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Lyn Harding
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Lyn Harding

Lyn Harding October 12, 1867 to December 26, 1952 (real name David Llewellyn Harding) was a Welsh actor who spent 40 years on the stage before entering British made silent films, talkies and radio. He had an imposing and menacing stage presence and came to be cast as the villain in many films, notably Professor Moriarty in dramatisations of the Sherlock Holmes stories.

He was born in 1867 at St. Brides Wentlooge, Wales into a strict Congregationalist Welsh-speaking family.

He started his career as an apprentice draper in Newport, Wales and but he was drawn to an acting career . He began giving readings from Shakespeare at a chapel in Cardiff. In 1890 a chance meeting with a touring group on a train led to him standing in for a sick actor and his first professional engagement. He opened on the 28th of August 1890 in 'The Grip Of Iron' at the Theatre Royal Bristol.

He toured the Provinces and eventually made his London debut at the Shakespeare Theatre Clapham on the 19th of July 1897.

He later changed his name to Lyn to make it more acceptable to English audiences who found Llewellyn difficult to pronounce.

His career spanned stage, silent screen , talkies and radio productions and he toured in the USA, Japan, India and Burma. He worked at different times with John Gielgud Ralph Richardson and Anthony Quayle.

His last stage appearance was as Abu Hassan in Chu Chin Chow in the West End in 1941 when he was 74 years old.

At the age of nearly 80 he played Owain Glyndwr in Shakespeare's Henry VII for BBC radio.

He lived for many years in Hemel Hempstead and died in London.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2004.

Lyn Harding Facts

Birth NameDavid Llewellyn Harding
BirthdayOctober 12, 1876
BirthplaceWales, United Kingdom
Date of deathAugust 1, 1952 (age 75)
Height6' (1m83)  How tall is Lyn Harding compared to you?

Selected Filmography

Not available.