Entertainment & Arts

Baron Munchausen actor John Neville dies aged 86

John Neville
Image caption John Neville also starred in BBC drama The First Churchills in 1969

Shakespearean actor John Neville, who also starred in The X Files and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, has died from Alzheimer's at the age of 86.

The British-born actor died at Toronto's Wellesley Central Place on Saturday.

Neville emigrated to Canada in 1972 and directed its Stratford Shakespeare Festival between 1986 and 1989.

In 1956, he alternated the roles of Othello and Iago with friend Richard Burton at London's Old Vic theatre.

The following year, he was cast as Hamlet opposite Dame Judi Dench in her first major stage role.

He took over the helm at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival when it was under financial and artistic pressure.

"John Neville's brave programming and careful stewardship helped save the festival at a time of extreme financial hardship," said Antoni Cimolino, the festival's current director.

Public memorial

Its artistic director, Des McAnuff, said: "His charisma and charm were matched by the generosity of his spirit."

Neville also had more than 100 film and television credits, including the title role in Terry Gilliam's cult hit, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.

He had a recurring role as the Well-Manicured Man in The X Files in the 1990s. He also starred in the film based on the TV series.

Latterly, he appeared alongside Vanessa Redgrave and John Hurt in Crime and Punishment, and in David Cronenburg thriller, Spider.

Neville was an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and the Order of Canada.

He was born in London in 1925 and served in the Royal Navy in World War II.

After the war, he attended Rada and made his professional acting debut in an outdoor production of A Midsummer Night's Dream in Regent's Park in London.

A private funeral will be held, followed by a public memorial in the New Year.

Neville is survived by his wife of 62 years, Caroline, six children and six grandchildren.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites