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Nigel Green (15 October 1924 – 15 May 1972) was a South African-born British character actor. Because of his strapping build and commanding demeanour he would often be found playing military types and men of action in such classic sixties films as Jason and the Argonauts, Zulu, Tobruk and The Ipcress File.
The son of a professor, Green attended King's College School, Wimbledon and the University of London followed by the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. He appeared on stage at the Old Vic before making his first forays into British films and television in the mid-1950s.
Early film roles include Reach for the Sky (1956), The Criminal (1960), The League of Gentlemen (1960), and Beat Girl (1960). His large physique led to him being cast as Little John in the 1960 film Sword of Sherwood Forest.
In 1963 he had one of his most memorable roles as Hercules in Jason and the Argonauts. The following year his profile was raised dramatically following his co-starring role as Colour Sergeant Frank Bourne in Zulu.
In 1965 he took a turn as leading man, playing Nayland Smith in The Face of Fu Manchu. The same year also saw another of his most memorable roles as Major Dalby in The Ipcress File where he played the superior and nemesis of Michael Caine's secret agent Harry Palmer.
Other roles include Carl Petersen in Bulldog Drummond movie Deadlier Than the Male (1967), Count Contini in the Matt Helm film The Wrecking Crew (1969) and "Lord Ashley's Whore" in John Huston's The Kremlin Letter (1969).
His strong persona allowed him to play many military roles such as in Khartoum (1966), Tobruk (1967), Fräulein Doktor and Play Dirty (both 1969).
Green also appeared in a number of horror films including Corridors of Blood (1958), The Masque of the Red Death (1964), as the father of Jane Asher's character, The Skull (1965), Let's Kill Uncle (1966) and Countess Dracula (1971).
His last role was a cameo as "the Electric Messiah", a mental patient believing himself to be God, in The Ruling Class (1972).
Television appearances include The Adventures of William Tell, The Other Man, Danger Man, The Power Game, The Avengers, Sherlock Holmes, Jason King, The Protectors and The Persuaders!.
Green's career was cut short when he died from an overdose of sleeping pills in 1972, aged 47. At the time of his death he was separated from his wife, the actress Patricia Marmont. Peter O'Toole said on his commentary on The Ruling Class that he believes Green was very depressed, and that his death shortly after filming ended was probably intentional.