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Jonathan Pryce (1947)

John Price

Type :  


Jonathan Pryce, CBE is a Welsh stage and film actor and singer. After studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and meeting his longtime partner English actress Kate Fahy in 1974, he began his career as a stage actor in the 1970s. His work in theatre, including an award-winning performance in the title role of the Royal Court Theatre's Hamlet, led to several supporting roles in film and television. He made his breakthrough screen performance in Terry Gilliam's 1985 cult film Brazil.

Critically lauded for his versatility, Pryce has participated in big-budget films such as Evita, Tomorrow Never Dies, Pirates of the Caribbean and The New World, as well as independent projects such as Glengarry Glen Ross and Carrington. His career in theatre has also been prolific, and he has won two Tony Awards—the first in 1977 for his Broadway debut in Comedians, the second for his 1991 role as "The Engineer" in the musical Miss Saigon.


 early life
Pryce was born John Price in Carmel near Holywell, Wales, the son of Margaret Ellen (née Williams) and Isaac Price, a former coal miner who, along with his wife, ran a small general grocery shop. He changed the spelling of his last name from Price to Pryce in order to join Equity, the English actors' trade union, because Equity can only have one actor with any particular name on its books. Pryce has two older sisters. He was educated at Holywell Grammar School , and, at the age of 16, he went to art college and then started training to be a teacher at Edge Hill College in Ormskirk. While studying, he took part in a college theatre production. An impressed tutor suggested he became an actor and on Pryce's behalf sent off to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art for an application form, and Pryce was awarded a scholarship to RADA. While at RADA Pryce worked as a door-to-door salesman of velvet paintings. Pryce was part of 'new wave’ of actors to emerge from the Academy. Others included Bruce Payne, Juliet Stevenson, Alan Rickman, Anton Lesser, Kenneth Branagh and Fiona Shaw.

Despite finding RADA "straight-laced", and being told by his tutor that he could never aspire to do more than playing villains in Z-Cars, when he graduated he joined the Everyman Theatre Liverpool Company, eventually becoming the theatre's Artistic Director.

While working at the Everyman Theatre in 1972 Pryce met actress Kate Fahy. They based their home in London, where they currently live. They have three children: Patrick , Gabriel and Phoebe . In order to gain his Equity card to work in Liverpool, he made his first screen appearance in a minor role on a 1972 episode of the British science fiction programme Doomwatch, called Fire & Brimstone. He then starred in 2 television films, both directed by Stephen Frears, "Daft as a Brush" and 'Playthings" . After the Everyman, Pryce joined the director Sir Richard Eyre at the Nottingham Playhouse and starred in the Trevor Griffiths play "Comedians" in a role specially written for his talents " Gethin Price". The production then transferred to London's Old Vic Theatre and in 1976 he reprised his. role on Broadway, this time directed by Mike Nichols and in 1977 won his first Tony Award as Best Actor. It was around this time that he appeared in his first movie role, playing the character Joseph Manasse in the film drama Voyage of the Damned, starring Faye Dunaway. He did not, however, abandon the stage, appearing from 1978 to 1979 on the Royal Shakespeare Company's productions of The Taming of the Shrew as Petruchio, and Antony and Cleopatra as Octavius Caesar.

Incomplete list
  • The Churchill Play as Mike McCulloch
  • Comedians as Gethin Price
  • Measure for Measure RSC
  • Hamlet as Hamlet - Olivier Award for Best Actor
  • Accidental Death of an Anarchist as The Fool
  • Uncle Vanya as Astrov
  • Miss Saigon as The Engineer - Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical, Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical
  • Nine as Guido Contini
  • Oliver! as Fagin - Olivier Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical
  • My Fair Lady as Professor Higgins - Olivier Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical
  • A Reckoning as Spencer
  • Dirty Rotten Scoundrels as Lawrence Jameson
  • Glengarry Glen Ross as Shelly Levene
  • Dimetos as Dimetos
  • The Caretaker as Davies

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Jonathan Pryce", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.