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Biography of Patrick Stewart (Cap'n Picard)

The Career of Patrick Stewart: Fourth Edition

by Marilyn Wilkerson

Patrick Stewart was born in Mirfield, Yorkshire, on July 13,
1940, to the working class family of Alfred and Gladys (Baraclough
or Barraclough) Stewart and their two other sons. His father was a
career soldier; his mother worked in industrial weaving. As a boy,
Stewart participated in his church's choir, and was as avid a
movie-goer as his pocket money allowed. (He has said that Doris
Day, Debbie Reynolds, Tab Hunter, and Rock Hudson were his favorite
actors when he was young.) Because Mirfield, a river valley city of
some 12,000 people, had a rich culture for a provincial city of its
size, Stewart's stage experience started early. His involvement was
encouraged when, at the age of twelve while in secondary school, he
enrolled in an eight-day drama course, where he met some profes-
sional people who were very influential in his life.

Thereafter, his participation in local amateur dramatics in-
creased steadily, even after he quit school at fifteen to work as a
reporter. However, his employer resented his dedication to the
local theater and finally, after a little more than a year of
Stewart's less than dedicated reporting (including invented copy!),
he issued Stewart an ulitmatum, forcing him to choose between acting
and journalism. Although it was a very good job, Stewart quit and,
out of spite, became determined to prove himself as a professional
actor. To save money for training, he worked for a year as a furni-
ture salesman; then, after consulting the professionals he had met,
he enrolled in the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in 1957 at age
seventeen. (Although in Castaway's Choice Stewart said he was in
Yorkshire "until I was nineteen, when I went away to theatre
school," other sources seem to indicate that he was out of school
by his nineteeth birthday.) He not only had to audition to gain
entrance, but also interviewed repeatedly to be awarded a grant for
his tuition. He spent two years there, learning his craft and
losing his accent. (Stewart once spoke of almost living a "double
life" during this period, for while he spoke with Received Pronun-
ciation profes-sionally, he continued speaking with his native
Yorkshire accent and dialect with family and friends.)

After leaving school, Stewart was never out of work, despite a
warning from an instructor who told him that his baldness would make
him a young character actor rather than a juvenile lead. (In fact,
Stewart was able to land jobs by convincing directors that with a
toupee he could play both, doubling his range and serving as "two
actors for the price of one.") His professional stage debut was at
the Theatre Royal, Lincoln, in August of 1959, playing Morgan in a
stage adaptation of Treasure Island. His stay in this company
lasted only to September; then he was with the Sheffield Playhouse
until 1961. Stewart took a year off from repertory when at 21 he
joined Vivien Leigh and the London Old Vic company for a tour of
South America and other parts of the world. He returned to the
Sheffield company in 1962, but stayed only six weeks. The 1962-63
season saw him at the Library in Manchester, and the 1963-64 season
at the Playhouse in Liverpool.

Then, some six or seven years after leaving theatre school,
Stewart returned to the Bristol Old Vic company, which had been his
ambition, and performed there from 1964 to 1966. Also working for
the Bristol Old Vic was a choreographer named Sheila Falconer, whom
he met while auditioning for a musical the company would be doing.
They were married within a year, on March 3, 1966. (They have a
son, Daniel Freedom, and a daughter, Sophie Alexandra Falconer,
about 22 and 16 at this writing.)

Stewart made his London debut with the Royal Shakespeare
Company (RSC) at one of their London theaters, the Aldwych, in
February of 1966. Stewart was made Associate Artist in 1967, which
is not quite a contractual agreement, but less formal arrangement by
which the RSC draws from an "associate list" of actors, directors,
and designers for a season's work.

From 1966 to at least 1983, Patrick Stewart performed with the
RSC (exclusively for about eight years, then also appearing on tele-
vision and film). The RSC's theaters during this period were the
Aldwych, the Place, the Warehouse, and the Barbican (which Stewart
"opened" by speaking the first lines in its first production), all
in London, and the Other Place and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in
Stratford; Stewart appeared in them all. In addition, Stewart was a
member of touring RSC companies to the United States three times and
to Australia once. He also appeared at Festival Hall (an orchestral
hall) in Britain, and the Billy Rose theater in New York.

In 1978, the Society of West End Theatres presented Patrick
Stewart with their Best Supporting Actor award for his portrayal of
Enobarbus in Antony and Cleopatra. He was also nominated in 1979
for the Olivier Award in two catagories, best supporting actor for
Antony and Cleopatra and best actor for The Merchant of Venice,
according to Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television (CTFT); and
won the award for the latter. According to a letter I received from
Mr. Stewart, he had another Olivier nomination for Hippolytus. He
also won the London Fringe Best Actor Award for his performance in
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf.

Since about 1980, Patrick Stewart has participated as an
actor/administrator of the Alliance for Creative Theatre Education
Research, based at the University of California-Santa Barbara, for
which he organized and administered educational tours by small
groups of actors to US colleges. Starting some time between 1973
and 1977, Stewart was also involved in the Actors in Residence
program at UCLA, which apparetly was similiar. He has also done
some independent teaching, probably in the US. In the June/July
1988 issue of Star Trek: The Official Fan Club, Stewart mentioned a
"one man lecture/ performance" he has done called "Uneasy Lies the
Head," based on the various roles of power and authority he has
played. This performance appears to have been a part of his
teaching activity.

According to Who's Who in the Theatre, Stewart is the "author
of The Loving Voyage, a Shakespeare anthology," of which I have not
been able to find any record whatsoever, using the database of
library holdings which includes the Library of Congress and some
holdings in Europe. CTFT also uses the word "anthology" for a
program of Shakespeare excerpts (for performance) called Wooing,
Wedding and Repenting, which he also seems to have edited. Other

writings include a piece on Titus Andronicus in Prefaces to
Shakespeare, and three stage and radio adaptations: The Procurator
(based on M. Bulgakov's The Master and the Margharita, with Michael
Glenny), A Country Doctor's Notebook, and A Christmas Carol.

Stewart also wrote an essay anthologized in Players of
Shakespeare: Essays in Shakespearean Performance. This is a col-
lection of essays by twelve RSC actors, who each discuss one of
their significant roles and how they played it. In his essay,
"Shylock in The Merchant of Venice," Stewart gives an overview of
Shylock's meaning and role in The Merchant of Venice, and an
explanation of his own interpretation of Shylock as an embittered
outsider who happens to be Jewish. He then summarizes the action,
the tone, and his own playing of Shylock's five scenes. It is a
thoughtful, perceptive, and somewhat personal essay in that he
reveals to some extent how he approaches roles and what they mean
to him.


(plays are by Shakespeare unless otherwise noted;
"x" after date means not a stage play;
"?" after title means I don't know what it is)

1958 (non-RSC) Student appearances with the Bristol Old Vic:
As You Like It
Cyrano de Bergerac (by Edmond Rostand)
1959 (non-RSC) Treasure Island (played Morgan) (author unkown)
(Lincoln Repertory Company, Theatre Royal)
1961-2 (non-RSC) World tour with London Old Vic:
Lady of Camelias (played Duke de Gire) (by Dumas)
Twelfth Night (played Second Officer)
Duel of Angels (played Cafe Customer) (by Giraudoux)
1963 (non-RSC) Henry V (played Henry V) (Manchester Library)
1963 (non-RSC) The Caretaker (played Aston) (by Harold Pinter)
(Manchester Library Theatre)
1965 (non-RSC) The Birthday Party (played Goldberg) (by Pinter)
(Bristol Old Vic)
1965 (non-RSC) Galileo (played Galileo) (by Bertoldt Brecht)
(Bristol Old Vic)
1965 (non-RSC) Merchant of Venice (played Shylock) (Bristol)
1966 Henry IV, Part I (played Blunt)
1966 Henry IV, Part II (played Mowbray)
2-66 The Investigation (Witness Two) (by Peter Weiss)
4-66 Hamlet (played First Player and Player King)
6-66 Battle of Agincourt (role unknown)
8-66 Henry V (played the Dauphin)
1966-67 The Revenger's Tragedy (played Hippolito) (by John Webster)
1967 As You Like It (played Duke Senior)
8-67 The Relapse (played Worthy) (by John Vanbrugh)
1967-68 The Taming of the Shrew (played Grumio)
4-68 King Lear (played Cornwall)
5-68 As You Like It (played Touchstone)

