André Morell (sometimes credited as Andre Morell; born André Mesritz on 20 August 1909 in London, England, UK; died 28 November 1978 in London) played Marshal Tavannes in the Doctor Who television story The Massacre. He appeared in a wide range of film and television productions from the 1930s right up until the year of his death. His initial career was in the theatre at the Old Vic, and he appeared in a number of major Shakespearean roles such as Hamlet.
He is probably best known in television for his role as Professor Bernard Quatermass in the 1958 BBC Television serial Quatermass and the Pit and in the cinema for playing Dr. Watson alongside Peter Cushing's Sherlock Holmes in Hammer Films' 1959 adaptation of The Hound of the Baskervilles, the first Sherlock Holmes film to be made in colour.
He was a television actor from the earliest days of the medium. He appeared in several productions on the BBC's service in the 1930s. These included adaptations, such as Pride and Prejudice (in 1938, as Mr Wickham) and Cyrano de Bergerac (also 1938, as Le Bret). After the resumption of the BBC's television service in 1946 following its suspension during the Second World War, Morell continued to appear in high-profile productions in the increasingly mass medium: he starred in an adaptation of Othello (1950) and later gained his two most memorable television roles for the writer / director team of Nigel Kneale and Rudolph Cartier. These were as O'Brien in their 1954 adaptation of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four (starring opposite Peter Cushing for the first time) and the leading role in the science-fiction serial Quatermass and the Pit (1958-1959). He was the third, and generally best-received, actor to play the role of the famous fictional scientist on television. Pit would itself influence several Doctor Who stories, most notably The Dæmons. Of all the actors to play Quatermass, Morell was the only one to appear in Doctor Who on television.
In film, aside from his role as Watson in The Hound of Baskervilles, he appeared in other high-profile and famous films. He had parts in The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957, as Colonel Green), Ben-Hur (1959, as Sextus), Barry Lyndon (1975, as Lord Wendover) and The Slipper and the Rose (1976, as the bride's father). In the 1960s, he appeared in Hammer horror films such as She (1965, another appearance alongside Peter Cushing), The Plague of the Zombies (1966), The Mummy's Shroud (1967) and The Vengeance of She (1968).
His last television work was the serial The Life of Shakespeare in 1978, playing Edward Alleyn. The animated film version of The Lord of the Rings, in which he voiced the character of Elrond, was released the same year, but his final film work was not seen until the year after his death. This was as the judge in the 1979 film The First Great Train Robbery, which was written and directed by Michael Crichton and starred Sean Connery and Donald Sutherland.
From 1959 until his death, Morell was married to the actress Joan Greenwood, some twelve years his junior. They had one child, Jason. He is also an actor and has appeared in films such as Mrs. Brown (1997, as Frederick Stanley, 16th Earl of Derby) and Wilde (also 1997, as Ernest Dowson). The younger Morell played the Vicar in The Next Doctor.
[edit | edit source]
- Internet Movie Database at the