Miles Malleson Biography

William Miles Malleson (25 May 1888 – 15 March 1969) was an English actor and dramatist, particularly known for his appearances in British comedy films of the 1930s to 1960s. Towards the end of his career he also appeared in cameo roles in several Hammer horror films, with a fairly large role in The Brides of Dracula as the hypochondriac and fee-hungry local doctor. Malleson was also a writer on many films, including some of those in which he had small parts, such as Nell Gwyn (1934) and The Thief of Bagdad (1940). He also translated and adapted several of Molière's plays (The Misanthrope, which he titled "The Slave of Truth", Tartuffe, and The Imaginary Invalid)

Malleson was born in Croydon, Surrey, England and educated at Brighton College and Emmanuel College, Cambridge. At Cambridge, he created a sensation when it was discovered that he had successfully posed as a visiting politician and given a speech when the man failed to attend a debating society dinner.

He was married three times and had many relationships. In 1915, he married the aspiring actress Lady Constance Annesley. Like her, he was interested in social reform, one of his plays being on the subject of the Tolpuddle Martyrs. They were divorced in 1923 and Malleson later married Joan Billson, who died in 1956. His third wife was Tatiana Lieven.

He was tall and slender, but with a round double-chin like Robert Morley's, and a sharp nose. His manner was gentle and absent-minded; his voice, soft and high. He is best remembered for his roles as the Sultan in The Thief of Bagdad (1940), the poetically-inclined hangman in Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) and as Dr. Chasuble in The Importance of Being Earnest (1952).