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Tuesday, 30 April, 2002, 17:38 GMT 18:38 UK
Shakespeare stalwart dies
Michael Bryant
Bryant also had roles in television
National Theatre veteran Michael Bryant - who starred in a host of Shakespeare productions - has died at the age of 74.

In an acting career spanning more than half a century, Bryant gained a reputation for meticulous attention to detail in his roles.

Bryant, who died on Thursday 25 April, had been with the National Theatre since 1977 and was an associate director from 1996.

Guardian theatre critic Michael Billington described him as a "solid company man" in an era when actors on stage and screen demanded instant fame and success.

Favourable notices

He worked at London's National under Peter Hall, Richard Eyre and Trevor Nunn.

Bryant was born and brought up in London and entered acting after spells in the merchant navy and army.

He first trod the boards in 1951 in Brighton, playing in A Streetcar Named Desire.

After solidly favourable notices, he joined Peter Hall's Royal Shakespeare Company in 1964.

Shakespeare successes included the Dauphin in Henry V (1965), Prospero in the Tempest (1988), and Polonius in Hamlet (1989).

Badger role

More recently he appeared in the production of King Lear starring Ian Holm.

Other successful roles included in Harold Pinter's The Homecoming (1965), Lenin in Robert Bolt's State Of Revolution (1977) and in Alan Bennett's The Wind In The Willows (1990), where he was cast as Badger.

He also appeared in plays by Howard Brenton, David Hare and Tom Stoppard.

He is survived by second wife Judith Coke, as well as two daughters and two sons from his first marriage.

See also:

02 May 02 | Arts
Michael Bryant: Classy actor
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