Nigel Hawthorne (April 5, 1929 - December 26, 2001)
Nigel Hawthorne (5 April 1929 – 26 December 2001) was one of Britain’s favorite comic actors. He starred in the hilarious BBC TV show Yes, Minister as the bureaucratic Sir Humphrey Appleby, the real power behind the Prime Minister’s cabinet. He won the London Drama Critics Award and an Olivier Award in 1992 for his performance in the original stage version of Shadowlands, in the role of C.S. Lewis. In 1995 Hawthorne became the first openly gay man nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor (unless you count John Gielgud in 1964). Hawthorne’s portrayal of George III in The Madness of King George heralded the beginning of a new career for him as a dramatic actor. He appeared with Ian McKellen in Richard III. An intensely private person, he was upset at having been involuntarily "outed" as gay in 1995 in the publicity surrounding the Academy Awards, but he did attend the ceremony with his long-time partner Trevor Bentham, speaking openly about being gay in interviews and his autobiography, Straight Face, which was published posthumously. Hawthorne was in a committed relationship for 22 years, sharing a farmhouse with screenwriter Trevor Bentham, who accompanied him to the Oscar ceremonies. They met in 1968 when Bentham was stage-managing the Royal Court Theatre. From 1979 until Hawthorne's death in 2001, they lived together in Radwell near Stotfold in Hertfordshire, England. The two of them became fund raisers for the North Hertfordshire hospice and other local charities. Hawthorne had several operations for pancreatic cancer, although his immediate cause of death was from a heart attack, aged 72. He was survived by his partner, Trevor Bentham, and buried at the Parish Church of Thundridge near Ware, Hertfordshire.
Timeline & Places:
• April 5, 1929: born.
• December 26, 2001: died. Buried at St Mary, Cambridge Rd, Thundridge, Ware SG12 0SU, Regno Unito