Alec Clunes
Actor Alec Clunes.jpeg
Alexander Sheriff de Moro Clunes

(1912-05-17)17 May 1912
Brixton, London, England
Died13 March 1970(1970-03-13) (aged 57)
London, England
OccupationActor, director
Spouse(s)Stella Richman (divorced)
Daphne Acott (1956–1970; his death)
Children2, including Martin Clunes

Alexander Sheriff de Moro Clunes (17 May 1912 – 13 March 1970) was an English actor and theatrical manager.[1]

Among the plays he presented were Christopher Fry's The Lady's Not For Burning.[2] He gave the actor and dramatist Peter Ustinov his first break with his production The House of Regrets.[3] His film career was brief, but varied. He played Hastings in Laurence Olivier's Richard III (1955), and also appeared in wartime films such as One of Our Aircraft Is Missing (1942), although he was in fact a conscientious objector. He also appeared in The Adventures of Quentin Durward (1955).[4]

Clunes' later stage work included succeeding Rex Harrison as Henry Higgins in the stage musical My Fair Lady in 1959.[5] His final stage appearance was in 1968.

Early and personal life

Alexander Sheriff de Moro Clunes was born on 17 May 1912 to a show business family,[6] he was the son of Alexander Sydenham Sherriff Clunes (1881–1960) and Georgina Ada Sumner (1882–1969). He began his stage career with Ben Greet's company before playing at the Old Vic theatre in 1934.[7] He played numerous Shakespearian roles, before taking over the management of the Arts Theatre, London in 1942, where he remained until 1950. He later ran a theatre bookshop in Cecil Court.[7]

He was twice married: to actress Stella Richman, later a television producer, and Daphne Gyllian Acott, with whom he had one son.

He died from lung cancer on 13 March 1970, aged 57. He left a widow, a daughter, Amanda Clunes, and a son, actor Martin Clunes.

Notable TV guest appearances

Clunes played Governor Woodes Rogers, the lead in the first three episodes of The Buccaneers in 1956. He was also offered the lead part of Professor Bernard Quatermass in the famous BBC science-fiction serial Quatermass and the Pit in 1958, but declined the role (André Morell was cast instead).[8]


Year Title Role Notes
1940 Convoy Minor Role Uncredited
1940 Let George Do It! Officer Uncredited
1940 Saloon Bar Eddie Graves
1940 Sailors Three British Pilot
1942 One of Our Aircraft Is Missing The Organist
1949 Now Barabbas Gale
1952 La bergère et le ramoneur The Blind Man English version, Voice
1953 Melba Cesar Carlton
1955 The Adventures of Quentin Durward Charles – Duke of Burgundy
1955 Richard III The Lord Hastings
1956 Tiger in the Smoke Asst. Commissioner Oates
1963 Tomorrow at Ten Anthony Chester


  1. ^ McFarlane, Brian (16 May 2016). The Encyclopedia of British Film: Fourth edition. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-1-5261-1196-8 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ Special To the New York Times. "ALEC CLUNES DIES, LONDON PRODUCER".
  3. ^ "Production of House of Regrets – Theatricalia".
  4. ^ "Alec Clunes".
  5. ^ Gibbs, A. M. (14 June 1990). Shaw. Springer. ISBN 978-1-349-05402-2 – via Google Books.
  6. ^ "FreeBMD Home Page".
  7. ^ a b Daily Mail Year Book 1965 (paperback). London: Associated Newspapers Ltd. 1964. p. 87.
  8. ^ Murray, Andy (2006). Into the Unknown: The Fantastic Life of Nigel Kneale (paperback). London: Headpress. p. 67. ISBN 1-900486-50-4.