Donald Pleasence

British actor (1919–1995)

Donald Henry Pleasence[1] OBE (October 5, 1919 – February 2, 1995) was an English actor. Pleasence was born in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, England.[2] He was raised in Lincolnshire, England.[3] During his career, Pleasence was nominated for four Tony Awards.[4] He won a BAFTA TV Award for Best Actor in 1959. [4][5] In his whole career, Pleasence appeared in over 200 movies.[6]

Donald Pleasence
Donald Henry Pleasence

(1919-10-05)October 5, 1919
DiedFebruary 2, 1995(1995-02-02) (aged 75)
Alma materEcclesfield School
Years active1954–1995
Spouse(s)Miriam Raymond (1941–58)
Josephine Crombie (1959–70)
Meira Shore (1970–88)
Linda J. Kentwood (1988–95)

He made his first movie The Dybbuk in 1952.[6] It was a television movie. He acted in several movies, such as You Only Live Twice, where he played James Bond villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld, and The Great Escape.[4] Pleasence is known for his role as Dr. Samuel Loomis in John Carpenter's Halloween.[4] Since then, he appeared in five out of the six movies of the Halloween movie series.[6] Pleasence did not appear in Halloween III: Season of the Witch because it was a different story from the last two movies.[4]

Pleasence died at the age of 75 in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France, from complications of heart failure.[4] It was following a heart valve replacement surgery.[4]

Early life


Pleasence was born Donald Henry Pleasence in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, England on October 5, 1919.[2] His parents were Alice and Thomas Pleasence.[3] Pleasence was raised as a Methodist.[3] He was raised in Lincolnshire, England.[3] Pleasence studied at the Ecclesfield School in Yorkshire, England.[6]

During World War II, Pleasence was sent to serve in the Royal Air Force.[3] He served with 166 Squadron, RAF Bomber Command.[3] His war plane was shot down in August 1944, during a raid on Agenville.[3] He was placed in the German prisoner-of-war camp. Pleasence was released before the war's end in 1945.[3]


Pleasence in the Eye of the Devil trailer, 1966

In 1939, Pleasence started working on stage as an assistant stage manager.[7] His first acting job was as Hareton in the stage version of Wuthering Heights.[8] He worked in theatres in Birmingham and Bristol. Later, Pleasence moved to London. There he appeared as Valentine in Twelfth Night in 1942.[9]

Pleasence's first television work was in I Want to Be A Doctor in 1946.[9] In 1954, he played Syme in a BBC adaptation of George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.[9] The adaptation was by Nigel Kneale. Pleasence played Prince John in several episodes of the ITV series The Adventures of Robin Hood.[8]

Pleasence made his big-screen debut with the 1954 movie The Beachcomber.[5] Some early roles include Parsons in 1984 (his second Orwell movie).[5] He also appeared in minor roles such as in Barnacle Bill and in The Wind Cannot Read. In Tony Richardson's movie, Look Back in Anger, he plays a market inspector.[5]

During the early 1960s, Pleasence recorded several children's-story records. They were released in the United States as Tale Spinners For Children by United Artists.[10] The stories included Don Quixote and the Brave Little Tailor. Pleasence did the voice-over for the British Public Information Film, The Spirit of Dark and Lonely Water in 1973.[10] He was the author of the 1977 children's book Scouse the Mouse.[10]

In his later years, he appeared as Lucas Deranian in Walt Disney's Escape to Witch Mountain, Dr. Loomis in Halloween, Dr. Kobras in The Pumaman and the President in Escape from New York.[5] He reprised his Dr. Loomis role in Halloween II, Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers and Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers.[5] Pleasence's acting career ended when he died in 1995.[4]



Pleasence was nominated four times for the Tony Award.[4] He was nominated for Best Performance By a Leading Actor in a Broadway Play. He was nominated in 1962 for Harold Pinter's The Caretaker, in 1965 for Jean Anouilh's Poor Bitos, in 1969 for Robert Shaw's The Man in the Glass Booth, and in 1972 for Simon Gray's Wise Child.[4]

Personal life


Pleasence was married four times. He married Miriam Raymond in 1941. They divorced in 1958. He married Josephine Crombie in 1959. They divorced in 1970.[4] He married Meira Shore in 1970.[4] They divorced in 1988.[4] He was last married to Linda J. Kentwood in 1988. Their marriage lasted until Pleasance died in 1995.[4]

Pleasence had five daughters. He and Raymond had two daughters, Angela and Jean Pleasence. He and Crombie had two daughters, Polly Jo and Lucy. He and Shore had one daughter, Miranda.[5]

Pleasence died from heart failure after heart surgery in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France on February 2, 1995, aged 75.[4] His remains were later cremated.[11] His last full movie, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers was dedicated in his memory.[12]


