• 25 June 1906
  •  Barry, Wales, UK

Roger Livesey


The son of Joseph Livesey and Mary Catherine (nee Edwards), Roger was educated at Westminster City School, London. His first stage appearance was the office boy in Loyalties at St. James' theatre in 1917. Subsequently, he played in everything from Shakespeare to modern comedies. He played various roles in the West End from 1920 to 1926. He toured the West Indies and South Africa the returned to join the Old Vic/Sadler's Wells company from September 1932 until May 1934. In 1936, he appeared in New York in the old English comedy "The Country Wife" and also married Ursula Jeans whom he had known previously in England. At the outbreak of war Roger and Ursula were among the first volunteers to entertain the troops before he volunteered for flying duties in the R.A.F. He was turned down as too old to fly so went to work in an aircraft factory at Desford aerodrome near Leicester to do his bit for the war effort. He was chosen by Michael Powell to play the lead in The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943). This was shown in New York and established his international reputation as a brilliant character actor. He continued playing many theatrical roles during his film career from 1935 until 1969. Tall and broad with a luxurious mop of chestnut hair, Roger has (had) a deep voice, a gentle manner and the physique of an athlete. His favourite hobby is listed as "tinkering."