Monday, December 29, 2003
London Alan Bates, who first gained fame on the London stage and went on to star in a string of successful 1960s movies, including "Zorba the Greek," has died, his agent said Sunday. He was 69.
Bates died of cancer in a London hospital Saturday night, said his agent, Rosalind Chatto.
Regarded as one of the most versatile actors of his generation, Bates forged his reputation on the British stage, notably playing the resentful working class young man Jimmy Porter in a late-1950s production of John Osborne's "Look Back In Anger."
His starred opposite Laurence Olivier in the 1960's "The Entertainer" and six years later appeared in "Georgy Girl" with Lynn Redgrave.
But he was also an established screen actor and was nominated for a best actor Oscar award for his work in 1968's "The Fixer," in which he starred alongside Dirk Bogarde. The following year he played Rupert Birkin in "Women In Love," based on the D.H. Lawrence novel.
Bates won a best actor Tony Award in 2002 for his portrayal on Broadway of an impoverished nobleman in "Fortune's Fool."
More recently, Bates played the butler Mr. Jennings in Robert Altman's 2001 aristocratic murder mystery "Gosford Park" and also had a role in 2002's "The Sum of All Fears," which starred Ben Affleck.
Bates was made a Commander of the British Empire in 1995 and knighted at the end of 2002.