DR
David Ryall

David Ryall

Born on January 5, 1935, Ryall studied acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art before settling into repertory theater in the mid-1960s. He then joined the National Theatre Company in 1965 shortly before making his television debut in a BBC production of Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" (1967). For most of the late '60s and 1970s, Ryall would divide his time between the London stage and small screen, logging supporting turns in episodic anthology series ranging from an Emmy-winning 1974 adaptation of Anthony Trollope's "The Pallisers" (BBC, 1974-1975), to broader material like "Blakes 7" (BBC One, 1978-1981). During this period, Ryall also made his feature film debut with a minor role in David Lynch's "The Elephant Man" (1980). Ryall continued to balance his stage and television careers into the 1980s, enjoying critical acclaim for National Theatre productions of "Guys and Dolls" and "Coriolanus," which earned him a 1985 Clarence Derwent Award. He also wrote, directed and performed in "A Leap in the Light" (1984), a one-man show featuring works written by controversial playwright Edward Bond. On television, he played the verbally abusive Mr. Hall, who shared a hospital room with Michael Gambon's afflicted writer in the original television production of "The Singing Detective." In the 1990s, he landed plum supporting roles in features like "Truly Madly Deeply" (1990) and "The Russia House" (1990), while netting a 1999 Helen Hayes Award nomination in the United States for a production of "Hamlet" with the Royal Shakespeare Company. He was nearly ubiquitous on stage and television in the 1990s and 2000s, with appearances in "Prime Suspect 2" (Granada Television/WGBH, 1992), and three separate turns as Winston Churchill, including the French TV drama "De Gaulle" (France 2, 2006). Ryall's most widely seen effort was unquestionably his brief turn as the venerable wizard Elphias Doge in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1" (2010), but he also enjoyed a following as Grandad on the sitcom "Outnumbered" (BBC One, 2007- ), as well as the drama "The Village" (BBC One, 2013- ), in which he played the second oldest man in Britain. David Ryall died on Christmas Day 2014.
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