Maurice Evans: Shakespearean Pops

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Today is the birthday of  Maurice Evans (1901-1989). One of the great Shakespearean actors of the 20th century he is of course chiefly known in the U.S. for his cheese, namely his role as Samantha’s estranged father on the television show Bewitched (1964-1972), his performance as Hutch in Rosemary’s Baby (1969) and Dr. Zaius in the Planet of the Apes films.

His career had actually begun in the mid 1920s. Within a decade he was starring at the Old Vic and on Broadway in Romeo and Juliet, Richard II, Twelfth Night, Hamlet and MacBeth. In the 1950s, he played the husband in the original stage production of Dial M for Murder and produced Teahouse of the August Moon. From 1953 through 1960 he brought a large part of the Shakespeare canon to American television, and he was certainly still known as a Shakespearean in the 60s, which explains the great hammy flourish he gave to his character (also named Maurice) on Bewitched.

Anyway, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em:

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