James Villiers

James Michael Hyde Villiers (29 September 1933 – 18 January 1998) was a British character actor and a familiar face on British television. He was particularly memorable for his plummy voice and ripe articulation. Born in London and educated at Wellington College, Berkshire and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, 'Gentleman Jim' Villiers (pronounced Villers) was from an upper class background, related to the Earl of Clarendon, and this was often reflected in the types of roles he played, such as King Charles II in the BBC series, The First Churchills (1969). He made his film debut in 1958, and appeared in many British films over the years, including Joseph Losey's The Damned a.k.a. These Are the Damned, shot in 1961, but not released until 1963; Seth Holt's The Nanny (1965), Joseph Andrews (1977), For Your Eyes Only (1981), The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982), Mountains of the Moon (1990) and The Tichborne Claimant (1998), along with numerous other projects. He often specialised in playing cold, somewhat effete villains.


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