- Ralph Bates
name = Ralph Bates
birthdate = Birth date|1940|02|12|df=yes
deathdate = Death date and age|1991|03|27|1940|02|12|df=yes
yearsactive = 1967–1991
Joanna Van Gyseghem(divorced) Virginia Wetherell(1973-1991)
Bates was born in
Bristol, England, of French ancestry (he was a distant relative of Louis Pasteur) and educated at Trinity College Dublin. He read French there, before winning a scholarship to Yale Drama School. The course completed, Bates returned to Irelandto make his stage debut in Shaw's 'You Never Can Tell', at The Gate Theatre, Dublin, in 1963. A career in repertory theatre soon followed and the young actor gained experience in productions ranging from " Hedda Gabler", to raucous comedies.
Later, Bates carved a niche in the world of horror films and played important roles or the lead in several
Hammer horrorproductions, such as " Taste the Blood of Dracula", " The Horror of Frankenstein" (1970), " Lust for a Vampire", and " Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde", in which he played a deranged doctor who mistakenly transforms himself into a beautiful siren.
He made himself noticed on television playing Thomas Culpeper in an episode of "The Six Wives of Henry VIII" (1970). He had already starred as Caligula in the series 'The Caesars' and alongside
Cyd Haymanin a passionate French tale of murder and mystery - Crime of Passion series. He went on to star in the BBCdrama series, " Moonbase 3" (1973) and the long-running " Poldark", in which he played villainous George Warleggan. The series ran for 29 episodes, starting in 1975. He also played CommunistPaul Vercors in the final season of the drama series "Secret Army". Because of his French blood and dark looks, he was often chosen to play a Frenchman on television. Bates also appeared in the TV movie " Minder On the Orient Express"'.
He was twice married:
* The actress
Joanna Van Gyseghem(marriage dissolved)
* The actress
Virginia Wetherell(1973-1991). One daughter Daisy Bates and one son William Bates both became actors.
It looked, for a while, as if he might remain typecast as the archetypal mean-and-moody hunk, but then he was offered a part in a farcical comedy by the writer John Sullivan, which saw Bates as the loveable but loveless central character among a singles group, with each of its members looking for that perfect but ever elusive partner. After starring in two series of "Dear John", in which he realistically played the part of a divorcee returning to single life, Bates became ill with
cancer. He died in Londonat age 51 from pancreatic cancer, survived by his widow, Virginia, and his children.
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