Nicholas Clay

Nicholas Anthony Phillip Clay (18 September 1946 – 25 May 2000) was an English actor. Born in Streatham London, to Bill and Rose Clay, he studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and began his acting career in the early 1970s with small parts in film and television. Clay also appeared in several West End theatre productions. He was cast in several of Laurence Olivier's Old Vic productions and during the decade came to be regarded as one of British theatre's most promising actors. Among his successes was The Misanthrope, which led Clay to the United States, where he also played this role on Broadway in 1975. His most widely seen screen performance was as Lancelot in the 1981 film Excalibur. He also appeared as Mellors in Just Jaeckin's film version of D.H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover (1981), and Agatha Christie's Evil Under the Sun (1982), the latter reuniting him with Diana Rigg, his co-star in The Misanthrope. He also appeared as Alan in the 1976 version of The Picture of Dorian Gray alongside Peter Firth. In 1978 he played Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton in the drama series Will Shakespeare, about the life of Shakespeare.


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