||Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band||B.D. Hoffler/B.D. Brockhurst|
|1980||The Pumaman||Dr. Kobras|
|1981||Halloween II||Dr. Loomis|
|Race for the Yankee Zephyr||Gilbert "Gibbie" Carson|
|1982||Escape from New York||Mr. President|
|Alone in the Dark||Dr. Leo Bain|
|The Barchester Chronicles||Reverend Septimus Harding||TV series|
|1983||Warrior of the Lost World||Prossor|
|1984||A Breed Apart||J.P. Whittier|
|1987||Prince of Darkness||Priest|
|1988||Hanna's War||Captain Thomas Rosza|
|Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers||Dr. Loomis|
|1989||Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers|
|Ten Little Indians||Judge Lawrence Wargrave|
|1993||The Thief and the Cobbler||Phido the Vulture||(voice)|
|The Hour of the Pig||Pincheon|
|1995||Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers||Dr. Loomis|
|1996||Fatal frames: Fotogrammi mortali||Professor Robinson|
References[change | change source]
- "England and Wales Births 1837–1983". Freebmd.org.uk. Retrieved October 6, 2010.
- "Donald Pleasence's Biography". Pleasence.com. Retrieved October 6, 2010.
- "Remembering Donald Pleasence". Western Allitaliana.com. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
- "Donald Pleasence, Virtuoso Actor, Dies at 75". New York Times.com. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
- "Donald Pleasence". NNDB.com. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
- "Donald Pleasence biography". TCM.com. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
- "Donald Pleasence's biography". Pleasence.com. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
- "Donald Pleasence". MTV.com. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
- "Obituaries: Donald Pleasence". The Independent. 3 February 1995. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
- "Donald Pleasence (1919)". Mediatly.com. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
- "Donald Pleasence". Hollywood Grave Hunter.com. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
- "Donald Pleasence". Osuniverse.com. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
Other websites[change | change source]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Donald Pleasence.|
- Donald Pleasence on IMDb
- Donald Pleasence at the Internet Broadway Database
- Donald Pleasence at screenonline
- Donald Pleasence-bio at (re)Search my Trash
- The Man with the Hypnotic Eye A Tribute to Donald Pleasence
- Photograph of a theatrical production in prisoner of war camp featuring Donald Pleasence