Roy Kinnear Biography

Roy Kinnear was an English character actor, known for his comic roles in films and TV productions. Read this biography to know his birthday, childhood, achievements, family life and other fun facts.

Quick Facts

Birthday: January 8, 1934

Nationality: British, Spanish

Famous: Actors British Men

Died At Age: 54

Sun Sign: Capricorn

Also Known As: Roy Mitchell Kinnear

Born Country: England

Born in: Wigan, Lancashire, England

Famous as: Actor

Height: 5'5" (165 cm), 5'5" Males

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Spouse/Ex-: Carmel Cryan (m. 1970 - his death. 1988)

father: Roy Kinnear

mother: Annie Smith Kinnear

children: Karina Kinnear, Kirsty Kinnear, Rory Kinnear

Died on: September 20, 1988

place of death: Madrid

Cause of Death: Heart Attack

More Facts

education: George Heriot's School

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Roy Kinnear was an English character actor, known for his comic roles in films and TV productions. After completing his schooling in Edinburgh, Scotland, he moved to London, where he studied at the Royal Academy of Arts ( RADA). He began his career in the 1950s with repertory theatres in England and Scotland. He became a household name around the age of 28 for his performance in the BBC television series, ‘That Was the Week That Was’. Around the same time, he also began to receive film offers, most of which were jovial roles. Due to his stocky stature and receding hairline, he was not offered any leading roles, but that did not come in the way of his popularity. The well-loved actor died at the age of 54 while he was shooting for the film ‘The Return of the Musketeers’ in Spain.

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Childhood & Early Years
Early Career
  • Sometime in the 1950s, after completing his national service, Roy Kinnear began his acting career in a repertory theatre in Newquay, England. Later, he moved to Scotland, where he joined ‘Perth Repertory Theatre’. He also played the role of Mr. Fixit, a popular children’s character, for STV in Scotland for one year.
  • In 1959, he returned to England to join a theatre workshop at the ‘Theatre Royal Stratford East’. Once there, he participated in a number of productions under the direction of Joan Littlewood, such as ‘Make Me An Offer’ (1959), ‘Every Man in His Humour’ (1959) and ‘Sparrows Can’t Sing’ (1960). His performances were well-received in each of them.
  • In 1962, Kinnear appeared in the BBC Television production of ‘That Was The Week That Was’, which made him a household name thanks to his commendable performance. Although he was getting offered a number of film roles, he was never offered any leading roles because of his receding hairline, short and fat stature.
  • In 1962, he was offered his first credited role of Capt. Enderby in the movie ‘Tiara Tahiti’. It was followed in 1963 by the film version of ‘Sparrows Can’t Sing’, in which he appeared as Fred Gooding. Thereafter, he did not have to look back.
  • In the 1960s, he appeared in 19 films, including ‘Help!’ (1965), ‘A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum (1966), ‘How I Won the War’ (1967), ‘The Bed Sitting Room’ (1969), etc. In television, his important roles of this period were ‘The Avengers’ (1965) and Till Death Us Do Part’ (1967 - 1974).
  • The 1970s began for Kinnear with a role in Hammer's Dracula series movie ‘Taste the Blood of Dracula’. It was followed by 31 other films, more significant among which were ‘Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory’ (1971), ‘Melody’ (1971), 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' (1972), ‘The Three Musketeers’ (1973), ‘The Four Musketeers’ (1974) and 'Juggernaut’ (1974).
  • Among his important television works of the 1970s were the shows like ‘Doctor at Large’, ‘Man About the House’, ‘George and Mildred’,’ The Dick Emery Show’, etc. He also guest starred in several TV productions, such as ‘The Goodies’ and ‘Ripping Yarns’. He voice-acted for the character Pipkin in the 1978 animation movie ‘Watership Down’.
  • In the 1980s, concurrently with appearing in films like ‘The Boys in Blue’ and sitcoms like ‘Cowboys’, Kinnear returned to theater. He performed in the play ‘The Cherry Orchard’ (1985) while simultaneously also acting as a narrator in productions like ‘Towser’ (1984) and ‘Bertha’ (1985 - 1986).
  • In 1987, he got his first leading role in the sitcom, ‘Hardwicke House’. Unfortunately, it was cancelled after only two episodes due to controversies. Nonetheless, he continued doing films, and his last two completed movies were: ‘A Man for All Seasons’ and 'The Princess and the Goblin'.
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Major Works
  • Roy Kinnear is best remembered for his role of Planchet in the 1973 movie, ‘The Three Musketeers: The Queen’s Diamond’. He later reprised the same role in its 1974 sequel, ‘The Four Musketeers’ and the 1989 sequel, ‘The Return of the Musketeers’.
Family & Personal Life
  • Roy Kinnear married actress Carmel Crayan on 29 August 1970, and the couple had three children together. Their eldest daughter Karina was born with cerebral palsy. Their second daughter Kristi grew up to become a casting director, while their only son Rory is now a renowned actor.
  • On 19 September 1988, while shooting for ‘The Return of the Musketeers’ in Spain, Kinnear fell from a horse and broke his pelvis. He was immediately admitted to a hospital in Madrid, but died of heart attack the very next day. He was later interred at East Sheen Cemetery in London.

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- April 05, 2019
Roy Kinnear

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