The Info List - Eric Porter

Eric Richard Porter (8 April 1928 – 15 May 1995) was an English actor of stage, film and television.


1 Early life 2 Career 3 Filmography 4 Death 5 Biography 6 References

6.1 Bibliography

7 External links

Early life[edit] Porter was born in Shepherd's Bush, London, to Richard John Porter and Phoebe Elizabeth (née Spall) Porter. He was educated at the Technical College in Wimbledon before making his stage debut in Cambridge
in 1945 at the age of 17.[citation needed] Career[edit] In 1955, he played the title role in Ben Jonson's Volpone
at the Bristol Old Vic. In 1960 he joined the Royal Shakespeare Company; that year, he played Ferdinand in John Webster's The Duchess of Malfi. In 1962, he performed as Iachimo in Cymbeline. Other roles included Ulysses, Macbeth, Leontes, Malvolio, Shylock, King Lear
King Lear
and Henry IV, as well as Barabas in Marlowe's Jew of Malta. Porter was seen as the tortured solicitor Soames Forsyte
Soames Forsyte
in the BBC
drama The Forsyte Saga (1967). For this role he won a BAFTA
Best Actor award. His 1981 portrayal of Neville Chamberlain
Neville Chamberlain
in Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years won critical praise. He played Count Bronowsky in The Jewel in the Crown; he was also seen as Fagin
in the 1985 BBC
version of Oliver Twist; as Thomas Danforth
Thomas Danforth
in the 1980 BBC
production of The Crucible; and as Professor Moriarty
Professor Moriarty
opposite Jeremy Brett's Sherlock Holmes in Granada Television's The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes stories The Red-Headed League
The Red-Headed League
and The Final Problem
The Final Problem
(both 1985). He also played Polonius
in a 1980 television production of Hamlet, made as part of the BBC
Shakespeare series, and starring Derek Jacobi
Derek Jacobi
in the title role. Porter continued to act on stage, winning the London
Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Actor in 1988 for his role in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. His last on-screen role was as painter James Player in the remake of Message for Posterity (1994), a television play by Dennis Potter. He was an example of how gay men struggled in Britain as actors. Susan Engel
Susan Engel
told biographer Robert Sellers that Eric Porter was gay: "His memorable performance as Soames in the BBC's 1967 television adaptation of The Forsyte Saga should have led to greater things, but it didn't. 'He couldn't cope with his own sexuality,' says Susan. 'It was so awful for gay men in those days. I don't know how some of them managed to survive; and many didn't. You went to prison if you were caught. I think he suffered terribly. He was tortured.'[1] Filmography[edit]

The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964) - Julianus The Pumpkin Eater
The Pumpkin Eater
(1964) - Psychiatrist The Heroes of Telemark
The Heroes of Telemark
(1965) - Josef Terboven Kaleidoscope (1966) - Harry Dominion The Forsyte Saga (1967) - Soames Forsyte The Lost Continent (1968) - Capt. Lansen Hands of the Ripper
Hands of the Ripper
(1971) - Dr. John Pritchard Nicholas and Alexandra
Nicholas and Alexandra
(1971) - Pyotr Stolypin Antony and Cleopatra (1972) - Enobarbus The Belstone Fox
The Belstone Fox
(1972) - Asher Smith Hitler: The Last Ten Days (1973) - General von Greim The Day of the Jackal (1973) - Colonel Rodin Callan (1974) - Hunter Hennessy (1975) - Sean Tobin Anna Karenina (1977) - Karenin The Thirty Nine Steps (1978) - Lomas Little Lord Fauntleroy (1980) - Havisham The Crucible
The Crucible
(TV, 1980) - Governor Danforth Why Didn't They Ask Evans? (TV 1980) - Dr. Nicholson Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years (TV, 1981) - Neville Chamberlain The Jewel in the Crown (TV, 1984) - Dimitri Bronowsky The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: Episodes "The Red-Headed League" and "The Final Problem" (TV, 1985) - Professor Moriarty

Death[edit] Porter died of colon cancer in London
in 1995, aged 67. Biography[edit]

The first complete biography about Eric Porter has been published in 2016 under the title " Eric Porter - The Life of An Acting Giant" (volumes 1 and 2) by Helen Monk and illustrated by Marie Gallicher.


^ Sellers, Robert (2016). Peter O'Toole: The Definitive Biography. Macmillan. p. 40. ISBN 9781250095954. Retrieved 10 August 2017. 


Michael Billington, "Porter, Eric Richard (1928–1995)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004

External links[edit]

