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 .


Initially distinctive, later eccentric bald-headed British character star whose pale blue eyes shone psychotically at many a harassed hero in the years following his portrayal of the murderous Dr. Crippen. One of filmdom's hardest workers, especially in the early 1960s and from the late 1970s onwards, when he took to playing scientists and detectives compelled by circumstances to believe in the supernatural. The father of actress Angela Pleasance, he died following heart-valve surgery.

(Source: available at Amazon Quinlan's Film Character Actors: an Illustrated Directory).



BlogHub Articles:

The Devilishly Delightful Blogathon – Final Recap

By Barry P. on Oct 31, 2022 From Cinematic Catharsis

As George Harrison once wrote, all things must pass, and so it goes with the Devilishly Delightful Blogathon. On behalf of Gill Jabob from Realweegiemidget Reviews and Yours Truly, we’d like to give a hearty thanks to everyone who took part, as well as our dear readers! I... Read full article

The Devilishly Delightful Blogathon – Day 3 Recap

By Barry P. on Oct 30, 2022 From Cinematic Catharsis

Where did the weekend go? We’ve already reached Day 3 of the Devilishly Delightfully Blogathon, hosted by Gill Jacob of Realweegiemidget Reviews and Yours Truly! Tonight, we present a quartet of posts for your enjoyment. Note: There will be a post-blogathon wrap-up tomorrow, ... Read full article

The Devilishly Delightful Blogathon – Day 2 Recap

By Barry P. on Oct 29, 2022 From Cinematic Catharsis

We’re back for Day Two of the Devilishly Delightfully Blogathon, hosted by Gill Jacob of Realweegiemidget Reviews and Yours Truly! Please enjoy today’s posts, covering some film and television titles that might have slipped beneath the radar.It’s not too late to jo... Read full article

The Devilishly Delightful Blogathon Is Here – Day 1 Recap

By Barry P. on Oct 28, 2022 From Cinematic Catharsis

Welcome to Day One of the Devilishly Delightfully Blogathon! My superb co-host Gill Jacob of Realweegiemidget Reviews and Yours Truly are proud to present this three-day event, celebrating versatile, enigmatic character actor Donald Pleasence. We have a bumper crop of posts for your... Read full article

Announcing the Devilishly Delightful Blogathon

By Barry P. on Aug 28, 2022 From Cinematic Catharsis

When Gill from Realweegiemidget Reviews asked me if I was interested in co-hosting a blogathon devoted to the one and only , how could I resist? Who else but Mr. Pleasence could be a Bond villain, a blind POW, a Soviet conspirator, William Hare (of the notorious duo Burke and Hare), ... Read full article

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Donald Pleasence Quotes:

George: Get the hell outta my fortress!

Dr. Freedom: Let me tell you about the French. They are 50 million mixed-up, sniveling crybabies who haven't stood on their two feet since Napoleon, and that wasn't yesterday. And Napoleon wasn't even French.
Mr. Freedom: He was Corsican!
Dr. Freedom: That's right, boy. So the French are the white man's burden. OUR burden. We've had to carry them through two world wars already, and we're damn well gonna have to carry them through the next.

Kobras: There is often more truth in legend than in history.

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Donald Pleasence Facts
He was initially a conscientous objector during World War II, but later changed his mind and joined the British Royal Air Force. His plane was shot down and was taken prisoner of war by the Nazis until his release in 1945.

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.

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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