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Brian Blessed (October 9, 1936, Mexborough, England) is a British actor.
The son of a Yorkshire miner, he had to leave school after a serious accident suffered by his father, who had been a fan since he was a youngster in the theater, Blessed had to perform his military service -in the Parachute Regiment- before being able to enroll in the school. Bristol Old Vic Theater School. Among his friends was Peter O’Toole, whom he met at that time at a party, after Blessed knocked Harold Pinter down with a punch.
Adventurer and mountaineer, has climbed Everest three times, without reaching the top.
In October 2015 he published his autobiography, Absolute Pandemonium.
He became a television actor in the early 1960s for his role as a policeman in the BBC cult series, Z Cars, and his popularity increased with roles like Porthos in the BBC series, The Three Musketeers (1967) and again as César Augusto in the miniseries Yo, Claudio (1976), also from the BBC. In 1980, he was Peppone in the BBC series The Little World of Don Camillo (1980), along with Mario Adorf as Don Camilo and Cyril Cusack as the voice of Christ. In 1983, he starred in the first season of The Black Viper, created by Richard Curtis and Rowan Atkinson for BBC One.
Among his roles as a film actor, he starred in The Trojans (1971), starring Katharine Hepburn and Vanessa Redgrave. He was Prince Vultan at Flash Gordon and has participated in four of the five films based on Shakespeare’s plays directed by Kenneth Branagh: Henry V (1989), Much Ado About Nothing (1993), Hamlet (1996) and How You Like It (2006).
Recognized for his serious voice, among his collaborations as voice actor and narrator he has played the leader of the Gungans, Boss Nass in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999) and was elected, in 2010, in a Facebook campaign with more than 25 800 votes in favor, to lend his voice, as an option, to the TomTom car navigation system and has worked on the documentary Wojtek, the bear that went to war ] (BBC, 2011 ). In 2012 he lent his voice, along with Hugh Grant, to the stop-motion movie The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists !, directed by Peter Lord.
In 1980, he starred in the famous production, directed by Bryan Forbes, of Macbeth – a work traditionally considered “cursed” – along with Peter O’Toole at the Old Vic, in London, considered one of the greatest failures in the history of the theater of the United Kingdom.
In January 2015, at the age of 78, he fainted while playing King Lear for the Guildford Shakespeare Company, and after a 20 minute break, returned to the scene to finish the play.
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