name = John Merivale
birthname = John Herman Merivale
birthdate = birth date|1917|12|1
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
deathdate = death date and age|1990|2|6|1917|12|1
Jan Sterling(1941-1948) Dinah Sheridan(1986-1990)
John Herman Merivale (
December 1, 1917– February 6, 1990) was a theatre actor, and occasional supporting player in British films.
Toronto, Canada, he was the son of English actor Philip Merivale, and was educated in England, at Rugby and New College, Oxford. His stepmother was the renowned English actress Gladys Cooper.
Merivale made his acting debut aged 15, playing the small role of a newsboy in
James Whale's " The Invisible Man" (1933), while his stage career started when he was 21, as an understudy in a production of " A Midsummer Night's Dream", where he first met Vivien Leigh. He later worked in the production of " Romeo and Juliet" by Leigh and her husband, Laurence Olivier.
His career was put on hold while he served as a pilot with both the British and Canadian air forces during
World War II, and he resumed his career in 1946, when he had a starring role in a successful American production of Oscar Wilde's " Lady Windermere's Fan".
In 1956 he made his second film appearance, in "The Battle of the River Plate", and went onto have supporting roles in films such as "
A Night to Remember" (1958), " Circus of Horrors" (1960), " The List of Adrian Messenger" (1961), "King Rat" (1965), and "Arabesque" (1966).
Although he had the leading role in the Italian horror film "Caltiki - il mostro immortale" (1959), he tended to concentrate on theatre work, earning great notices in such productions as "
Venus Observed", " Anne of a Thousand Days", " The Reluctant Debutante", and " The Last of Mrs. Cheyney".
He was married to the American actress
Jan Sterlingfrom 1941 until 1948, and lived with Vivien Leigh from 1958 until her death in 1967, becoming her dedicated caretaker in her final years as her manic depression and prolonged illnesses grew more severe. The roles were reversed when long-time friend and actress Dinah Sheridanhelped him through a kidney condition diagnosed in 1970. They were married in 1986 until his death from renal failurefour years later, having stretched his life from ten to twenty years.
* [http://www.vivien-leigh.com/jack.html John Merivale] at Vivien-Leigh.com
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