Year Movie Role Notes
1952 The Dybbuk Second Batlon TV movie
1952-1959 BBC Sunday-Night Theatre Corporal TV series, episode Arrow to the Heart (I) (1952)
Chamberlain Episode Such Men are Dangerous (1954)
Syme Episode Nineteen Eighty-Four (1954)
Foreign Minister Episode The Moment of Truth (1955)
Doctor Episode The Millionairess (1959)
1954 The Beachcomber Tromp
Montserrat Juan Alvarez TV movie
The Face of Love Alex TV movie
Orders Are Orders Corporal Martin credited as Donald Plesance
1955 Value for Money Limpy
1956 1984 R. Parsons
The Black Tent Ali
1956-1958 The Adventures of Robin Hood Prince John (4 episodes) TV series, episodes The Prisoner (1956), Isabella (1956), Ambush (1957), Marian's Prize (1958)
Bailiff Baldwin (1 episode) Episode A Village Wooing (1956)
1956-1959 ITV Television Playhouse William TV series, episode Ever Since Paradise (1956)
Albert Episode Chance Meeting (1956)
Captain Browne Episode Fate and Mister Browne (1958)
Leonard Browne Episode Mr. Browne Comes Home (1959)
Robert Robertson Episode The Silk Purse (1959)
1957 The Man in the Sky Crabtree Titled Decision Against Time in the United States
Assignment Foreign Legion Commandant TV series, episode The Coward
Manuela Evans
Barnacle Bill Cashier Titled All at Sea in the United States
1958 I Spy Mr. Frute TV movie
A Tale of Two Cities John Barsad
Heart of a Child Spiel
The Wind Cannot Read' Doctor
The Man Inside Organ-grinder
The Two-Headed Spy General Hardt
1959 The Scarf Detective Inspector Harry Yates TV series, six episodes
Look Back in Anger Hurst
William Tell The Spider TV series, episode The Spider
The Traitor Grantley Caypor TV movie
Killers of Kilimanjaro Captain
The Battle of the Sexes Irwin Hoffman
1960 The Shakedown Jessel Brown
Hell Is a City Gus Hawkins
The Four Just Men Paul Koster TV series, episode The Survivor
Interpol Calling Karl Haussman TV series, episode The Absent Assassin
1962 The Inspector Sergeant Wolters
1963 The Great Escape Flight Lieutenant Colin Blythe RAF, "The Forger"
1965 The Hallelujah Trail Oracle Jones
1966 Fantastic Voyage Dr. Michaels
Cul-de-sac George
1967 You Only Live Twice Ernst Stavro Blofeld
1968 The Other People Clive Film never released
1970 Soldier Blue Isaac Q. Cumber
1971 THX 1138 SEN 5241
Wake in Fright Doc Tydon
1972 Death Line Inspector Calhoun
Henry VIII and His Six Wives Thomas Cromwell
The Jerusalem File Major Samuels
1973 Columbo Adrian Carsini "Any Old Port in a Storm"
1974 Watch Out, We're Mad The Doctor
From Beyond The Grave Jim Underwood (segment 2 "An Act of Kindness")-
1976 The Eagle Has Landed Himmler
The Passover Plot Pontius Pilate
1977 Telefon Nikolai Dalchimsky
1978 Halloween Dr. Loomis
1978 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band B.D. Hoffler/B.D. Brockhurst
1980 The Pumaman Dr. Kobras
1981 Halloween II Dr. Loomis
Race for the Yankee Zephyr Gilbert "Gibbie" Carson
1982 Escape from New York Mr. President
Alone in the Dark Dr. Leo Bain
The Barchester Chronicles Reverend Septimus Harding TV series
1983 Warrior of the Lost World Prossor
1984 A Breed Apart J.P. Whittier
1985 Phenomena John McGregor
1987 Django 2 Gunn
1987 Prince of Darkness Priest
1988 Hanna's War Captain Thomas Rosza
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers Dr. Loomis
1989 Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers
Ten Little Indians Judge Lawrence Wargrave
1993 The Thief and the Cobbler Phido the Vulture (voice)
The Hour of the Pig Pincheon
1995 Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers Dr. Loomis
1996 Fatal frames: Fotogrammi mortali Professor Robinson


  1. "England and Wales Births 1837–1983". Retrieved October 6, 2010.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Donald Pleasence's Biography". Retrieved October 6, 2010.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 "Remembering Donald Pleasence". Western 5 October 2014. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 Gussow, Mel (3 February 1995). "Donald Pleasence, Virtuoso Actor, Dies at 75". New York Retrieved October 23, 2014.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 "Donald Pleasence". Retrieved October 23, 2014.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 "Donald Pleasence biography". Retrieved October 23, 2014.
  7. "Donald Pleasence's biography". Retrieved October 23, 2014.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Donald Pleasence". Retrieved October 23, 2014.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 "Obituaries: Donald Pleasence". The Independent. 3 February 1995. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 "Donald Pleasence (1919)". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
  11. "Donald Pleasence". Hollywood Grave Retrieved October 23, 2014.
  12. "Donald Pleasence". Retrieved October 23, 2014.

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