• 1 May 1920
  •  Calcutta, Bengal Presidency, British India

Marne Maitland


Distinctive character actor, born in Calcutta and educated at Magdalene College, Cambridge. His acting career was interrupted by wartime service (for six years) in the British Army. He then joined the Old Vic Company and subsequently appeared on screen. With his hooked nose and furtive eyes, he made the perfect sinister villain, playing an assortment of Arabic or Central Asian diamond smugglers, drug dealers or black market racketeers. Occasionally, he was on the right side of the law, notably as commissioner Govindaswami in Bhowani Junction (1956), or as a cardinal in The Shoes of the Fisherman (1968). Early on in his career, Maitland worked for Hammer Studios where he had memorable roles as Patel Shari, a member of the murderous Kali sect in The Stranglers of Bombay (1959), and as an evil Malay servant, dedicated to worshipping The Reptile (1966). Marne was also very active on British television (The Saint (1962), Department S (1969), and others) in very much the same capacity. He stood out as the mysterious dissident Pandit Baba in the excellent award-winning miniseries The Jewel in the Crown (1984). From the early 1970's until his death, he lived in Rome.