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Sher, Antony 1949–

Sher, Antony 1949–

(Anthony Sher, Sir Antony Sher)


Born June 14, 1949, in Cape Town, South Africa; immigrated to England, 1968, naturalized citizen, 1979; son of Emmanuel (in business) and Margery Sher; companion of Gregory Doran (a director). Education: Attended Webber-Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art, London, 1969-71. Religion: Jewish. Avocational Interests: Painting, writing, classical music.


Agent—ICM, Oxford House, 76 Oxford St., London W1D 1BS.


Actor, artist, and writer. Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-on-Avon, England, associated artist, beginning 1982. Artist, with work exhibited at Barbican Theatre and National Theatre, London. Military service: Completed compulsory military service in South Africa.

Awards, Honors:

London Critics' Circle Award, best actor, 1984, Drama Magazine Award, best actor, Evening Standard Theatre Award, best actor, Laurence Olivier Award and actor of the year, Society of West End Theatre, 1985, all for Richard III; Laurence Olivier Award, best actor, 1985, for Torch Song Trilogy; Laurence Olivier Award, best actor, Theatre World Award, Antoinette Perry Award nomination, best actor in a play, 1997, all for Stanley; Peter Sellers Award for Comedy, Evening Standard British Film Awards, 1997, for Mrs. Brown; Chlotrudis Award nomination, best supporting actor, 1998, for Indian Summer and Mrs. Brown; honorary doctorate of letters, Liverpool University, 1998; Screen Actors Guild Award (with others), outstanding performance by a cast, 1999, for Shakespeare in Love; decorated Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire, 2000; honorary degree, University of Exeter, 2004; Drama Desk Award, outstanding solo performance, 2006, for Primo.


Stage Appearances:

Teeth 'n' Smiles, Royal Court Theatre, London, 1975.

Muhammad, Goose-Pimples, Hampstead Theatre Club, London, 1981.

Austin, True West, National Theatre, London, 1981-90.

Fool, King Lear, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-on-Avon, England, then Barbican Theatre, London, 1982-83.

Moliere, Other Place Theatre, Stratford-on Avon, then Pit Theatre, London, 1983.

Title role, Tartuffe, Pit Theatre, 1983.

Martin Glass, Maydays, Barbican Theatre, 1983.

Marcel Fiote, Red Noses, Barbican Theatre, 1985.

Title role, Richard III, Barbican Theatre, 1985.

Arnold Backoff, Torch Song Trilogy, Albery Theatre, London, 1985.

Vindice, The Revenger's Tragedy, Swan Theatre, Stratford-on-Avon, then Pit Theatre, 1987-88.

Shylock, The Merchant of Venice, Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-on-Avon, then Barbican Theatre, 1988.

Johnny Smit, Hello and Goodbye, Almeida Theatre, London, 1988.

Peter Singer, Singer, Royal Shakespeare Company, Barbican Theatre, then Pit Theatre, 1990.

Joseph K., The Trial, Lyttelton Theatre, London, 1991.

Arturo Ui, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, Olivier Theatre, London, 1991-92.

Mikhail Lvovich Astrov, Uncle Vanya, National Theatre, 1992.

Title role, Tamburlaine the Great, Royal Shakespeare Company, Barbican Theatre, 1994.

Sir Stanley Spencer, Stanley, Royal National Theatre, London, 1996, then Circle in the Square, New York City, 1997.

Leontes, The Winter's Tale, Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, London, 1999.

Title role, Macbeth, Royal Shakespeare Company, Swan Theatre, then Young Vic Theatre, London, 1999-2000, later Long Wharf Theatre, New Haven, CT, 2000.

Gustav Mahler, Mahler's Conversion, 2001.

Domitian Caesar, The Roman Actor, 2002.

Malevole, The Malcontent, 2002.

Tsafendas, ID, Almeida Theatre, 2003.

Iago, Othello, 2004.

Title role Primo, National Theatre, London, 2004, then Cape Town, South Africa and Music Box Theatre, New York City, 2005.

Primo Levi, Primo, Heritage Theatre, 2005.

Also appeared in Cloud Nine, Royal Court Theatre, London; The Glad Hand, London production; John, Paul, George, Ringo, and Bert, Lyric Theatre, London; Prayer for My Daughter, London production; Titus Andronicus, National Theatre Company; and Travesties, Royal Shakespeare Company; Astonish Me; The Cherry Orchard; A Flea in Her Ear; The Good Woman of Setzuan; The Government Inspector; Knickers; Teeth and Smiles; Twelfth Night; Ziggomania; Travesties; True West.

Major Tours:

Title role, Macbeth, Japanese cities, c. 2000.

Stage Director:

Directed Breakfast with Mugabe, Royal Shakespeare Company, London.

Film Appearances:

Soldier at cinema, Yanks (also known as Yanks—Gestern waren wir noch freunde), Universal, 1979.

Bellboy, Superman II, Warner Bros., 1980.

