Sher, Sir Anthony

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SHER, SIR ANTHONY (1949– ), actor, writer, and artist. Born in Cape Town, South Africa, Sher was educated at the Webber-Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art, London. He established his reputation on the London stage during the 1980s with a number of virtuoso performances. Unheroic in stature but with an intense, vivid personality, he brought enormous dynamism and panache to every part (rehearsals were always accompanied by body-training). His extensive repertoire ranged from appearances in Molière's Tartuffe and the most discussed Richard iii since Laurence Olivier's, to The Merchant of Venice and Singer for the Royal Shakespeare Company. His roles for the National Theater have included Arturo Ui and Mark Gertler, while his playing of Arnold in Torch Song Trilogy was outstanding. He received the Olivier and Evening Standard Awards for best actor in 1985.

Apart from a consuming acting career, Sher was an accomplished artist who exhibited both at London's Barbican and the National Theater and a highly successful author whose novels Middlepost and The Indoor Boy both received highly enthusiastic reviews. One of the best-known contemporary British actors, Sher received many awards and three honorary degrees. He was knighted in 2000.

[Sally Whyte]