The son of a South Yorkshire coal miner, Brian Blessed was born in Mexborough and grew up in the mining village of Goldthorpe. He trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School before beginning a distinguished and varied career, which has encompassed all media. Brian is now one of this country’s best known and most highly respected actors.
Countless television roles include; ‘PC Fancy Smith’ in Z CARS; ‘Porthos’ in THE THREE MUSKETEERS; ‘‘Richard IV’ in BLACK ADDER; the larger than life ‘Squire Western’ in the BBC’s classic drama series TOM JONES, the ‘Laughing Cavalier’ in ADAM’S FAMILY TREE, ‘Sir Morris’ in the award winning animated series THE BIG KNIGHTS (BBC), and ‘Sir David Fawcett’ in THE ROYAL for ITV.
On Film, Brian played ‘‘Vultan’ in the ever popular FLASH GORDON; ‘Pedro’ in MAN OF LA MANCHA; ‘Long John Silver’ in RETURN TO TREASURE ISLAND; and ‘Lord Locksley’ in ROBIN HOOD PRINCE OF THIEVES with Kevin Costner. In Kenneth Branagh’s HENRY V he played ‘Exeter’, in MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING he played ‘Antonio’ and in hamlet he played ‘Hamlet’s Father and the Ghost’. He played ‘Boss Nass’ in George Lucas’ STAR WARS, THE PHANTOM MENACE, and the role of ‘The Pirate Captain’ in PIRATES – BAND OF MISFITS for Ardmann.
Brian has worked with some of this country’s great orchestras. At the Royal Festival Hall he appeared with The London Symphony Orchestra and massed choirs performing Arthur Bliss’ MORNING HEROES. He followed this with the inevitable PETER AND THE WOLF with the Bolshoi Symphony Orchestra in Birmingham, Prokofiev’s IVAN THE TERRIBLE with the Royal National Scottish Orchestra in Glasgow and he has recorded A YOUNG PERSONS GUIDE TO THE ORCHESTRA..
Brian has written five books; THE TURQUOISE MOUNTAIN, THE DYNAMITE KID, NOTHING’S IMPOSSIBLE, BLESSED EVEREST, an inspiring abbreviated history of Everest, which includes many magnificent photographs and QUEST to the lost world. Brian loves writing and would write a great deal more if he could find the time!
Since the late sixties Brian has had a great love of mountaineering and a great desire to stand on ‘the top of the world’. He has been on three expeditions to Mount Everest. The first to make the film GALAHAD OF EVEREST, a tribute to George Leigh Mallory. In 1993 he returned to Everest, this time to climb the Southern side where he reached a height of 28,000 feet – the highest a man of his age has achieved without oxygen. He returned to the Northern side in 1996 when the climb was filmed by a Channel 4 Television team as part of the ENCOUNTERS series. Brian has also completed a trek to the North Pole, an expedition to The Lost World in Venezuela, a climb to the summit of Mount Ararat in Turkey at 17,000 feet and a climb to the summit of Mount Kinabalu in Malaysia.
More recently Brian played “The Narrator” in the UK and in New York, in Prokofiev’s PETER & THE WOLF, he also played ‘Captain Goitre’ IN THE CGI SKETCH SHOW, ‘Henry Vlll’ in HENRY 8.0, and ‘The Nekross King’ in two series of ALIENS V WIZARDS all for the BBC. He also made a Second Guest Appearance as ‘The Host’ on HAVE I GOT NEWS FOR YOU.
Brian lives in Surrey with his wife, the actress Hildegard Neil. They share their home with numerous dogs, ponies, cats, ducks and fish !! They have one daughter, Rosalind, who is also an actress