Daniel Massey (actor)

Daniel Massey
Born Daniel Raymond Massey
(1933-10-10)10 October 1933
Westminster, London, England[1]
Died 25 March 1998(1998-03-25) (aged 64)
London, England
Cause of death Hodgkin's lymphoma
Occupation Actor
Years active 1953–1998
Spouse(s) Adrienne Corri (1961–67)
Penelope Wilton (1975–84)
Linda Wilton (1986–98)
Children Alice Massey
Parent(s) Raymond Massey
Adrianne Allen
Relatives Anna Massey (sister)
Vincent Massey (uncle)

Daniel Raymond Massey (10 October 1933  25 March 1998) was an English actor and performer. He is possibly best known for his starring role in the British TV drama The Roads to Freedom, as Daniel, alongside Michael Bryant. He is also known for his role in the 1968 American film Star!, as Noël Coward (Massey's godfather), for which he won a Golden Globe Award and an Oscar Nomination.

Early life

Massey was born in London in 1933. He was educated at Eton College and King's College, Cambridge. He was a member of the noted Massey family, which included his father, Raymond Massey, his sister, Anna Massey and his uncle Vincent Massey, the first Canadian-born Governor General of Canada. His mother was the actress Adrianne Allen.

Living with his mother after his parents' divorce, Massey rarely saw his father through most of his adult life; however, they were cast as father and son in The Queen's Guards (1961).


Massey made his film debut as a child in Noël Coward's flag-waver, In Which We Serve (1942) – Coward being his godfather. He would later play Noël Coward in the 1968 Julie Andrews vehicle, Star!, a performance for which he won a Golden Globe Award and received his sole Academy Award nomination. He first made a major impression as an adult as Laurence Olivier's son-in-law in the stage and screen versions of John Osborne's The Entertainer. Massey appeared in numerous British films from the 1950s onwards, including Cromwell, The Cat and the Canary, The Jokers, The Vault of Horror, Mary, Queen of Scots, Victory!, and In the Name of the Father.

Other highlights of his career were his stage roles, especially that of the German conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler in Ronald Harwood's Taking Sides; Massey won the 1995 Olivier Award for his performance. He recreated the role for Broadway a year later earning a Tony nomination. His other stage appearances included musicals such as She Loves Me, Gigi (as Gaston), and Stephen Sondheim's Follies (as Benjamin Stone), for which he won another Olivier Award. In the 1980s and 1990s, he also appeared with the Royal Shakespeare Company in productions such as Love's Labours Lost, Measure for Measure and The Time of Your Life, the latter alongside John Thaw.

On television, highlights include The Crucible (1980) as Reverend Hale, The Golden Bowl (1972) as the Prince, in the Inspector Morse episode "Deceived by Flight" as Anthony Dunn, again with John Thaw, and his performance as an AIDS patient in Intimate Contact (1987). With Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes, he played a U.S. Senator in "The Problem of Thor Bridge" season 5, Granada Television, 1990. Brett had once been married to Massey's sister, Anna, and was father to Massey's nephew by Anna, actor David Huggins. Daniel Massey played the role of the openly gay character Daniel, alongside a notable cast headed by Michael Bryant as Mathieu in the acclaimed BBC adaptation of Jean Paul Satre's The Roads to Freedom (1970) .

Personal life

Massey was married three times, two of his wives being well-known actresses:


He died in London, in March 1998 after a three-year battle with Hodgkin's lymphoma. His body was interred at Putney Vale Cemetery. Massey worked in theatre throughout his cancer treatments, rarely missing a performance.

Selected filmography


Granada Television: screen credits.

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