1968-69 Much Ado About Nothing (played Borachio)
1968-69 Troilus and Cressida (played Hector)
9-69 The Silver Tassie (played Teddy Foran) (by Sean O'Casey)
10-69 Bartholomew Fayre (played Leatherhead) (by Ben Jonson)
11-69 The Revenger's Tragedy (played Hippolito)
1970 Two Gentlemen of Verona (played Launce)
1970 x Civilization: Protest and Communication (?)
4-70 Richard III (played Edward IV)
6-70 King John (played King John)
10-70 The Tempest (played Stephano)
1971 Midsummer Night's Dream (played Snout) (Aldwych and
US tour)
1971 Occupations (played Kabak) (by Trevor Griffiths)
7-71 Enemies (played Skrobotov) (by Maxim Gorki)
11-71 The Balcony (played Roger) (Jean Genet)
4-72 Coriolanus (played Tullus Aufidius)
8-72 Antony and Cleopatra (played Enobarbus)
8-72 The Hollow Crown (role unknown)
12-72 Titus Andronicus (played Bassianus)
1972-73 Julius Caeser (played Cassius)
1973 x Fall of Eagles (played Lenin) (BBC television)
1973 x The Artist's Story (played Anton) (BBC television)
1973 x The Love Girl and the Innocent (played Gurvich) (BBC
1973 x Antony and Cleopatra (played Enobarbus) (teleplay)
4-73 Titus Andronicus (played Aaron)
7-73 Antony and Cleopatra (played Enobarbus)
1974 x Conrad (played Joseph Conrad) (BBC television)
1974 x Joby (played the father) (British television)
1974 x A Walk with Destiny (played Clement Attlee) (BBC
1974 x Alfred the Great (played Guthrum) (BBC television)
1974 x The Gathering Storm (theatrical film)
1974 x Hennessy (played McCann) (theatrical film)
12-74 Uncle Vanya (played Astrov) (by Anton Chekov)
1975 Hedda Gabler (played Lovborg) (Aldwych Theatre and US
and Australia tour) (by Henrik Ibsen)
1975 x North and South (played John Thornton) (BBC serial)
1975 x Eleventh Hour (played the inventor) (BBC tv series)
1975 x Hedda (played Lovborg) (theatrical film)
1976 x I, Claudius (played Sejanus) (BBC miniseries)
1976 x The Madness (played Largo Caballero) (BBC television)
1976 x Oedipus (played Oedipus) (BBC television)
5-76 The Iceman Cometh (played Larry Slade) (by Eugene O'Neill)
1976-77 Bingo (played Shakespeare) (by Edward Bond)
1977 x Miss Julie (played Jean) (by Pirandello)
7-77 That Good Between Us (played Knatchbull) (by Howard Baker)
7-77 Every Good Boy Deserves Favor (played the doctor) (by
Tom Stoppard)
12-77 The Bundle (played Basho) (by Edward Bond)
1978 x When the Actors Come (played Milos) (BBC television)
1977-78 Midsummer Night's Dream (played Oberon)
2-78 A Miserable and Lonely Death (played Col. Goosen) (by
John Blair and Norman Fenton)

4-78 Antony and Cleopatra (played Enobarbus)
6-78 Landscape of Exile (role unknown, or a reading)
6-78 Hippolytus (played Theseus, the king) (by Euripides)
1978-79 The Merchant of Venice (played Shylock)
1979 The Biko Inquest (played Col. Guieson) (by John Blair and
Norman Fenton) (Originally called A Miserable and
Lonely Death)
1979 x Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (played Karla) (BBC
1979 x Tolstoy: A Question of Faith (played Tolstoy) (BBC
5-79 The White Guard (played Mishlaevsky) (by Mikjail Bulgakov)
1980 x The Anatomist (played Dr. Knox) (BBC teleplay)
1980 x Maybury (played Dr. Edward Roebuck) (BBC tv series)
1980 x Excalibur (played Leondegrance) (theatrical film)
1980 x Little Lord Fauntleroy (played Wilkins) (tv movie)
10-80 x Hamlet (played Claudius) (BBC teleplay)
8-81 Two Gentlemen of Verona (played Eglamour)
8-81 Titus Andronicus (played Titus)
1981-82 Winter's Tale (played Leontes)
1982 x Smiley's People (played Karla) (BBC tv miniseries)
1982 x The Plague Dogs (animated theatrical film) (Stewart's
voice used for Major)
5-82 Henry IV, Parts I & II (played Henry IV)
1983 (non-RSC) Body and Soul (played Alexander Grant)
(by Roy Kendall)
1983 x Playing Shakespeare (BBC miniseries) (Transcripts of
(Stewart's participation are in the book by the same
title, by John Barton)
1983 x Races/A Windy Story (played Durfner) (theatrical film?)
1983 x Dune (played Gurney Halleck) (theatrical film)
1984 x The Holy Experiment (played Carini) (BBC television)
1984 x Pope John Paul II (played Gomulka) (tv movie)
1984 x Lifeforce (played Dr. Armstrong) (theatrical film)
1984 x Code Name: Emerald (played Col. Peters) (theatrical film)
1984 x Lady Jane (played Suffolk) (theatrical film)
1985 x The Mozart Inquest (played Salieri) (teleplay)
1985 x The Doctor and the Devils (played Prof. Macklin)
(theatrical film)
1985 x Wild Geese II (played Soviet general) (theatrical film)
1985-86 (non-RSC) Yonadab (played King David and Yonadab)
(by Peter Shaffer)
1986 x The Devil's Disciple (played Rev. Anderson) (British
1987 (non-RSC) Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf? (played George)
(by Edward Albee)
1987- x Star Trek: The Next Generation (tv series)
1988 x Star Trek: From One Generation to the Next (tv special)
12-88 (non-RSC) one-man benefit reading/performance of his own
adaptation of Dickens' Christmas Carol
12-89 [ditto]

Stewart provided narration for two episodes of Horizon
("Great Plains Massacre" and "Reflections on a River"), an episode of
Timewatch ("Henry VII"), and The Making of Modern London: London at
War, all British tv productions.

