Donald Sinden
English actor
Donald Sinden
Sir Donald Alfred Sinden is an English actor of theatre, film, television and radio and an author.
Biography
Donald Sinden's personal information overview.
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News
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DVD Review - Twice Round the Daffodils (1962)
Flickering Myth - almost 5 years
Twice Round the Daffodils, 1962. Directed by Gerald Thomas. Starring Juliet Mills, Donald Sinden, Donald Houston, Kenneth Williams, Ronald Lewis, Andrew Ray, Joan Sims and Jill Ireland. SYNOPSIS: A group of four male patients arrive at a sanatorium to be treated for tuberculosis. As they adjust to their new home, each one of them starts to take a shine to the nurse and try their best to gain her attention. A classic piece of nostalgic British comedy comes to DVD in the shape of Twice Dound the Daffodils and you cannot help but love it if for no other reason than the ‘they don’t make them like this anymore’ factor. Produced and directed by the legendary ‘Carry On’ team of Peter Rogers and Gerald Thomas, you might expect this to me 85 minutes of innuendo and seaside postcard humour, but it is a much sweeter and poignant film than that. Set in a hospital, the film is about the daily life of a new group of patients treated for tuberculosis. The first half is mostly a drama as t ...
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Flickering Myth article
COMEDY RULES: FROM THE CAMBRIDGE FOOTLIGHTS TO YES, PRIME MINISTER BY JONATHAN ... - Daily Mail
Google News - over 5 years
Lynn also did a stint with the RSC at Stratford, where the famous sit-com actor Donald Sinden was essaying the role of Othello. 'We've nearly got all the laughs out,' said Sinden's director despondently, some way into the run. Through Cleese, Lynn met
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Google News article
SHOREHAM AIRSHOW: Live day two coverage - update - Shoreham Today
Google News - over 5 years
The 2011 airshow patron, Jayne Torvill OBE, was seen chatting to the Flacons parachute team, and actor Donald Sinden is among the well-known faces taking in the atmosphere. *The Shoreham Herald team has been reporting live from the airshow all weekend
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The DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE Series (DVD) - Fox 31 KDVR.com
Google News - over 5 years
... rugby team than anything else; Richard Grimsdyke (Kenneth More) is given a yearly allowance from a wealthy relative as long as he stays in medical school, so he flunks out each year; and Tony Benskin (Donald Sinden) is there solely to chase women
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No country for old gentlemen: the death of formal attire - The National
Google News - over 5 years
The veteran actor Sir Donald Sinden once told me of an occasion, just after the war, when he turned up for the read-through of a new production at the Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-on-Avon only to be sent home again for not having shaved
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Munroe Mission for armed service charities - Reading Post
Google News - over 5 years
Lucy Taylor organised a lunch for 100 people with acting legend Sir Donald Sinden as the guest speaker, which moved the fundraisers an impressive £6000 nearer that target. The event was held at her family home in Penn, near High Wycombe, last week
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La voraz tijera de la dictadura - El País.com (España)
Google News - over 5 years
No se les ocurrió nada mejor que convertir a los personajes de Kelly y Donald Sinden (marido y mujer) en ¡hermanos! Si no había matrimonio no había adulterio, una inmoralidad penada por la Iglesia y por la pacata sociedad de entonces
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The Cruel Sea Blu-ray Review - HeyUGuys.co.uk
Google News - over 5 years
Hawkins is one of many British actors turning in excellent performances in The Cruel Sea and performances by the likes of Donald Sinden as Lockhart, John Stratton as Ferraby and Denholm Elliot as Morell help make this a character drama that feels all
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QUENTIN LETTS: Shakespeare and a one man show, with Simon Callow - Daily Mail
Google News - over 5 years
It may all be a little Donald Sinden in places. But what's wrong with that for a change? Jonathan Bate's clever script takes us through Shakespeare's life on the basis of the 'seven ages' speech in As You Like It, starting with the 'mewling and puking'
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Google News article
DVD Releases: 'The Cruel Sea' (Blu-ray Re-Release) - Cine-Vue
Google News - over 5 years
Ericsson, despite his position as narrator, is relegated to the sidelines for much of the film's initial hour, while his subordinates Lockhart (Donald Sinden), Ferraby (John Stratton) and Morrell (Denholm Elliot) serve as the film's initial leads
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Google News article
Celebrating a daredevil countess - Daily Mail
Google News - over 5 years
Sir Donald Sinden, happily married to his late wife Diana for 56 years, had, in his youth, an unlikely courtship of a kind with Oscar Wilde's lover, Lord Alfred 'Bosie' Douglas. Sinden tells me that towards the end of his life, Bosie invited him round
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The darkness at the heart of Much Ado About Nothing - The Guardian
Google News - over 5 years
The best loved and most admired Benedick in living memory has probably been Sir Donald Sinden, cast opposite an alternately stern and vulnerable Judi Dench in John Barton's RSC production of 1976. His Benedick was on the verge of middle age: not a
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Grandage & Suzman Honoured in Birthday List - WhatsOnStage.com
Google News - over 5 years
More recently she has returned to the country of her birth, South Africa, and directed a number of productions, returning to the RSC to direct Donald Sinden, Ian Richardson and Derek Jacobi in The Hollow Crown in 2002. Having appeared alongside Kim
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Sir Donald Sinden to receive Kent honorary degree - BBC News
Google News - over 5 years
Stage and screen actor Sir Donald Sinden and author Vikram Seth are among those set to receive honorary degrees from the University of Kent. Others to be recognised at ceremonies in Canterbury and Rochester cathedrals include science writer Dr Simon
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Business as Nirmal: The doyenne of Sheffield's Indian restaurants is ... - Sheffield Telegraph (press release)
Google News - over 5 years
Other celebrated guests over the 30 years have included Donald Sinden, Hugh Laurie, Joanna Lumley and Jamie Lee Curtis. We finish our meal with fudgy patissa, a pot of fragrant masala chai – and a tip from our hostess: “Put cloves, cardamoms and
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The Cruel Sea [UK Release] Blu-ray Review - Blu-rayDefinition.com
Google News - over 5 years
... mix from Cross of Iron, a 1977 film that I also just reviewed. Dialogue is clean and intelligible as well. Supplements are a bit thin on this release, but there is a good interview with Donald Sinden (“Lockhart”) that should be of interest to viewers
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The Cruel Sea Blu-Ray Review - The Film Pilgrim
Google News - over 5 years
The best of these is a 30 minute interview with Sir Donald Sinden (in his old age), where he recounts his experiences during the shooting of the film, revealing many interesting facts (he claims all of the actors effectively lived the life of a sailor
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Win The Cruel Sea on Blu-ray - HeyUGuys.co.uk
Google News - over 5 years
The movie is directed by Charles Frend and stars Jack Hawkins, Donald Sinden and John Stratton. The novel THE CRUEL SEA by Nicholas Monserrat was an unflinching portrayal of life at sea during WWII on a boat tasked with protecting convoys and seeking
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Donald Sinden
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2014
    Age 90
    Sinden received, posthumously, the Gielgud Award for Excellence in the Dramatic Arts at the Guildhall, London during the 2014 Theatre Awards UK ceremony, held on 19 October.
    More Details Hide Details The award was collected on his behalf by his son Marc Sinden. Sinden was born in St Budeaux, Plymouth, Devon on 9 October 1923. The middle child of Alfred Edward Sinden and his wife Mabel Agnes (née Fuller), he had an elder sister Joy and a younger brother Leon (1927-2015) also an actor. They grew up in Ditchling, where their home 'The Limes', doubled as the local chemist shop. According to his second autobiography, while investigating his family genealogy he discovered that the only previous relatives who were also members of the theatrical profession were the Victorian brother and sister act of Bert and Topsy Sinden, who were distant cousins. Topsy achieved "some fame as a 'skirt dancer' and première danseuse at the Empire Theatre of Varieties in Leicester Square." He was colour blind and suffered from asthma, which prevented him from joining the armed forces during the Second World War and suffered from negative buoyancy, meaning that he was unable to float or swim in water, which was discovered while filming The Cruel Sea when the ship was sinking. Co-star Jack Hawkins saved him from drowning in the open air water-tank at Denham Studios.
  • 2012
    Age 88
    On 9 October 2012, he celebrated his 89th birthday and his retirement after 30 years as the longest-standing President of the Royal Theatrical Fund (founded by Charles Dickens in 1839) with a celebration lunch for 350 guests at the Park Lane Hotel, London which was compered by Russ Abbott and the charity auction was conducted by Jeffrey Archer.
    More Details Hide Details Leading the tributes was Jean Kent, who had co-starred with Sinden in Bernard Delfont's 1951 stage production of Froufrou and letters from Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Albert of Monaco were read out, with speeches from Julian Fellowes, Ray Cooney and Gyles Brandreth.
  • 2002
    Age 78
    In 2002, the purpose-built theatre in Tenterden, Kent was named the Sinden Theatre.
