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Crowden, Graham (1922-2010)


Main image of Crowden, Graham (1922-2010)

Born in Edinburgh on 30 November 1922, Graham Crowden is a dominant character player of mad-eyed eccentrics, shambling scholars, since the '60s in film, on stage since '40s walk-ons at Stratford, with National, RSC and Chichester seasons, and eight years at the Royal Court (1957-65).

Here he met Lindsay Anderson in whose films, If... (1968), O, Lucky Man! (1973) and Britannia Hospital (1982, as a Frankenstein-type surgeon), he appeared. He could be imposingly tall and dignified, but there was always the enjoyable promise of hidden nuttiness: he could be aristocratic, or just crackers.

He has also done masses of excellent TV work, including A Very Peculiar Practice (BBC, 1986/88), as the boozing head of an odd medical centre, and as the maverick inmate of a retirement home in Waiting for God (BBC, 1990-94). He married actress Phyllida Hewat.

Brian McFarlane, Encyclopedia of British Film

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Selected credits

Thumbnail image of Britannia Hospital (1982)Britannia Hospital (1982)

Lindsay Anderson's unhinged satire of Thatcher's Britain

Thumbnail image of Company of Wolves, The (1984)Company of Wolves, The (1984)

Hugely imaginative exploration and reinterpretation of fairytale myths

Thumbnail image of Final Programme, The (1973)Final Programme, The (1973)

Inventive, psychedelic adaptation of Michael Moorcock's sci-fi novel

Thumbnail image of Missionary, The (1981)Missionary, The (1981)

Gentle Michael Palin comedy about a missionary amongst 'fallen women'

Thumbnail image of Morgan - A Suitable Case for Treatment (1966)Morgan - A Suitable Case for Treatment (1966)

Seminal Swinging Sixties comedy about an artist and his problems

Thumbnail image of Cymbeline (1983)Cymbeline (1983)

BBC Television Shakespeare adaptation

Thumbnail image of Much Ado About Nothing (1967)Much Ado About Nothing (1967)

Studio adaptation of a lively National Theatre production with Derek Jacobi

Thumbnail image of Very Peculiar Practice, A (1986-88)Very Peculiar Practice, A (1986-88)

Satirical drama series about a crisis-stricken university

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