Mark Gertler: Fragments of a Biography, 1981.

Oliver Shadey, Shadey, Film Four International, 1984.

Loki, Eric the Viking (also known as Erik viking), Orion, 1990.

Moliere, 1990.

Tartuffe, 1990.

Dr. Ernest Zeigler, The Young Poisoner's Handbook (also known as Das Handbuch des jungen giftmischers), 1995, Cineplex Film Properties, 1996.

Chief weasel, The Wind in the Willows (also known as Mr. Toad's Wild Ride), 1996, Columbia, 1997.

Jack, Indian Summer (also known as Alive and Kicking), First Look Pictures Releasing, 1996.

Benjamin Disraeli, Mrs. Brown (also known as Her Majesty, Mrs. Brown and Mrs. Brown), Miramax, 1997.

Dr. Moth, Shakespeare in Love, Miramax, 1998.

Ben Azra, The Miracle Maker, 2000.

Hitler, Churchill: The Hollywood Years, Pathe, 2004.

Chef, A Higher Agency (short), 2005.

Primo Levi, Primo, HBO Films, 2007.

Television Appearances; Miniseries:

The Don, Look at the States We're In!, BBC, 1995.

Gerald Lewis Q.C., The Jury, ITV1 and PBS, 2002.

Erza Ben Ezra (The Rabbi), The Company, TNT, 2007.

Television Appearances; Movies:

Tasic, Collision Course, Granada, 1979.

Mr. Alpert, One Fine Day (also known as Six Plays by Alan Bennett: "One Fine Day"), ITV, 1979.

Howard Kirk, The History Man (also known as Malcolm Bradbury's "The History Man"), BBC, 1981.

Tartuffe, Tartuffe, or The Imposter, BBC and PBS, 1983.

David Samuels, The Land of Dreams, BBC, 1990.

Changing Step, BBC, 1990.

Title role, Genghis Cohn, BBC and Arts and Entertainment, 1993.

Sergeant Cuff, The Moonstone, BBC and PBS, 1996.

Moncoutant, Hornblower: The Frogs and the Lobsters (also known as Horatio Hornblower: The Wrong War), ITV and Arts and Entertainment, 1999.

Voice of Ben Azra, The Miracle Maker, ABC, 2000.

Television Appearances; Specials:

Himself, Camp Christmas, 1993.

King Richard III, HBO, 1996.

(As Anthony Sher) Leontes, King of Sicilia, The Winter's Tale, 1999.

Title role, Macbeth, 2001.

Gerald Ballantyne, Home, BBC4, 2003.

The "Evening Standard" Theatre Awards 2003, ITV, 2003.

Primo, HBO, 2007.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

"The Sheik of Pickersgill," Pickersgill People, BBC, 1978.

Morris, "Cold Harbour," ITV Playhouse, ITV, 1978.

"The Out of Town Boys," Play for Today, BBC1, 1979.

The Dame Edna Experience, ITV, 1989.

Scum editor, "The Crying Game," The Comic Strip Presents, BBC2 and MTV, 1992.

Voice of Richard, "King Richard III," Shakespeare: The Animated Tales (animated), BBC2 and HBO, 1994.

Mr. Prothrow, "Re-arranging the Dust," One Foot in the Grave, BBC1, 1995.

The don, "The Organisation," Look at the State We're In!, BBC, 1995.

Macbeth, "A Time of Revolution," In Search of Shakespeare, PBS, 2004.

Macbeth, "The Lost Years," In Search of Shakespeare, PBS, 2004.

Macbeth, "The Duty of Poets," In Search of Shakespeare, PBS, 2004.

Macbeth, "For All Time," In Search of Shakespeare, PBS, 2004.

(As Sir Antony Sher) Himself, "Othello," The South Bank Show, ITV, 2004.

Frank Jeremy, "Jack's Back," Murphy's Law, BBC and BBC America, 2004.



(With others) Mark Gertler: Fragments of a Biography, 1981.

Primo, Heritage Theatre, 2005.

Television Movies:

Changing Step, BBC1, 1990.

Television Specials:

Primo, HBO, 2007.

Stage Plays:

ID, Almeida Theatre, London, 2003.

Primo, National Theatre, London, 2004.


The Year of the King (nonfiction), Chatto & Windus, 1985.

Middlepost (novel), Knopf (New York City), 1988.

Characters (paintings and sketches), 1989.

The Indoor Boy (novel), Viking (New York City), 1992.

Cheap Lives (novel), Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1995.

(With Gregory Doran) Woza Shakespeare!: "Titus Andronicus" in South Africa (nonfiction), 1997.

The Feast (novel), Little, Brown, 1998.

Beside Myself: An Autobiography, Hutchinson, 2001.



Daily Telegraph, January 5, 2001.

New Statesman, May 10, 1985; January 15, 1999, p. 38.

New York, March 17, 1997.

New York Times, February 2, 1997.

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