Patrick Magee (actor)  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Patrick Magee (31 March 192214 August 1982) was a Tony Award winning Northern Irish actor best known for his collaborations with Samuel Beckett and his role as the victimised writer Mr. Alexander in Stanley Kubrick's film A Clockwork Orange.

He was raised Catholic in Armagh Northern Ireland; his name at birth was Patrick McGee. When he moved to London in 1957, he changed the spelling of his surname so as to appear less provincial. He appeared in Beckett's All That Fall at the Royal Court Theatre and impressed the writer so much that Beckett wrote the play Krapp's Last Tape especially for Magee (a BBC version was made in 1972). Magee's large eyes and eyebrows and distinctive voice cast him as a character actor, usually as a deranged authority figure, although his early film roles also included the brave and dedicated British army surgeon in Zulu (1964). The critic John Simon wrote that Magee "has a way of turning every syllable he speaks into overripe Limburger cheese: he is the only actor I can think of to whom one listens with one's nose."

He also played a doctor in Francis Ford Coppola's first film Dementia 13. This film was produced by Roger Corman and Magee became a regular in Corman's low-budget productions and other horror films, especially Hammer Films. He also appeared in Harold Pinter's The Servant as a bishop.

In 1964 Magee joined the Royal Shakespeare Company, then under the direction of Peter Brook. He premiered in Pinter's The Birthday Party (and also appeared in the film version) and then had a major part in Marat/Sade. The play transferred to Broadway and won Magee a Tony Award, and again he went on to appear in the film version. He also appeared in the 1966 RSC production of Staircase opposite Paul Scofield.

Magee always regarded film and television work as a means to subsidise theatre work but following Marat/Sade Magee appeared in many prestigious film and TV projects leading to A Clockwork Orange in 1971.

Four years later, Kubrick cast Magee again in Barry Lyndon, but the decline of film production in Britain in the 1970s and 80s left Magee with fewer outlets. His last major role was in a European production, Walerian Borowczyk's Docteur Jekyll et les femmes.

Always known as a heavy drinker, Magee died of a heart attack in 1982 at age 60.


Year Filmography
1960 The Criminal
1961 Rag Doll
1962 The Boys
A Prize of Arms
1963 The Young Racers
The Very Edge
Dementia 13
The Servant
1964 Zulu
Séance on a Wet Afternoon
The Masque of the Red Death
1965 The Skull
Die, Monster, Die!
1967 Marat/Sade
1968 Anzio
The Birthday Party
1969 Hard Contract
1970 Cromwell
You Can't Win 'Em All
1971 King Lear
The Trojan Women
A Clockwork Orange
The Fiend aka Beware My Brethren
1972 Tales from the Crypt
Young Winston
Pope Joan
Demons of the Mind
1973 And Now the Screaming Starts!
Lady Ice
1975 The Final Programme
Barry Lyndon
1977 Telefon
1979 The Bronte Sisters
1980 The Monster Club
Hawk the Slayer
Rough Cut
Sir Henry at Rawlinson End
The Flipside of Dominick Hide
1981 Chariots of Fire
Dr. Jekyll and His Women
The Sleep of Death
Another Flip for Dominick

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Patrick Magee (actor)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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