Shakespeare fans no doubt enjoyed Sunday night’s Great Performances – The Hollow Crown: Henry VI, Part I. And keen-eyed viewers no doubt recognized quite a few faces familiar from other series UNC-TV has aired. Let’s go over some of them.
I think it’s safe to say Hugh Bonneville may be the most well-known of the actors. He played Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, Henry VI’s uncle and Lord Protector of England. Bonneville was, of course, Earl of Grantham on Downton Abbey. He has also appeared in other Masterpiece offerings in the past. He was Charles Bovary in a 2000 adaptation of Madame Bovary and, a few years later, he was Hugh Cazalet in The Cazalets. Also, Bonneville portrayed Henleigh Grancourt in Daniel Deronda and Andrey Zhivago in Doctor Zhivago.
Sophie Okonedo was Queen Margaret, Henry’s betrothed. Okonedo portrayed Nancy in a 2009 presentation of Oliver Twist on Masterpiece. She was also Maggie Gardner on The Escape Artist, which aired on Masterpiece Mystery in 2014.
Michael Gambon was Mortimer, Earl of March. Granted, Gambon may be more famous for his role as Dumbledore in the Harry Potter franchise but he’s well known to public television fans as Chief Inspector Maigret on Mystery!
Those are the big three – the names I feel will be most recognizable. However, there were dozens of other actors who appeared in Henry VI, Part I and I think a few of them are worth mentioning as well. See if you know them…
Tom Beard (Sir William Lucy) was DSI Alan Reece on The Guilty and Svedberg on Wallander.
Philip Glenister (Talbot) was Oberst Heinrich Baron Von Rheingarten on Island At War and Mr. Carter on Cranford.
Anton Lesser (Exeter) played Thomas More on Wolf Hall and Chief Superintendent Bright on Endeavour.
Ben Miles (Somerset) portrayed Amedeo Corlanna on Zen and Sir Timothy Midwinter on Lark Rise To Candleford.
Stanley Townsend (Warwick) played Thomas Sexton on Parnell & The Englishwoman and Moscati on Zen.
David Troughton (Duke of Anjou) played Chief Inspector Benson on Grantchester, Stan on The Café and Mr. Sloppy on Our Mutual Friend (Masterpiece Theatre, 1978).
Samuel West (Bishop of Winchester) was Frank Edwards on Mr. Selfridge – as well as Prince Caspian on a Wonderworks presentation of Prince Caspian And The Voyage of The Dawn Treader.
Now, these are just a few of the many actors involved with this production. I’m sure if I looked harder I could discover cameos and connections for just about all of them. But feel free to watch for yourself.
Henry VI, Part I encores Saturday morning at 2 on UNC-TV. The Hollow Crown continues Sunday at 9 with Henry VI, Part 2.
Got a face you can’t place from one of the plethora of programs UNC-TV airs from the UK? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll try to help out.