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  • 2001
    Age 77
    From 2001 to 2007 he played the part of senior judge (and father-in-law of the title character), Sir Joseph Channing in Judge John Deed and is the voice of Totally Viral.
    More Details Hide Details He starred in the Walt Disney Productions family film The Island at the Top of the World (1974), playing Sir Anthony Ross, which was filmed at Disney's studios in Burbank, California. Sinden's distinctive voice was heard frequently on radio, including as Sir Charles Baskerville in a Radio 4 adaptation of the Sherlock Holmes story The Hound of the Baskervilles. He starred in multiple adaptations of John Dickson Carr's Dr. Gideon Fell mysteries, including The House on Gallows Lane, The Hollow Man and Black Spectacles, To Wake the Dead, The Blind Barber and The Mad Hatter Mystery. Sinden wrote two autobiographical volumes: A Touch of the Memoirs (1982) and Laughter in the Second Act (1985), edited the Everyman Book of Theatrical Anecdotes (1987), wrote a book to coincide with his BBC TV series The English Country Church (1988) and a collection of "epitaphs and final utterances" titled The Last Word (1994).
  • 1996
    Age 72
    The couple had two sons: the actor Jeremy Sinden (born 1950), who died of lung cancer in 1996 and the film director and West End producer Marc Sinden (born 1954).
    More Details Hide Details Donald Sinden had four grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.
  • 1990
    Age 66
    One episode in 1990 (A Car by Any Other Name) had Sinden being literally picked up by two police officers who were played by his own actor sons, Jeremy and Marc.
    More Details Hide Details His wife, Diana, appeared in the last episode.
  • 1988
    Age 64
    In 1988 he presented a documentary series on BBC TV about his love of The English Country Church, inspired by his grandfather's architectural drawings and watercolours.
    More Details Hide Details Sinden was spoofed on Spitting Image, the 1980s British satirical television programme in which famous people were lampooned by caricatured latex puppets. For example, when his puppet, sitting in a restaurant, summons a waiter and asks "Do you serve a ham salad?" the waiter replies "Yes, we serve salad to anyone".
  • 1985
    Age 61
    He was the subject of an extended edition of This Is Your Life in 1985 when he was surprised by Eamonn Andrews.
    More Details Hide Details He also appeared on Lily Savage's Blankety Blank.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1981
    Age 57
    From 1981, Sinden starred in the Thames Television situation comedy, Never the Twain.
    More Details Hide Details He played snooty antiques dealer Simon Peel who lived next door to a competitor Oliver Smallbridge (played by Windsor Davies). The characters hated each other and were horrified when they discovered that their son and daughter were to be married – thus meaning they were related. Despite a lack of critical acclaim, the series was a TV ratings success and ran for 11 series until 1991.
  • 1979
    Age 55
    In 1979 Sinden presented a documentary series on BBC2 (later repeated in 1981 on BBC1), Discovering English Churches.
    More Details Hide Details Over 10 episodes Sinden explored the unique history of the English church, and the influences that shaped the development of 16,000 unique churches, exploring the history of 2-3 specific churches in each episode.
    In 1979 he played the title role in Othello, directed by Ronald Eyre, becoming the last 'blacked-up white' actor to play the role for the RSC.
    More Details Hide Details Everyman editor and critic Gareth Lloyd Evans noted that his interpretation was "not…about colour or racialism" but one that illuminated the character's personal tragedy. In 2013 Sinden presented a documentary series called Great West End Theatres, which describes the history and stories associated with each of the 40 London theatres. Directed and produced by his son Marc, it was to be released as a 40-part DVD and Sky Arts TV series, with the first 10 episodes showing on Sky Arts 2 during the autumn of 2013. In their review of the series, the British Theatre Guide said "Sir Donald's gorgeous plummy tones are a joy to listen to whatever he is saying but when he is extolling the virtues of one of his own favourite theatres, the pleasure is heightened. At his first entrance, he announces that he is "tingling with excitement" which is just what one wants from a tour guide. Soon enough, so are viewers."
  • 1976
    Age 52
    For the 1976 Stratford season and then at the Aldwych Theatre in 1977, Sinden won the Evening Standard Award as Best Actor for his performance in the title role of King Lear (with Michael Williams as the Fool).
