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More Tom Courtenay Bios & Profiles


The most recent Tom Courtenay biography is published on the main page.

Biography #2 (for Last Orders)

Much loved and widely respected for a range of celebrated and critically acclaimed roles in classic films, Courtenay has carved out a distinguished career on stage, screen and television over the past four decades. He has also been knighted by Her Majesty The Queen.

In 1963, he won a BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles for Tony Richardson's The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner. The very next year, he received a BAFTA nomination for Best Actor for John Schlesinger's Billy Liar and the following year he received another BAFTA nomination for Best Actor for Joseph Losey's King and Country, a role that also earned him the Volpi Cup at the Venice Film Festival. Courtenay then earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for David Lean's Doctor Zhivago in 1965. Courtenay originated the role of Norman in The Dresser on stage and on screen, and won a Golden Globe award for his performance in the 1983 Peter Yates film. He was also nominated for an Academy Award and a BAFTA Award for Best Actor for his performance. His other film credits include: Michael Anderson's Operation Crossbow, Bryan Forbes' King Rat with George Segal, The Night of the Generals with Peter O'Toole, A Dandy in Aspic, Otley, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, To Catch a Spy, Happy New Year, The Last Butterfly, Peter Medak's Let Him Have It and most recently, Peter Hewitt's Whatever Happened to Harold Smith? On television, Courtenay starred in I Heard the Owl Call My Name and recently received a BAFTA nomination for his role in the television movie A Rather English Marriage, with Albert Finney and Joanna Lumley.

Following his initial film success in the sixties, Courtenay turned primarily to theatre. He performed solo in the role as a Russian dissident in the play Moscow Stations in Edinburgh, London and New York. He created the role of Serge in the original West End production of Art and played King Lear at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester.

Recently he wrote his memoirs, Dear Tom: Letters From Home, which reached the Non-Fiction Top Ten List when it was published in the United Kingdom.

Bio courtesy Mongrel Media for "Last Orders" (30-Mar-2003)