Donald Pleasence – MovieActors.com
Pleasence in THE MAN WITH THE POWER.
About Donald Pleasence (1919 – 1995)
Donald Pleasence was born on October 5th, 1919, in the town of Worksop, Nottinghamshire, England, UK, the son of Alice (Armitage) and Thomas Stanley Pleasence, a stationmaster.
Donald was married four times, and had five daughters, four of whom became actresses.
Three of his ex-wives, Miriam Raymond, Josephine Crombie, and Miera Shore were actresses.
Donalr Pleasance made his name as an actor in both the theater and in films; playing characters with obessive personalities, paranoid feelings, and really dastardly villians with no redeeming values.
Donald Pleasence was a talented, memorable character actor on stage and on film, who excelled in a variety of genres, specializing in strange roles, such as Flight Lt. Colin 'The Forger'' Blythe in THE GREAT ESCAPE, or menacing characters, portraying various types of villains, characters the audience loved to hate.
Donald began his long and distinguished acting career on the London stage in 1939. During WW2, Pleasence joined the British Royal Air Force, becoming a wireless operator in Lancaster bombers in 166 Squadron, Royal Air Force. Donald's plane was shot down and captured by the Germans, who tortured him. While Donald spent the rest of the war in a German POW Camp, Stalag Luft I, near the Baltic Sea, he formed an acting group with the other POW's, and put on plays to help pass the time and unpleasantness of being in captivity in the Nazi's hands.
After the war, in 1946, Pleasance went back to work, acting on the London stage, in "The Brothers Karamazov" with Alec Guinness. He then went to Broadway for the first time with Laurence Olivier's touring company in "Caesar and Cleopatra" and "Anthony and Cleopatra". He then went back to London to be in "Hobson's Choice" on stage, which brought him rave reviews.
In 1954, Donald Pleasence started his film career in earnest, and never stopped until the year of his death in 1995, due to complications of heart surgery. At first, inbetween stage plays, Donald was cast for small parts. Donald's first role as a villain, that got him noticed, was his performance as the dastardly, sneaky Prince John in the 1955 TV series, THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD.
In 1961, Donald Pleasance, along with fellow thespians Alan Bates and Robert Shaw, won accolades for their perfomances in a Broadway play, "The Caretaker." The playright, Harold Pinter, was hired to write the screenplay, called "The Guest", based on the play, "The Caretaker." Donald Pleasance, Alan Bates and Robert Shaw were all hired to recreate their roles in this 1963 film, "The Guest."
Also in 1963, Donald Pleasance was cast in the film, THE GREAT ESCAPE. The POW experience that Donald Pleasence endured was put to good use in such films as THE GREAT ESCAPE. This film which also starred other actors who experienced being a P.O.W. in either a German or American camp.
In 1965, Donald Pleasence was cast as the ultimate villain, Satan, in the star-studded film, "The Greatest Story Ever Told."
In 1978, Donald was honored with a nomination of a Primetime Emmy, for his performance in the TV movie, "The Defection of Simas Kudirka."
Donald Pleasence's notable movie credits include...
A TALE OF TWO CITIES (1958)
THE GREAT ESCAPE (1963)
THE GUEST (1963)
DR CRIPPEN (1963)
THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD (1965)
THE HALLELUJAH TRAIL (1965)
FANTASTIC VOYAGE (1966)
THE EYE OF THE DEVIL (1966)
THE NIGHT OF THE GENERALS (1967)
YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE (1967)
THX 1138 (1971)
ESCAPE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN (1975)
THE LAST TYCOON (1976)
THE EAGLE HAS LANDED (1976)
OH GOD (1977)
ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK (1981)
WARRIOR OF THE LOST WORLD (1983)
THE AMBASSADOR (1984)
PRINCE OF DARKNESS (1987)
HANNA'S WAR (1988)
GROUND ZERO (1987)
RIVER OF DEATH (1989)
HALLOWEEN 4 (1988)
HALLOWEEN 5 (1989)
MONSTER CLUB (1981)
TEN LITTLE INDIANS (1989)
SHADOWS AND FOG (1991)
THE BIG FREEZE (1993)
THE ADVOCATE (1993)
HALLOWEEN: THE CURSE OF MICHAEL MYERS (1995)
SAFE HAVEN (1995)
FATAL FRAMES: FOTOGRAMMI MORTAILI (1996)
Donald Pleasence's television credits include...
ROBIN HOOD (SERIES 1956-1958)
THE OUTER LIMITS (1963)
ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT (1979)
THE GREAT ESCAPE 2 THE UNTOLD STORY (MINI SERIES 1988)
Donald Pleasence in ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK.