(David) Paul Scofield
- (1922 - 2008) British actor, who made his firstprofessional appearance in 1940 at the Westminster Theatre. Scofieldsubsequently joined the Birmingham Repertory Theatre under the directionof Sir Barry Jackson, whom he followed to the Shakespeare MemorialTheatre at Stratford-upon-Avon in 1946. At Stratford, Scofieldembarked on a series of prominent Shakespearean roles that greatlyenhanced his reputation; these included Hamlet in a 1955 productionthat toured to America and Russia and Lear in Peter Brook'scelebrated 1962 production for the RSC. Scofield subsequently playedalmost all of the major Shakespearean roles.
He was also highly praised for his portrayal of Sir ThomasMore in Robert Bolt's A Man for All Seasons (1960) as wellas powerful performances in works by contemporary dramatists as diverseas John Osborne, Christopher Hampton, and Peter Shaffer.Highlights of his later career include West End productions of HerbGardner's I'm Not Rappaport (1986), Shaw's Heartbreak House(1992), and Ibsen's John Gabriel Borkman (1996). He becamea Companion of Honour in 2000, having rejected the offer of a knighhoodon three occasions.