Eric Porter on IMDb

v t e

TV Award for Best Actor

Paul Rogers (1955) Peter Cushing
Peter Cushing
(1956) Michael Gough (1957) Michael Hordern
Michael Hordern
(1958) Donald Pleasence
Donald Pleasence
(1959) Patrick McGoohan
Patrick McGoohan
(1960) Lee Montague (1961) Rupert Davies
Rupert Davies
(1962) Harry H. Corbett
Harry H. Corbett
(1963) Alan Badel
Alan Badel
(1964) Patrick Wymark
Patrick Wymark
(1965) Alan Badel
Alan Badel
(1966) Warren Mitchell
Warren Mitchell
(1967) Eric Porter (1968) Roy Dotrice
Roy Dotrice
(1969) Edward Woodward
Edward Woodward
(1970) Keith Michell
Keith Michell
(1971) John Le Mesurier
John Le Mesurier
(1972) Anthony Hopkins
Anthony Hopkins
(1973) Frank Finlay
Frank Finlay
(1974) Peter Barkworth (1975) John Hurt
John Hurt
(1976) Derek Jacobi
Derek Jacobi
(1977) Peter Barkworth (1978) Edward Fox (1979) Alec Guinness
Alec Guinness
(1980) Denholm Elliott
Denholm Elliott
(1981) Anthony Andrews
Anthony Andrews
(1982) Alec Guinness
Alec Guinness
(1983) Alan Bates
Alan Bates
(1984) Tim Pigott-Smith
Tim Pigott-Smith
(1985) Bob Peck (1986) Michael Gambon
Michael Gambon
(1987) David Jason (1988) Ray McAnally (1989) John Thaw
John Thaw
(1990) Ian Richardson
Ian Richardson
(1991) Robert Lindsay (1992) John Thaw
John Thaw
(1993) Robbie Coltrane
Robbie Coltrane
(1994) Robbie Coltrane
Robbie Coltrane
(1995) Robbie Coltrane
Robbie Coltrane
(1996) Nigel Hawthorne (1997) Simon Russell Beale
Simon Russell Beale
(1998) Tom Courtenay
Tom Courtenay
(1999) Michael Gambon
Michael Gambon
(2000) Michael Gambon
Michael Gambon
(2001) Michael Gambon
Michael Gambon
(2002) Albert Finney
Albert Finney
(2003) Bill Nighy
Bill Nighy
(2004) Rhys Ifans
Rhys Ifans
(2005) Mark Rylance
Mark Rylance
(2006) Jim Broadbent
Jim Broadbent
(2007) Andrew Garfield
Andrew Garfield
(2008) Stephen Dillane
Stephen Dillane
(2009) Kenneth Branagh
Kenneth Branagh
(2010) Daniel Rigby (2011) Dominic West
Dominic West
(2012) Ben Whishaw
Ben Whishaw
(2013) Sean Harris (2014) Jason Watkins (2015) Mark Rylance
Mark Rylance
(2016) Adeel Akhtar (2017)

v t e

Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Actor


Richard Burton
Richard Burton
(1955) Paul Scofield
Paul Scofield
(1956) Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
(1957) Michael Redgrave
Michael Redgrave
(1958) Eric Porter (1959)


Alec Guinness
Alec Guinness
(1960) Christopher Plummer
Christopher Plummer
(1961) Paul Scofield
Paul Scofield
(1962) Michael Redgrave
Michael Redgrave
(1963) Nicol Williamson
Nicol Williamson
(1964) Ian Holm
Ian Holm
(1965) Albert Finney
Albert Finney
(1966) Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
(1967) Alec McCowen
Alec McCowen
(1968) Nicol Williamson
Nicol Williamson


John Gielgud
John Gielgud
(1970) Alan Bates
Alan Bates
(1971) Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
(1972) Alec McCowen
Alec McCowen
(1973) John Wood (1974) John Gielgud
John Gielgud
(1975) Albert Finney
Albert Finney
(1976) Donald Sinden
Donald Sinden
(1977) Alan Howard (1978) Warren Mitchell
Warren Mitchell


Tom Courtenay
Tom Courtenay
(1980) Alan Howard (1981) Alec McCowen
Alec McCowen
(1982) Derek Jacobi
Derek Jacobi
(1983) Ian McKellen
Ian McKellen
(1984) Antony Sher (1985) Albert Finney
Albert Finney
(1986) Michael Gambon
Michael Gambon
(1987) Eric Porter (1988) Ian McKellen
Ian McKellen


Richard Harris
Richard Harris
(1990) John Wood (1991) Nigel Hawthorne (1992) Ian Holm
Ian Holm
(1993) Tom Courtenay
Tom Courtenay
(1994) Michael Gambon
Michael Gambon
(1995) Paul Scofield
Paul Scofield
(1996) Ian Holm
Ian Holm
(1997) Kevin Spacey
Kevin Spacey
(1998) Stephen Dillane
Stephen Dillane


Simon Russell Beale
Simon Russell Beale
(2000) Alex Jennings (2001) Simon Russell Beale
Simon Russell Beale
(2002) Michael Sheen
Michael Sheen
(2003) Richard Griffiths
Richard Griffiths
(2004) Simon Russell Beale
Simon Russell Beale
(2005) Rufus Sewell
Rufus Sewell
(2006) Patrick Stewart
Patrick Stewart
(2007) Chiwetel Ejiofor
Chiwetel Ejiofor
(2008) Mark Rylance
Mark Rylance


Rory Kinnear
Rory Kinnear
(2010) Benedict Cumberbatch
Benedict Cumberbatch
and Jonny Lee Miller
Jonny Lee Miller
(2011) Simon Russell Beale
Simon Russell Beale
(2012) Adrian Lester and Rory Kinnear
Rory Kinnear
(2013) Tom Hiddleston
Tom Hiddleston
(2014) James McAvoy
James McAvoy
(2015) Ralph Fiennes
Ralph Fiennes
(2016) Andrew Garfield
Andrew Garfield

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 34662853 LCCN: no96016511 ISNI: 0000 0001 2127 5837 SUDOC: 060789050 BNF: cb140710906 (data) BNE: XX1658936 SN