Maurice Denham, who starred in some of Britain’s most popular 1940s radio programs and later became a TV and film character actor, died July 24. He was 92.
His 60-year career as “the man of a thousand voices” included starring in two of the biggest British shows of the 1940s. He played the wealthy Dudley Davenport in “Much-Binding-in-the-Marsh” and had two roles, Mrs. Lola Tickle and Vodkin the Russian inventor, in the British Broadcasting Corp.’s wartime comedy “ITMA.” The initials stood for “It’s That Man Again,” a joking reference to newspaper reports on Hitler’s advance through Europe.
Denham recorded all the voices in the 1955 film version of George Orwell’s “Animal Farm.” He frequently had supporting film roles, appearing in about 100 pics including “Day of the Jackal,” ”84 Charing Cross Road,” “The Battle of Britain,” “Our Man in Havana,” “London Belongs to Me,” “The Man Within” (his first film), Madness of the Heart.” “Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines” and “Sunday Bloody Sunday.”
He was Uncle Vanya at Hampstead Theater in 1979 and played in “Incident at Tulse Hill” there as well. He had the title role in a West End production of “Nathan the Wise” in 1967 and also played Macbeth at the Old Vic.
Other credits include the series “The Lotus Eaters,” “Edward and Mrs. Simpson,” “Porridge,” “The Professionals” “Peak Practice” and “The Beggar Bride.”
Beckenham, Kent, native started with an amateur group at the Old Vic and got a job with Hull Rep, making his first professional appearance in 1934’s “The Marquise” before eventually moving on to London in “Rain Before Seven” followed by a series of West End plays.
He was made an Officer of the Order of British Empire in 1992.
He and wife Elizabeth had two sons and a daughter. They couple were married 35 years; she died in 1971.