Thane Bettany

Thane Bettany

Thane Bettany (born 1930) is an English actor.

Born in Sarawak, North Borneo, his family returned to England before the war, leaving, among others, his Godmother Agnes Keith, author of 'Three Came Home'. Coming from a performing family, aged fifteen he entered The Sadler's Wells Ballet School and trained for some years with Ninette de Valois. After some time in the Fleet Air Arm during his National Service in the early 1950s, he returned to the theatre. Because he had a bad stammer, Bettany went to study mime in Paris with Charles Antonetti, who ultimately helped him overcome the problem. Bettany returned to England and joined the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre Company, later to become the Royal Shakespeare Company, with which he played Osric in Sir Michael Redgrave's "Hamlet" and "The Tempest", understudying the role of Ferdinand and then taking over the part when the play transferred to Drury Lane, London with Sir John Gielgud. In the 1950s, Bettany made films with Robert Mitchum and Sir Laurence Olivier.

After a few years in the New Zealand Players he returned home and taught at Corona Stage School where he met Anne Kettle, whom he would later marry. He moved on to Norway as the Artistic Director of the English Theatre Company of Norway, inviting Anne Kettle over as his Stage Manager.

Back in England he renewed his friendship with Anne Kettle at the Lincoln Theatre Royale. They married and settled in North London, and although stage work continued to be his focus, when his children were born he looked for other work to be closer to home. The couple had three children: Sarah, actor Paul Bettany, and youngest son Matthew. They have two grandchildren, Emaly (by daughter Sarah) and Stellan (the son of Paul Bettany and his actress wife Jennifer Connelly). Thane is also the godfather of Sophie Rhys-Jones, Countess of Wessex and wife of Prince Edward.

Sarah and Paul initially went to school in North London, but when Sarah was eleven, Paul was nine, and Matthew aged two, Thane got a job as drama teacher at Hertfordshire all-girls boarding school Queenswood School, and the family had residence on the campus. [citeweb|url=|title=Tragedy, Drugs and a Dad Who Wanted to Have a Sex Change Op|publisher=Daily Mirror|author=Julie McCaffery|date=May 16, 2006|accessdate=2008-01-14] Thane continued to act, mainly in television, and it was during this time he made his famous appearance on "Doctor Who," opposite Tom Baker as the heroic peasant Tarak.

Matthew died after a fall at Queenswood when he was only eight years old, which left the family grief-stricken. Soon after, Paul left home and went to live on his own in London, while Thane and Anne divorced in 1993 after 25 years of marriage. Bettany now lives in Fife, Scotland with his friend Andy Clark to whom he acts as carer. He is now an associate acting member of the Dundee Rep, the St. Andrews Byre Theatre and the Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh. He remains a full time actor, and returned to the Royal Shakespeare company in 2007 playing the old man and Doctor in Macbeth and Macol in MacBett by Ionesco.



External links

*imdb name|id=0079274|name=Thane Bettany
* [ "My Son, the Actor"]

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