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Hemmings, David (1941-2003)

Actor, Director, Producer

Main image of Hemmings, David (1941-2003)

David Hemmings initially studied painting at the Epsom School of Art and then, having been a boy soprano, went back to singing briefly in his early twenties. Looking not unlike a depraved cherub, he began his film career as a child actor in The Rainbow Jacket (d. Basil Dearden, 1954), then played several roles as rebellious youth (engagingly so in Live It Up, d. Lance Comfort, 1963) before rising to stardom playing a fashion photographer in the existential thriller Blow-up (UK/Italy, d. Michelangelo Antonioni, 1966).

He played a number of leading roles (a convincingly troubled schoolmaster in Unman, Wittering and Zigo, d. John MacKenzie, 1971), before his career took a new turn and he directed his first film Running Scared (1972). He founded the Hemdale Corporation with business partner John Daly, to give the actor greater control both before and behind the camera.

He spent the greater part of the last two decades working in TV, more recent roles including that of Cassius in Gladiator (UK/US, d. Ridley Scott, 2000). His second wife was Gayle Hunnicutt (1967-75), with whom he co-starred in Fragment of Fear (d. Richard C.Sarafian, 1970).

Anne-Marie Thomas, Encyclopedia of British Film

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Selected credits

Thumbnail image of Heart Within, The (1957)Heart Within, The (1957)

An innocent black man accused of murder is befriended by a white boy

Thumbnail image of Painted Smile, The (1961)Painted Smile, The (1961)

Crime melodrama in which a young student narrowly escapes a murder rap

Thumbnail image of Auto Stop (1965)Auto Stop (1965)

Recovered Wednesday Play featuring a young David Hemmings

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