Daniel Massey, Oscar-nominated actor who scored his biggest successes on the London and Broadway stages and who was a member of a distinguished theatrical family, died March 25 in a London hospital after a long illness. He was 64.
Massey had returned to the stage in 1995 after a battle with Hodgkin’s disease.
A tall and slender actor, he was famous for his deep, mellifluous voice, which he used in such musicals the Broadway bow of “She Loves Me” and on the West End in Stephen Sondheim’s “Follies.”
He also won critical praise for serious and demanding stage roles, such as his acclaimed London portrayal of German conductor Wilhelm Furtwangler in the 1995 Ronald Harwood play “Taking Sides,” which he reprised the following year on Broadway.
In film, he was nominated for a supporting actor nod for the 1968 “Star!” opposite Julie Andrews as Gertrude Lawrence. In the film, for which he won a Golden Globe, Massey did an impeccable impersonation of Noel Coward — who in real life was his godfather.
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Massey was the son of Canadian actor Raymond Massey and British stage star Adrianne Allen. His younger sister, Anna Massey, is one of Britain’s most respected actors.
His parents split up when he was 6. His father went to Hollywood, where he became a success playing young Abe Lincoln and many other roles, finally ending as a television star in “Doctor Kildare.”
Daniel Massey rarely saw his father, remaining in England. The family lived on a country estate where his mother, a London star of the 1930s, entertained many famous friends, including Coward.
Massey was educated at Eton and at King’s College, Cambridge and joined the Scots Guards, but acting was his main ambition. “There was nothing else I wanted to do with my life,” he once said.
The actor suffered from depression for many years, and after long sessions of Jungian analysis, publicly blamed his strained relationship with his late mother.
Massey married actress Adrienne Corri in 1961, and the marriage ended after six years. His second marriage, in 1975, was to actress Penelope Wilton.
After they divorced in 1984, Massey married his ex-wife’s sister, Lindy Wilton — a situation Penelope Wilton accepted “with great grace and style,” he said.
He is survived by a son, Paul, and a daughter, Alice.