A veteran of stage, screen, radio and TV, character actor Nigel Stock was born in Malta in 1919, the son of Captain W.H. Stock, RE, and his wife Margaret Marion Munro. In British India from childhood, he and his sister Angela returned to the UK in his early teens for schooling. Nigel was educated at St. Paul’s School and studied for the stage at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, where he earned the Leverhulme Exhibition, Northcliffe Scholarship, and the Principal’s Medal. He made his debut stage appearance at the Savoy Theatre in 1931, at the age of 12, in a production of “The Traveller in the Dark”. He continued to rack up a number of classical and contemporary credits at various distinguished theaters, including the Old Vic, with productions of “The Winter’s Tale”, “Macbeth” (playing Macduff), “Tobacco Road” and “Goodbye, Mr. Chips”. Stock interrupted his thriving career by serving in the Army from 1939 to 1941 with the London Irish Rifles, and with the Assam Regiment, Indian Army between 1941 and 1945 in Burma, China and Kohima. He was honorably discharged with the rank of Major. He returned to the stage in 1946 with “And No Birds Sing” and made his first appearance on the New York stage as “Philip” in “You Never Can Tell” in 1948. A reliable player who lent distinction to every aspect of the theatrical repertoire, from William Shakespeare through Anton Chekhov to modern farce, he impressed in “She Stoops to Conquer”, “The Caine Mutiny Court Martial”, “Altona”, “Uncle Vanya” and “Sleuth”, among others. An imposing, often bearded presence, he started off in films as a teenager in Lancashire Luck (1937), later appearing in such popular British releases as Brighton Rock (1948), The Dam Busters (1955), Damn the Defiant! (1962), The Lost Continent (1968), The Lion in Winter (1968), Cromwell (1970) and Russian Roulette (1975), often appearing in villainous roles. Interestingly, one of his last performances was a character part in the Steven Spielberg production of Young Sherlock Holmes (1985). Between 1964-1968, Stock made a household name for himself playing Dr. Watson” in Sherlock Holmes (1964). He had a devout interest in ornithology. Stock’s third wife was actress Richenda Carey. They appeared together on stage in the world premiere of “Mumbo Jumbo” from May 8-May 31, 1986. Less than a month later, Stock died on June 23rd of a heart attack. He was survived by four children.
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