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Alan Badel
Alan Badel.jpg
Alan Fernand Badel

(1923-09-11)11 September 1923
Died19 March 1982(1982-03-19) (aged 58)
Chichester, Sussex, England
Years active1952–82
(m. 1942)
ChildrenSarah Badel

Alan Fernand Badel[1] (/bəˈdɛl/;[2] 11 September 1923 – 19 March 1982) was an English stage actor who also appeared frequently in the cinema, radio and television and was noted for his richly textured voice which was once described as "the sound of tears".

Early life

Badel was born in Rusholme, Manchester, and educated at Burnage High School. He fought in France and Germany during the Second World War, serving as a paratrooper on D-Day.[3] He partially lost his hearing when a shell exploded near him.[4]


In his early career, he played leading parts, including Romeo and Hamlet, with the Old Vic and Stratford companies.[citation needed]

Badel's earliest film role was as John the Baptist in the Rita Hayworth version of Salome (1953), a version in which the story was altered to make Salome a Christian convert who dances for Herod in order to save John rather than have him condemned to death. He portrayed Richard Wagner in Magic Fire (1955), a biopic about the composer. He also played the role of Karl Denny, the impresario, in the film Bitter Harvest (1963). Around the same time, he played opposite Vivien Merchant in a television version of Harold Pinter's play The Lover (also 1963) and as Edmond Dantès in a BBC television adaptation of Alexandre Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo (1964).

Badel also played the villainous sunglasses-wearing Najim Beshraavi in Arabesque (1966) with Gregory Peck and Sophia Loren. He played the French Interior Minister in The Day of the Jackal (1973), a political thriller about the attempted assassination of President Charles de Gaulle. In the political television drama Bill Brand (1976) he played David Last, the government's Employment Minister, a left-wing former backbench MP who had recently joined the front bench after 30 years in the House of Commons. One of his last roles was that of Baron Nicolas de Gunzburg in the Paramount film Nijinsky (1980). A television adaptation for the BBC of The Woman in White (1982) by Wilkie Collins, in which Badel played the role of Count Fosco, was shown posthumously.[5]

Personal life

Badel married the actress Yvonne Owen in 1942 and they remained married until his death from a heart attack in Chichester, aged 58. Their daughter Sarah Badel is an actress.



Year Title Role Notes
1952 The Stranger Left No Card Stranger Short film
1953 Salome John the Baptist
Will Any Gentleman...? The Great Mendoza
1955 Three Cases of Murder Owen/Mr. X/Harry
Magic Fire Richard Wagner
1961 The Complaisant Lover Clive Root TV film
1963 This Sporting Life Weaver
The Lover Richard TV film
Bitter Harvest Karl
1964 Children of the Damned Dr. David Neville
1966 Arabesque Beshraavi
1969 Otley Alec Hadrian
Where's Jack? The Lord Chancellor
The Siegfried Idyll Richard Wagner TV film
1970 The Adventurers President Rojo
1973 The Day of the Jackal The Minister
1974 Luther Cardinal Cajetan de Vio
1976 Where Adam Stood Philip Gosse TV film
1977 Telefon Colonel Malchenko
1978 The Medusa Touch Quinton
Force 10 from Navarone Major Petrovitch
1979 Agatha Lord Brackenbury
The Riddle of the Sands Dollmann
1980 Nijinsky Baron de Gunzburg
Shōgun Father Dell'Aqua TV film


Year Title Role Notes
1951 Michèle and René Poins Episode: "Up the River"
1953 Omnibus Napoleon/Fool Episodes: "King Lear" & "The Man of Destiny"
1956–1957 Vanity Fair Rawdon Crawley Series regular, 6 episodes
1957 Sunday Night Theatre Fouguier-Tinville Episode: "The Public Prosecutor"
1958 Pride and Prejudice Fitzwilliam Darcy Series regular, 6 episodes
Armchair Theatre Don Juan Episode: "Death of Satan"
1961 Theatre 70 Roger Webb Episode: "The Substitute"
1962 ITV Play of the Week Don Juan Episode: "Don Juan in Hell"
Thirty-Minute Theatre Don Juan Episode: "Don Juan in Hell"
1963 BBC Sunday-Night Play The Prisoner Episode: "The Prisoner"
ITV Play of the Week Hero Episode: "The Rehearsal"
Chronicle Julius Caesar Episode: "Four Views of Caesar"
1964 The Count of Monte Cristo Edmond Dantès Series regular, 12 episodes
1965 ITV Play of the Week Tom Episode: "A Couple of Dry Martinis"
Famous Gossips Oscar Wilde Episode: "Oscar Wilde: Monsieur Sebastien Melmoth"
1966 Play of the Month General Gordon Episode: "Gordon of Khartoum"
1967 Theatre 625 Henry IV of England Episode: "Henry IV"
1968 Play of the Month Father Episode: "The Parachute"
The Wednesday Play Rory Farquhar Episode: "Toggle"
Theatre 625 David de Beaudrigue Episode: "The Fanatics"
1970 ITV Playhouse Edward Kimberley Episode: "The Creeper"
Biography Charles I Episode: "A King and His Keeper"
1974 A Raging Calm Tom Simpkins Series regular, 7 episodes
1976 Bill Brand David Last Series regular, 6 episodes
Play of the Month Svengali Episode: "Trilby"
1977 BBC2 Play of the Week Michael Arlen Episode: "Exiles"
Play of the Month Sir Robert Morton Episode: "The Winslow Boy"
1978 Horizon Henry Winstanley Episode: "The Eddystone Lights"
The CBS Festival of Lively Arts for Young People Charles Dickens Episode: "The Secret of Charles Dickens"
The Sunday Drama Buster Barnes Episode: "The One and Only Buster Barnes"
1980 Shōgun Father Dell'Aqua Series regular, 5 episodes
1982 The Woman in White Count Fosco Series regular, 5 episodes
Play of the Month Sir Fretful Plagiary Episode: "The Critic"
The Agatha Christie Hour Sir Alington West Episode: "The Red Signal"


  1. ^ "Alan Badel". Film and TV Database. British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 21 October 2012. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  2. ^ G. M. Miller, BBC Pronouncing Dictionary of British Names (Oxford UP, 1971), p. 9.
  3. ^ "Sergeant Alan F Badel". ParaData. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  4. ^ TV Times, 1973, 71 (22), p.7
  5. ^ "Alan Badel". Film Forever. British Film Institute. Retrieved 5 June 2016.