Sir Michael (Murray) Hordern



  • (1911 - 95) British actor. Hordern made his first professionalappearance in a 1937 production of Othello. After wartime servicein the Royal Navy, he returned to the stage in a production of Ibsen'sA Doll's House in 1946. Subsequent roles included Mr Toad inChristmas runs of Toad of Toad Hall (1948 and 1949). In 1950he appeared in the title part in Chekhov's Ivanov. Hordern'sreputation was firmly established by an excellent season with theRSC in 1952. The following year he joined the Old Vic, giving a highlyacclaimed performance as Malvolio in Twelfth Night.

    Following further success in Shaw's The Doctor's Dilemma(1955), Hordern played the senile old barrister in John Mortimer's TheDock Brief (1958). Subsequently he specialized in playing mildly orwholly eccentric characters, such as the metaphysician George in TomStoppard's Jumpers (1972) and Sir Anthony Absolute in Sheridan'sThe Rivals (1983). He also made numerous film and televisionappearances.