• 7 May 1900
  •  London, England, UK

Ralph Truman


Veteran British character player Ralph Truman was a pioneer radio actor and appeared in over 5000 broadcasts during his career. Born in London at the turn of the century, his overall film career was commendable but less enviable than his voice work on the airwaves. Originally from the stage, he had just finished a run of "Josef Suss" in 1930 when he moved directly into films, making his unbilled debut in the early talkie Farewell to Love (1931). Throughout the 1930s he would be found steadily in "B" films including The Bells (1931), That's My Uncle (1935), The Lad (1935), Mr. Cohen Takes a Walk (1935), Under the Red Robe (1937) and Dinner at the Ritz (1937). In the 1940s the distinctively balding, hook-nosed actor found featured work in more important films such as his Mountjoy in Laurence Olivier's stellar Shakespearean piece Henry V (1944). A natural for period settings, Truman played the nefarious Monks in Oliver Twist (1948), and was part of the large-scale proceedings in Christopher Columbus (1949) and Treasure Island (1950), giving animated Robert Newton a run for the money in the latter with a ripe, over-the-top pirate performance as George Merry. Married to fellow radio artist Ellis Powell, he was best known in later years for playing men of high ranking or position (lords, captains, admirals, governors, etc.). He retired after appearing in two final period epics: Nicholas and Alexandra (1971) and Lady Caroline Lamb (1972). He passed away a few years later.