Notable Deaths ›

Alec McCowen (1925 - 2017)

Getty Images / Photo by Evening Standard

Alec McCowen (1925 - 2017)

Alec McCowen, a British actor who was a Broadway and West End star, died Monday, Feb. 6, 2017, according to multiple news sources. He was 91.

A nephew, the Rev. Nigel Mumford, confirmed his death.

McCowen began his stage career in 1942 and made his London debut in 1950 as Maxim in Anton Chekhov’s play “Ivanov.” He made his first appearance in New York City at the Ziegfeld Theater in 1951, appearing in “Caesar and Cleopatra.”


Click to get weekly celebrity death news delivered to your inbox.


He joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1962, performing at Stratford-upon-Avon playing Antipholus of Syracuse in “The Comedy of Errors" and the Fool to Paul Scofield’s “King Lear.”

McCowen starred in a one-man show titled “St. Mark’s Gospel,” which was successful in London and on Broadway and brought him a Tony Award nomination. He brought the gospel to life and inhabited various characters including Jesus and Pontius Pilate.

McCowen appeared on many television shows and in movies. He played a chief inspector in the Alfred Hitchcock film “Frenzy.” He appeared as “Q” in the 1983 James Bond movie, “Never Say Never.”

McCowen was known for his technical brilliance as an actor. He talked about acting with The New York Times in 1984.

“I wanted to be an entertainer, not an actor, when I was young,” Mr. McCowen said. “I wanted to be Jack Benny, and I’m still dazzled, still fascinated, by the audacity of a Judy Garland or a Lena Horne or a Frank Sinatra going out there all by themselves and holding an audience’s attention.”

He is survived by a sister as well as two nieces and another nephew. His partner, the actor Geoffrey Burridge, died of AIDS complications in 1987.

We invite you to share condolences for Alec McCowen in our Guest Book.