    More Details Hide Details Meanwhile, he was also portraying in repertory, Benedick (regarded as "the most admired Benedick in living memory") opposite Judi Dench's Beatrice in John Barton's highly acclaimed 'British Raj' revival of Much Ado About Nothing, and in the same time frame also rehearsing the third season of the LWT sitcom Two's Company with Elaine Stritch during the daytime and filming the show at the studio in front of a live audience on Sunday evenings. He claimed "RSC money isn't very good compared with a normal commercial theatre rate. I was on their 'star' salary, which meant it worked out at about £47 per performance! You work for them 'for the honour' of doing the greatest classical plays, not for the money, so you have to make up the financial short-fall somewhere".
  • 1975
    Age 51
    After starring in the series The Organisation (1971), he co-starred in the London Weekend Television situation comedy Two's Company which debuted in 1975.
    More Details Hide Details Sinden was cast in the role of an English butler, Robert, to Elaine Stritch's American character, Dorothy. Much of the humour derived from the culture clashes between Robert's very stiff-upper-lip Britishness and Dorothy's devil-may-care New York view on life. Two's Company was well received in Britain and ran for four seasons until 1979. The programme was nominated for a 'Best Situation Comedy' BAFTA in 1977. Stritch and Sinden also sang the theme tune for the opening credits to the programme, which received a BAFTA nomination. They each received a BAFTA nomination in 1979 for 'Best Light Entertainment Performance' and the show received two additional BAFTA nominations that year.
    After the production transferred to New York in 1975, Sinden became the first recipient of the newly established Broadway Drama Desk Special Award.
    More Details Hide Details Sinden sought and received advice about the character's costume and mannerisms in the role from the Regency novelist Georgette Heyer.
  • FORTIES
  • 1964
    Age 40
    Other notable performances by Sinden for the company were Eh? by Henry Livings in 1964; as Lord Foppington in The Relapse in 1967; Malvolio in Twelfth Night (opposite Judi Dench as Viola) in 1969 and again with Judi Dench and her husband Michael Williams in 1974, as Sir Harcourt Courtly in London Assurance (Albery Theatre).
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  • THIRTIES
  • 1963
    Age 39
    Outstanding among his many notable stage appearances for the RSC, both at Stratford-upon-Avon and in London's West End (usually at the Aldwych Theatre), was his performance in 1963 as the Duke of York in The Wars of the Roses opposite Peggy Ashcroft as Queen Margaret.
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  • 1954
    Age 30
    Sinden was Honorary President of the Garden Suburb Theatre, an amateur theatre group based in Hampstead Garden Suburb where he was resident from 1954-1997.
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  • TWENTIES
  • 1948
    Age 24
    Sinden was married to the actress Diana Mahony from 3 May 1948 until her death from stomach cancer aged 77 in 2004.
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  • 1946
    Age 22
    Joining the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre company in 1946, Sinden was an Associate Artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) from 1967.
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  • 1945
    Age 21
    On 23 March 1945, he was one of only two people who attended his funeral.
    More Details Hide Details He is believed to have been the last living person to have known Douglas. After the critical and financial success of his first screen leading role in The Cruel Sea (1953), made by Ealing Studios, in which he co-starred and received top-billing with Jack Hawkins, Sinden was contracted for seven years to the Rank Organisation at Pinewood Studios and subsequently starred in 23 movies during the 1950s and early 1960s, including Mogambo; Doctor in the House; Above Us the Waves; The Black Tent; Eyewitness; Doctor at Large; The Siege of Sidney Street and Twice Round the Daffodils. Sinden became associated with his character of "Benskin" in the Doctor film series as the duffel-coated medical student, regularly failing his finals and spending most of his time chasing pretty nurses, accompanied by his trade-mark "wolf-growl". Sinden was the recipient of several "audience-based" awards during this period, including "The actor who made most progress during 1954". In 1956, a profile was written on him which stated:
  • TEENAGE
  • 1942
    Age 18
    In 1942, in Hove, Sinden befriended Lord Alfred Douglas (known as "Bosie"), who had been Oscar Wilde's lover.
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    Offered a professional acting part by the Brighton impresario Charles F. Smith, he made his first professional appearance in January 1942, playing Dudley in a production of George and Margaret for the Mobile Entertainments Southern Area company (known as MESA) and in other modern comedies, playing to the armed forces all along the South Coast of England during World War II and later trained as an actor for two terms at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1941
    Age 17
    Sinden made his first stage appearance at the amateur Brighton Little Theatre (of which he later became President) in 1941, stepping into a part in place of his cousin Frank, who had been called up to war and so was unable to appear.
    More Details Hide Details
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1923
    Born
    Born on October 9, 1923.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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