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David de Keyser
Born(1927-08-22)22 August 1927
London, England
Died20 February 2021(2021-02-20) (aged 93)
  • Actor
  • narrator
SpouseEthel de Keyser
ChildrenAlexei de Keyser

David de Keyser (22 August 1927 – 20 February 2021) was an English actor and narrator.

Life and career

Born in London in August 1927, in the mid-sixties de Keyser worked twice with the writer, actor and director Jane Arden. Their first collaboration, The Logic Game (January 1965), was directed by Philip Saville. They acted together again in another Jane Arden script in the film Separation (Jack Bond 1968) which was set in London and featured music by Procol Harum, Matthew Fisher and Stanley Myers. The themes of both pieces were marital strife and disintegrating relationships.

De Keyser also worked on four occasions for the British director John Boorman, twice on screen in Catch Us If You Can (1965) and Leo the Last (1970), and on two further occasions Boorman has used de Keyser's rich voice, firstly as the Voice of the Tabernacle in Zardoz (1974), and as the Voice of the Grail in Excalibur (1981). Other unseen roles were the voice of Count Mitterhaus' curse in Vampire Circus (uncredited) and the dubbing of Dracula in The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires.

He starred in the BBC Radio 4 comedy The Attractive Young Rabbi with Tracy-Ann Oberman. He also made an appearance in the British TV series The Professionals, in the episode entitled "Servant of Two Masters". Other television appearances included the Thriller episode "Someone at the Top of the Stairs", in which he played the eponymous Cartney, Yes Prime Minister in the episode "A Victory for Democracy" where he played the Israeli Ambassador and the Robin of Sherwood episode "The Children of Israel" as Joshua de Talmont. He starred in UK Television series Dick Turpin starring Richard O'Sullivan in part two of an episode entitled "Sentence of Death" where he played the character The Duke of Hesse.

De Keyser was the narrator for British Pathé Pictorial in the 1960s, and has also done voiceover work on television advertisements in the United Kingdom, as well as served as the announcer on the first series of comedy panel game Would I Lie to You?, before being replaced for the second series. His voice can also be heard on the trailer (included in DVD releases) for The Dark Crystal. He was married to anti-apartheid activist Ethel de Keyser from 1949 to 1959. He is the father of Alexei de Keyser (1967–2004).

He died in February 2021 at the age of 93.[1]

Partial filmography