Brian Blessed

Actor, Director

10/9/1936 (85 years old) Mexborough

Goliath-like British actor Brian Blessed gained a fan following as the original Fancy Smith in the long-running BBC TV series Z Car. Usually avoiding the dull-brute roles that actors of his girth are frequently assigned, Blessed has thrived in parts calling for wit and guile. He was seen as Prince Vultan in Flash Gordon (1980), Lord Locksley in Kevin Costner's Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991), and in a brace of Kenneth Branagh-directed Shakespearean adaptations, including Henry V (1989, as Exeter) and Much Ado About Nothing (1993, as Antonio). PBS devotees will fondly recall Blessed as King Richard on Rowan Atkinson's weekly historical lampoon Blackadder, while fans of the legendary British TV series Dr. Who will remember the actor's pivotal role King Ycarnos in "The Trial of a Time Lord," which aired in 1986. Blessed is married to actress Hildegarde Neil.