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Familiar Faces - George Coulouris  [Back to Familiar Faces]

Appearances in Danger Man:
Episode Title Character Name
The Brothers Police Commissioner
Shinda Shima Controller

Appearances in The Prisoner:
Episode Title Character Name
Checkmate Man with the Stick
George Coulouris appearing in Danger Man George Coulouris appearing in The Prisoner

Born in Manchester on October 1st 1903, George Coulouris appeared as the chess playing 'Man With Stick' in The Prisoner episode 'Checkmate'. Previously appearing with McGoohan in series one and four of Danger Man. The son of a Greek immigrant father and an English mother, he was educated at Manchester Grammar School and initially studied with Elsie Fogerty at London's Central School of Speech and Drama.

His London debut came in 1925 with Henry V at the Old Vic and he was soon playing the Yank at the first British staging of Eugene O'Neill's The Hairy Ape and by 1929 he had reached Broadway, via a modern dress version of Measure for Measure and his stage part as Tallant in the The Late Christopher Bean took him to Hollywood in 1933 for his screen debut in MGM's film version. It was whilst he was playing in Ten Million Ghosts that he and met Orson Welles and he joined the Welles' Mercury Theatre, playing Mark Anthony in the famous modern dress production of Julius Caesar in 1937. When Welles went to Hollywood to make Citizen Kane in 1941, he offered George the part of Walter Parks Thatcher and he went on to play character parts in a long string of Hollywood productions throughout the 1940s.

At the end of the 1940s Coulouris returned to England, joining the Bristol Old Vic and, despite his continuing success in films, throughout the 50s and 60s he remained a committed stage actor, regularly appearing in plays Ibsen, Shaw, Strindberg, Moliere or Shakespeare. He continued to appear in films in Britain, notably as the native Babalatchi in Carol Reed's An Outcast of the Islands and also seized the chance to play comedy in Doctor in the House, Doctor at Sea and in the Frankie Howard film The Runaway Bus in 1954. His television appearances included Z Cars, and Dr Who.

Towards the end of his life he wrote and produced his memoirs in which he vividly described his early life in Manchester and his early stage experiences. Coulouris suffered later in life with Parkinson's Disease and it was the stress of this illness that on April 25th 1989 caused his death from a heart attack at the age of 85.

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