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Donald Pleasence Overview:

Character actor, Donald Pleasence, was born Donald Henry Pleasence on Oct 5, 1919 in Worksop, England. Pleasence died at the age of 75 on Feb 2, 1995 in St.-Paul de Vence, France .

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By Annmarie Gatti on Oct 5, 2013 From Classic Movie Hub Blog

Born October 5, 1919 Character Actor appeared in over 220 film and television roles, playing lots of menacing villains to great effect! Some of his most notable roles include?POW?forger Colin Blythe?in?The Great Escape?(1963), a vindictive market inspector in?Look B... Read full article


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Donald Pleasence Quotes:

[as the submarine enters the brain]
Dr. Duval: Yet all the suns that light the corridors of the universe shine dim before the blazing of a single thought...
Grant: - proclaiming in incandescent glory the myriad mind of Man...
Dr. Michaels: Very poetic, gentlemen. Let me know when we pass the soul.
Dr. Duval: The soul? The finite mind cannot comprehend infinity - and the soul, which comes from God, is infinite.
Dr. Michaels: Yes, well, our time isn't.


Kobras: You cannot escape me! You can no longer jump into space! Because you are made of earth! And to earth, you shall return!


[Preacher forces Catherine to take up with one of his sons]
Catherine Allen: I need some time. It's a very hard choice to make.
Preacher Quint: Of course it's hard. I'll give you two days. That's fair, two days. Now, pick over all the fine points. Rafe there is smarter but he's meaner, and Rufe there, he's stronger but he's dumber. If the good Lord had seen fit to put them both together, they would have made a perfect man.


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Donald Pleasence Facts
One of the stars of The Great Escape (1963) to have actually been a World War II prisoner of war (Hannes Messemer, who played Col. Lugo the camp commander, was a German soldier in WW II and was captured by American troops and held in a POW camp until the end of the war). He was also a POW in Russia. When he kindly offered advice to director John Sturges, he was politely asked to keep his "opinions" to himself. Later, when another star from the film informed Sturges that Pleasence had actually been an RAF officer in a World War II German POW camp, Sturges requested Pleasance's technical advice and input on historical accuracy from that point forward.

Often joked to friends and family that, before Halloween (1978) came out, he was typecast as villains and psychos, never having been given the chance to play a good guy or hero. However, after his portrayal of the heroic, Van Helsing-like Dr. Loomis in Halloween, he had the exact opposite problem in that no one wanted to see him play bad guys anymore, that the only parts offered to him were avengers and heroes.

The only actor to have appeared in both The Great Escape (1963) and its TV sequel, The Great Escape II: The Untold Story (1988) (TV). Ironically, he played one of the would-be great escapees in the first film and one of the German executioners in the second. Strangely he even played the role of the SS and Gestapo chief, Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, in the film The Eagle Has Landed (1976). Heinrich Himmler was the one who ordered the secret murder of "the 50" POW's. Thus, Pleasence is likely to be one of only a few actors to have ever portrayed all three roles of murder conspirator, executioner, and victim! (although technically he was not among the 50. His character died earlier.).

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