Radio appearances include the plays The Beggar's Opera (played
Mr. Peachum), Naked (played Ludovicco Natta), The Tempest (played
Caliban), Oedipus Rex, Oedipus at Colonus, and Antigone (played
Creon), Mrs. Moffat, Mrs. Moffat (Bernard Thorpe), A Country Doctor's
Notebook (played the doctor), Explorers Extraordinary (played Jon
Dundas Cochran), Bluey (played Hillary Hawkins), and Myths and
Legacies (played Edward). The source for these radio programs,
Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television, leaves them undated;
however, Stewart indicated on Castaway's Choice that he only recently
started doing radio.


Contemporary Theatre, Film, and Television. Volume 7, pages 385-6.
Detroit: Gale Research, 1983-.

This is the major reference source on Stewart, so far, and
more comprehensive than anything (except this biography, of
course). It gives a small amount of personal information,
and a huge list of stage roles, films, television
appearances, radio appearances, writings, and awards.

Madsen, Dan and John S. Davis. "Patrick Stewart: Seasoned Explorer."
April/May 1988 and June/July 1988 (#61 and 62), Star Trek: The
Official Fan Club Official Magazine.

This two-part interview doesn't have much biographical
information, although Stewart does express his views on the
show and the character of Picard.

Maynard, Kate, editor. IAAPS/Stargazer. 1989.

The Stargazer is the fanzine of the International Audience
Alliance for Patrick Stewart. Issue number one contains a
list of RSC roles, issue number two a list of film and
television appearances, and issue number four a list of
other Stewart credits. In addition, many issues contain
miscellaneous career information, based on the meticulous
research that IAAPS performs.

Palmer, Scott. British Film Actors' Credits, 1895-1987. Jefferson,
N.C.: McFarland, 1988.

This lists 28 film or film-like works in which Stewart
performed, giving only the title and year. (The 28 works
are marked with an "x" in the above chronology.)

Players of Shakespeare: Essays in Shakespearean Performance. By
twelve players with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Edited by
Peter Brockbank. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985.

Stewart's essay on Shylock is on pages 11 to 28--really
pretty interesting, especially if you read the play.

Stewart, Patrick. Interview, August 1984. "Universal News Press
Release." On file at the Lincoln Center Library (New York City).

This is a three-page interview uploaded by Carmen Carter to
Compu$erve (Library Two in the Science Fiction Forum). It
contains information on Stewart's childhood and training,
plus information on Dune.

Stewart, Patrick. Interview, April 4, 1989 with John McNally, host
of the radio program "Castaway's Choice," KCRW-FM, Santa Monica.

This is an hour-long interview with Stewart, interspersed
with music that Stewart choose, including Randy Newman,
Mozart, Cole Porter, and Fats Waller. It contains an
amount of autobiographical information, some anecdotes, and
considerable charm. (This and the Lincoln Center Library
interview, above, are the principal sources for information
on his early years.)

Stewart, Patrick. Letter to the author, dated November 1, 1989.

Actually, the letter itself was short and contained no
biographical information, but with it was a copy of an
earlier edition of this biography with some corrections
and additions.

Who's Who in the Theatre: A Biographical Record of the Contemporary
Stage. Edited by Ian Herbert. 17th ed. Detroit: Gale
Research Company, 1981.

This is superceded by Contemporary Theatre, Film, and
Televsion, which has a larger and more current entry;
however, WWT is the source of the enigmatic anthology The
Loving Voyage.

Woodward, Ian. Glenda Jackson: A Study in Fire and Ice. New York:
St. Martin's, 1985.

Because Stewart is one of Woodward's sources, this bio-
graphy is an oblique source of Stewart's theatrical views
and experiences. Stewart is quoted extensively, especially
concerning the stage and film productions of Hedda Gabler
(pages 116 to 127). He describes the agonies of rehearsing
with Jackson along with the joys of performing with her.
Also mentioned is the RSC production of Antony and
Cleopatra, in which they both starred.

Many thanks are due to Mr. Stewart, Carmen Carter, Delia Turner, and
Kate "the Great" Maynard for their generosity.

Additions, corrections and opinions are welcome!

Copyright December 1989 * ||\/| ||/\|

Marilyn Wilkerson 72371,4517
2901 Monroe Avenue
Evansville, IN 47714
To the best of our knowledge, the text on this page may be freely reproduced and distributed.
If you have any questions about this, please check out our Copyright Policy.


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