Hugh Griffith Overview:

Actor, Hugh Griffith, was born Hugh Emrys Griffith on May 30, 1912 in Marian Glas, Anglesey. Griffith died at the age of 68 on May 14, 1980 in London, UK and was laid to rest in Golders Green Crematorium Cemetery in Golders Green, Greater London, England.

Hugh Griffith was a fierce-eyed, bushy-browed, Welsh actor noted for his extravagantly scene-stealing character portraits in both British and Hollywood flicks. A former bank clerk, he changed careers to acting in his middle-twenties and quickly proved himself on the stage before moving to the screen in the 1940s. By the 1950s he became a well sought after actor in Hollywood and eventually won the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award in 1959 for his portrayal of the Sheikh in Ben-Hur. He would be nominated again in 1963 for his role as Squire Western in Tom Jones.

(Source: available at Amazon Quinlan's Illustrated Dictionary of Film Character Actors).



Hugh Griffith was nominated for two Academy Awards, winning one for Best Supporting Actor for Ben-Hur (as Sheik Ilderim) in 1959.

Academy Awards

YearAwardFilm nameRoleResult
1959Best Supporting ActorBen-Hur (1959)Sheik IlderimWon
1963Best Supporting ActorTom Jones (1963)Squire WesternNominated

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Hugh Griffith Quotes:

The Beggar: You're never Captain MacHeath, sir!
Captain MacHeath: Never Captain MacHeath, sir? At my mother's breast I was Captain MacHeath, sir!
The Beggar: I would rather not think so! You're not at all as I imagined. No... no... no. I've overwritten you. My captain is higher by two or three inches.
Captain MacHeath: Hmmm. Wll, sir, thanks to you I shall be higher this time tomorrow by the height of a hangman's card.
The Beggar: No, Captain, you'd never do. There is more of you in two bars of my opera than there is in your own body.
Captain MacHeath: Well, I'm sorry for it.
The Beggar: [Disappointed] There's no arguing with reality.

Miss Western: You are such a boor.
[he misunderstands her comment]
Squire Western: A boar? I am no boar!

Charles Bonnet: Don't you know that in his lifetime Van Gogh only sold one painting? While I, in loving memory of his tragic genius, have already sold two.

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Also a Gemini

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Best Supporting Actor Oscar 1959

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Hugh Griffith Facts
Was nominated for Broadway's 1958 Tony Award as Best Actor (Dramatic) for "Look Homeward, Angel."

His sister Elen Roger Jones was a well-known actress in her native Wales.

Joined the British army and served in India and Burma during World War II.

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