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Film Zulu Dawn quote: “Excuse me, my Lord, there's something I must convey to you. I rode along the track down to Rorke's Drift. The sky above is red with fire. Your orders my Lord? Do we move to the drift?”
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Nicholas Anthony Phillip Clay (18 September 1946 – 25 May 2000) was an English actor.
COUPLE PROFILE Nicholas Anthony Phillip Clay (September 18, 1946 - May 25, 2000) was a British actor. Born in Streatham London, to Bill and Rose Clay, he studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and began his acting career in the early 1970s with small parts in film and television. He also appeared in several West End theatre productions. He was cast in several of Laurence Olivier`s Old Vic productions and during the decade came to be regarded as one of British theatre`s most promising actors. Among his successes was The Misanthrope, which led Clay to the United States, where he also played this role on Broadway in 1975. His most widely seen screen performance was as Lancelot in the 1981 film Excalibur, and he also appeared in the film versions of D. H. Lawrence`s Lady Chatterley`s Lover (1981), and Agatha Christie`s Evil Under the Sun (1982), the latter reuniting him with his The Misanthrope co-star Diana Rigg. Clay continued working regularly on stage and appeared in a number of made-for-television movies and miniseries. In 1984, he played Mike Preston in the Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense episode "Child`s Play". A year later, in 1985, he took the role of Doctor Percy Trevelyan in an episode of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes entitled The Resident Patient. In 1992 he appeared with Kim Thomson in the BBC TV series Virtual Murder. In the last years of his life he taught drama at the Actors Centre and the Academy of Live and Performing Arts, and also worked in association with RADA, generally in the role of promoting the organisation, or providing advice to acting students. Clay married actress Lorna Heilbron in 1980. He died of cancer in London and was survived by his wife, daughters and mother.
Last edited by littlehand on Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
Posts : 7086 Join date : 2009-04-24 Age : 52 Location : Down South.
Subject: Re: NICHOLAS CLAY Zulu Dawn Actor. Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:56 pm
THE INDEPENDANT, MAY 30TH 2000 BY ANTHONY HAYWARD (LONDON)
FOR THREE DECADES, NICHOLAS CLAY WAS ONE OF BRITAIN'S MOST DEPENDABLE SUPPORTING SCREEN ACTORS, COMBINING THE CLASSICS WITH EPIC FANTASIES. HIS BEST PERFORMANCES WERE AS LANCELOT IN THE DIRECTOR JOHN BOORMAN'S SPELLBINDING FILM VERSION OF EXCALIBUR AND CHARLES DE MONTFORT IN THE UNDERRATED LIONHEART. ON STAGE, HE ACTED ALMOST EXCLUSIVELY IN THE CLASSICS, MOST NOTABLY AS HASTINGS IN A WORLD TOUR OF SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER.
BORN IN LONDON IN 1946, CLAY TRAINED AT RADA AND MADE HIS FILM DEBUT IN THE PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER THE NIGHT DIGGER (1971) AS BILLY JARVIS, THE YOUNG HANDYMAN WHOSE ARRIVAL SPARKS CHANGES IN THE DREARY LIFE OF A MIDDLE-AGED SPINSTER, UNTIL SHE DISCOVERS HIS OUT-OF- HOURS ACTIVITIES.
HE THEN STARRED AS THE EVOLUTION THEORIST IN THE DARWIN ADVENTURE (1972), BEFORE ACTING HENRY CLERVAL IN TERROR OF FRANKENSTEIN (1975, ALSO TITLED VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN), A SWEDISH-IRISH PRODUCTION CREDITED WITH BEING ONE OF THE MOST FAITHFUL VERSIONS OF THE HORROR STORY.
CLAY PLAYED LIEUTENANT RAW IN ZULU DAWN (1979), THE PREQUEL TO THE 1960S EPIC ZULU, AND TOOK THE LEAD ROLE OF TRISTAN IN LOVESPELL (1979, ALSO TITLED TRISTAN AND ISOLDE), A DISAPPOINTING RETELLING OF THE ROMANTIC LEGEND, FILMED IN IRELAND AND FEATURING THE AMERICAN ACTRESS KATE MULGREW AS HIS LOVER.
THE PUBLIC WERE MORE INTERESTED WHEN CLAY STARRED AS THE GAMEKEEPER MELLORS, ALONGSIDE THE EMMANUELLE ACTRESS SYLVIA KRISTEL, IN A LOW-BUDGET FRENCH- BRITISH PRODUCTION OF LADY CHATTERLEY'S LOVER (1981). HOWEVER, THE FILM WAS MORE MEMORABLE FOR ITS PUBLICITY PICTURES OF CLAY SCATTERING FLOWERS OVER KRISTEL'S NAKED BODY THAN ITS INTERPRETATION OF THE CONTROVERSIAL D.H. LAWRENCE CLASSIC.
THE ACTOR FOUND GREATER SATISFACTION AS LANCELOT IN THE SPECTACULAR EXCALIBUR (1981), ALONGSIDE NIGEL TERRY, HELEN MIRREN, NICOL WILLIAMSON AND CHERIE LUNGHI, JOHN BOORMAN'S VIVID VERSION OF THE LEGEND OF KING ARTHUR AND THE KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND TABLE.
CLAY LATER ACTED CHARLES DE MONTFORT IN ANOTHER MEDIEVAL FANTASY, LIONHEART (1987), WHICH FEATURED ERIC STOLTZ AS A RUNAWAY KNIGHT WANTING TO JOIN THE CRUSADES AND RECRUITING HOMELESS CHILDREN ALONG THE WAY. HOWEVER, THE FILM WON LITTLE ATTENTION ON ITS RELEASE.
IN EVIL UNDER THE SUN (1982), CLAY PLAYED PATRICK REDFERN IN AN ALL-STAR CAST THAT INCLUDED PETER USTINOV, JAMES MASON, SYLVIA MILES, DIANA RIGG AND MAGGIE SMITH. THIS PICTURE RECEIVED A WIDE SCREENING BUT WAS A BELOW- PAR PRODUCTION OF THE AGATHA CHRISTIE NOVEL.
CLAY TOOK THE LEAD ONCE MORE, AS THE PRINCE, IN A FILM VERSION OF SLEEPING BEAUTY (1987) BUT, BY THE 1990S, HIS CINEMA CAREER APPEARED TO BE OVER. HOWEVER HE REMAINED IN DEMAND ON TELEVISION AND HIS REPUTATION FOR ACTING IN SCREEN FANTASIES LED HIM TO BE CAST AS MENELAUS IN THE ODYSSEY (1997), A MINI-SERIES BASED ON HOMER, AND LORD LEO IN MERLIN (1998). BOTH WERE SEEN AROUND THE WORLD.
THE SMALL SCREEN HAD ALREADY CAST HIM AS DOCTORS SEVERAL TIMES. HE ACTED THE BRILLIANT YOUNG MEDICAL STUDENT DR PERCY TREVELYAN IN "THE RESIDENT PATIENT" (1985), AN EPISODE IN GRANADA'S ACCLAIMED SERIES THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES, DR JOHN CORNELIUS IN VIRTUAL MURDER (1992) AND DR ANGUS HARVEY IN PSYCHOS (1999), HIS LAST ROLE.
OVER ALMOST 30 YEARS, CLAY WAS ALSO SEEN ON TELEVISION AS DAVID IN IN THIS HOUSE OF BREDE (1975), THE EARL OF SOUTHAMPTON IN JOHN MORTIMER'S WILL SHAKESPEARE (1978), JACK STAPLETON IN THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES (1983), GLAUCUS IN THE LAST DAYS OF POMPEII (1984), PRINCE ALEXIS MDIVANI IN POOR LITTLE RICH GIRL: THE BARBARA HUTTON STORY (1987), VALENTIN RENKO IN BERLIN BREAK (1992) AND SQUADRON LEADER CUNNINGHAM IN THE REVIVAL OF SHINE ON HARVEY MOON (1995). HIS MANY GUEST APPEARANCES INCLUDED PARTS IN GENTLEMEN AND PLAYERS, TAGGART, KAVANAGH QC (AS MR JUSTICE FULBRIGHT) AND BUGS.
ON STAGE, CLAY SPENT MOST OF HIS CAREER IN THE CLASSICS. AT THE NATIONAL THEATRE, HE PLAYED AUMERLE IN RICHARD II, GIOVANNI IN 'TIS PITY SHE'S A WHORE (DIRECTED BY ROLAND JOFFE), NUGGET IN EQUUS, A JUMPER IN JUMPERS (DIRECTED BY PETER WOOD), ROCCA IN SATURDAY SUNDAY MONDAY (DIRECTED BY FRANCO ZEFFIRELLI), YOUNG SEWARD IN MACBETH (DIRECTED BY MICHAEL BLAKEMORE) AND ACASTE IN THE MISANTHROPE. BLAKEMORE ALSO DIRECTED HIM IN THE PART OF YOUNG INNA IN ARTURO UI AT NOTTINGHAM PLAYHOUSE, WHERE CLAY ACTED SEVERAL ROLES IN JONATHAN MILLER'S PRODUCTION OF KING LEAR. HE PLAYED PHILINTE IN THE MISANTHROPE, DIRECTED BY BILL BRYDEN, AT THE LYCEUM THEATRE, AND HASTINGS IN CLIFFORD WILLIAMS'S WORLD TOUR OF SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER.
ON THE WEST END STAGE, CLAY TOOK THE ROLES OF MAURICE IN FLINT (CRITERION THEATRE) AND TRIGORIN IN THE SEAGULL (CAMBRIDGE THEATRE), AND HE WAS SEEN ON BROADWAY, AGAIN AS ACASTE, IN THE MISANTHROPE (ST JAMES THEATRE). CLAY WAS MARRIED TO THE ACTRESS LORNA HEILBRON.
NICHOLAS CLAY, ACTOR: BORN LONDON 18 SEPTEMBER 1946; MARRIED LORNA HEILBRON (TWO DAUGHTERS); DIED 25 MAY 2000.
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Posts : 10158 Join date : 2009-04-07 Age : 64 Location : Melbourne, Australia
Subject: Nicholas Clay Zulu Dawn Actor . Thu Sep 15, 2011 6:54 am
Hi All . A signed print of Clay from the film was recently on ebay uk for 85 Pds . cheers 90th.
Posts : 2308 Join date : 2010-07-02 Age : 40
Subject: Re: NICHOLAS CLAY Zulu Dawn Actor. Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:25 pm
I thought he was still alive. Shock or what!!!
Posts : 7086 Join date : 2009-04-24 Age : 52 Location : Down South.
Subject: Re: NICHOLAS CLAY Zulu Dawn Actor. Thu Sep 22, 2011 3:59 pm