13 March 1923
|Died||4 April 1976 (aged 53)|
Dade County, Florida, U.S.
|Spouse||Gloria George (m. 1958)|
George Pastell (13 March 1923 – 4 April 1976) was a Cypriot character actor in British films and television programmes. Sources vary as to whether his real name was Nino (IMDb) or George Pastellides (BFI). His marriage record gives his name as Georgiou Pastellides while his RADA record lists his name as George Pastel.
Born to a French mother and Greek father, Pastell began his career spending two years in banking. Aged 21, he joined the Greek National Theatre. Leaving Cyprus a few years later with only £50 in his pocket, Pastell came to England, scarcely able to speak much English. However, he studied the language by taking evening classes at the Pitman School and soon graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
He made his film debut in Give Us This Day (1949), credited as Nino Pastellides, and played villains in film and television. He was often cast by Hammer Film Productions as Eastern characters such as Mehemet Bey in The Mummy (1959), the High Priest of Kali in The Stranglers of Bombay (1960), Inspector Etienne in Maniac (1963), and Hashmi Bey in The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb (1964).
His exotic looks often saw him cast in spy films of the '60s such as From Russia with Love (1963); Licensed to Kill (1965); A Man Could Get Killed (1966); That Riviera Touch (1966); and Deadlier Than the Male (1967). He also appeared in the films Tiger Bay, The Angry Hills (1959), The Siege of Sidney Street (1960), Konga, The Frightened City (1961), On the Beat (1962), The Moon-Spinners (1964), The Long Duel (1967) and The Magus (1968).
He also appeared as the villain in the '60s television series Danger Man; The Avengers (1966 episode "Honey For the Prince"); Doctor Who; The Champions; The Saint; and Department S.
Pastell had dual citizenship between the United Kingdom and United States with homes in Miami, Florida and Manhattan. He was a member of the Screen Actors Guild as well as a theatrical instructor for Pasadena Playhouse. After retiring from the acting industry in 1969, Pastell spent his final years touring the nation, performing in musical theatre with his wife.
He died on 4 April 1976 from a heart attack.