Alec Clunes (Alexander Sheriff de Moro Clunes)

Alec Clunes

Alexander “Alec” Sheriff de Moro Clunes (17 May 1912 – 13 March 1970) was an English actor and theatrical manager Among the plays he presented were Christopher Fry’s The Lady’s Not For Burning. Alec Clunes gave the actor and dramatist Peter Ustinov his first break with his production The House of Regrets. His film career was brief, but varied. He played Hastings in Laurence Olivier’s Richard III (1955), and also appeared in wartime films such as One of Our Aircraft Is Missing (1942), although he was in fact a conscientious objector. He also appeared in The Adventures of Quentin Durward (1955). Clunes’s later stage work included succeeding Rex Harrison as Henry Higgins in the stage musical My Fair Lady in 1959. His final stage appearance was in 1968. Born as Alexander Sheriff de Moro Clunes to a show business family, he was the son of Alexander Sydenham Sherriff Clunes (1881–1960) and Georgina Ada Sumner (1882–1969). He began his stage career with Ben Greet’s company before playing at the Old Vic theatre in 1934. Alec Clunes played numerous Shakespearian roles, before taking over the management of the Arts Theatre, London in 1942, where he remained until 1950. He later ran a theatre bookshop in Cecil Court. He was twice married: to actress Stella Richman, later a television producer, and Daphne Gyllian Acott (married 1956-13 March 1970) with whom he had one son. He died from lung cancer in 1970, aged 57. He left a widow, a son, actor Martin Clunes, and a daughter, Amanda Clunes.



  • May, 17, 1912
  • United Kingdom
  • Brixton, London, England


  • March, 13, 1970
  • United Kingdom
  • London, England

Cause of Death

  • lung cancer

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