Charles Kay is an English thespian who has also acted in many films as well. He was born on 31 August 1930 as Charles Piff. Born to Frances (mother) and Charles B. Piff, Kay spent his childhood in Coventry, Warwickshire. After studying at Warwick School, Kay chose to study medicine. After spending years of learning about medical science, he decided to be trained for dramas. To fulfill his aim of being an actor, he joined the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art after which he became associated with the English Stage Company. He was instrumental in creating the role of Jimmy in the stage adaptation of Roots. He became involved in plays such as The Kitchen, Luther, Twelfth Night, and The Changeling.

Later, he began to work with the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1963. During his tenure at the company, which lasted till 1966, he bagged diverse roles in the form of Octavius Caesar in “Julius Caesar”, Launcelot Gobbo in “The Merchant of Venice”, Antipholus in “The Comedy of Errors.” He appeared as Celia in the adaptation of As You like It under the production of National Theatre and the troupe consisted of male members only. As far as his film career is concerned, he is remembered for his role of Count Orsini-Rosenberg in the flick Amadeus.

This 1984 period drama with the story based in Vienna, Amadeus created records and won eight Academy Awards at the 1985 edition. He played an important character in the 1989 film version of Henry V in which he is credited as “Archbishop of Canterbury.” Being a prominent figure in the world of television, Kay has graced the small screen with ease and continues to be adored by the audience for his effortless acting.

He has been seen in many TV shows which include Fall of Eagles, “I, Claudius”, To Serve Them All My Days, Edge of Darkness, By the Sword Divided, The Citadel, Holby City, The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes, Jonathan Creek, Fortunes of War, Midsomer Murders, “Law & Order: UK”, Hetty Wainthropp Investigates, The Shadow Line. He portrayed Tsar Nicholas 2nd in the show Fall of Eagles. The BBC-based show depicted unexplored aspects of different ruling dynasties such as the Habsburgs of Austria-Hungary, the Hohenzollerns of Germany, and the Romanovs of Russia. Kay became a part of the iconic sci-fi show “Doctor Who” where he starred in Excelis Rising, an audio drama spin-off of the show dealing with time-travellers.

Charles Hallahan English Actor

Charles Hallahan

Charles Hallahan was an American actor known for his stellar performances in Going in Style, Cast a Deadly Spell and many more productions. Hallahan was born on July 29, 1943, in Philadelphia. He finished his graduation at Rutgers University and continued his education by earning a master’s degree in the subject of fine arts at the Temple University. In the early years of the 1960s, he served in the US Navy, which included his designation of a Navy hospital corpsman in Puerto Rico. Before venturing into acting, Hallahan utilized his time in regional theaters. Then, he decided to move to Los Angeles to try his luck. Considering his towering and beefy physical stature, Hallahan would often be cast as a cop in serials or films. Despite appearing as a cop several times, he got his due when people recognized his efforts in the portrayal of Charlie Devane, an LAPD Captain in the show Hunter. This crime drama aired from 1984 to 1991 and was an international success with episodes being telecasted in different parts of the world. He played the role of a nameless coach in Vision Quest with Matthew Modine in the cast. Vision Quest was an average Box-Office grosser. However, a group of high school wrestlers began to admire Vision Quest for “inspirational” workout regime scenes, resulting in a cult status for the motion picture. He acted in John Carpenter’s The Thing as Vance Norris, a geologist. Inspired by John W Campbell’s “Who Goes There,” the film explores the concept of extra-terrestrial lifeform in Antarctica. Despite getting bad reviews with its special effects being praised, it turned out to be rated as one of the greatest sci-fi horror movies made. People could notice that on the day of its release, Warner Brothers had released Blade Runner, another science fiction oriented creation. The film also earned a nomination for Worst Musical Score in the Razzie Awards. Later, Hallahan starred in Dante’s Peak with Pierce Brosnan playing the protagonist. Hallahan played the role of Dr. Dreyfus, Brosnan’s boss. The disaster drama achieved financial success in spite of negative reviews. Hallahan was a regular in TV series with Grace under Fire and The Paper Chase under his kitty. On 25 November 1997, he died in an automobile accident while driving. It was then revealed that he suffered a heart attack, which caused this accident. Slated to play the role of Liam Bilby in the famed Star Trek: Deep Space 9, Hallahan is buried in Ireland due to his Irish ancestry. His final appearance on the big screen was in the form of Jack Stillman in Mind Rage in 2004. The inaugural Garland Awards Committee paid homage to Hallahan by dedicating the ceremony to his memory for his wholehearted contribution towards the development of arts and culture.


Charles Laughton

Charles Laughton was the son of Eliza and Robert Laughton who were hotel keepers in Yorkshire. He was born in North Riding of Yorkshire and a blue plaque can be seen marking his birthplace there which represents his importance. He first attended Scarborough College for a short duration due to his mother’s wish as she was a devoted Roman Catholic. Her mother also had an Irish ancestry. Later, he joined Stonyhurst College which was a Jesuit school. An important part of his life was when he served during World War I with two different Battalions. He was even gassed during WWI. For further studies, he took permission from his family to study drama. When he was allowed, he got into the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. Although he always participated in amateur theater plays, his first appearance as a professional actor was seen at the Barnes Theatre and then at Gaiety Theatre in London. Both the appearances were in the comedic play called The Government Inspector. He then continued to do several more roles in plays like The Cherry Orchard, The Three Sisters, The Silver Tassie and a few more, all based in London. After impressing the audiences in the UK, he moved to the US where he made his debut at the Lyceum Theatre in 1931. He moved back to London for a year to participate in the Old Vic season. After participating in a few Shakespeare plays in London, he went to Paris to participate at Comédie-Française and became the first English actor to perform there. He received a lot of applause from the audience also since he acted the part in French. He moved to Britain to begin his film career while simultaneously acting in plays on stage. He also participated in many short films, talkies and silent comedies during that time. His appearance on the New York stage in 1931 led him to be offered his first Hollywood movie called The Old Dark House (1932). He did around six movies in the same year like Payment Deferred, If I Had a Million and his much-appreciated movie The Sign of the Cross. He won an Academy Award in his second year in Hollywood for his role in the movie The Private Life of Henry VIII. He returned to the UK in 1936 where he did movies like Rembrandt and later, with Erich Pommer, founded the Mayflower Pictures production company. Initially, the company released three movies starring Laughton which were not as commercially successful as expected. Their fourth release called The Hunchback of Notre Dame saved the company from bankruptcy. Mayflower Pictures had to shut down as a side effect of WWII. He did several movies until 1962 although a short period during the 1940's was considered his worst acting period. The bad duration did not stick with him for long and he revived back from it. His last movie as an actor before dying was Advise & Consent (1962). In his career, he directed a film called The Night of the Hunter which is considered as one of the best movies of the 1950's. It is preserved in the Library of Congress by the US National Film Registry. Ironically, when the movie was first released, it did not gain enough appreciation by the audience after which Charles did not direct another movie again. Sometimes he also hosted a few episodes on TV like in The Ed Sullivan Show. He also did many spoken recordings which were a big hit. The Story Teller: A Session with Charles Laughton won a Grammy for the Best Spoken Word Recording in 1962. He was married to Elsa Lanchester since 1927 until his death in 1962. They appeared in many films and plays together. He died due to kidney cancer in 1962.

Charles Laughton English Actor