Alan Bates Died Today…BetteHeads Know Him As “Rudge” In “The Rose”

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British actor Alan Bates dies

LONDON, England (AP) –Alan Bates, who first gained fame on the London stage and went on to star in a string of successful 1960s movies including “Zorba the Greek,” has died, his agent said Sunday. He was 69.

Bates died of cancer in a London hospital Saturday night, said his agent Rosalind Chatto.

His first important film role was opposite Laurence Olivier in 1960’s “The Entertainer.” In 1964 he played Basil in “Zorba the Greek,” and two years later acted in “Georgy Girl” with Lynn Redgrave.

Bates was nominated for a best actor Oscar award for his work in 1969’s “The Fixer” and played Rupert Birkin in “Women In Love,” based on the D.H. Lawrence novel, the same year.

He won a best actor Tony Award in 2002 for his portrayal on Broadway of an impoverished nobleman in “Fortune’s Fool,” Ivan Turgenev’s dissection of mid-19th century Russian country life.

An Associated Press review praised the actor’s “accomplished and affecting portrait.”

“Bates is remarkable in carefully negotiating (his character’s) foolishness and faith,” it said.

Bates, who was born in Derbyshire, central England, studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London and made his stage debut in 1955.

He first gained attention for his role as a resentful young working class man in John Osborne’s “Look Back in Anger” and also starred in playwright Harold Pinter’s “The Caretaker” on stage and film.

More recently, Bates played the butler Mr. Jennings in Robert Altman’s 2001 aristocratic murder mystery “Gosford Park” and also had a role in 2002’s “The Sum of All Fears,” which starred Ben Affleck.

Bates was made a Commander of the British Empire in 1995 and knighted at the end of 2002.

His son, Tristan, 19, died of an asthma attack in 1990 and his wife, actress Victoria Ford, died in 1992. He is survived by two brothers; his son, Benedick and a granddaughter, Chatto said. Funeral arrangements were not yet final, she added.

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