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Anthony Asquith
Born 9 November 1902
London  England
Died 20 February 1968
London  England
Occupation Film director
Years active 1927 - 1964

Anthony Asquith (9 November 1902 – 20 February 1968) was a leading English film director.

Born in London, he was the son of H. H. Asquith, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the First World War, and Margot Asquith. Within his family he was known as 'Puffin'. He was educated at Winchester College and Balliol College, Oxford.

His first successful film was Pygmalion (1938) based on the George Bernard Shaw play. It featured Leslie Howard and Wendy Hiller. He was a longtime friend of Terence Rattigan and Anatole de Grunwald, and this trio collaborated on a number of films. His later films included Rattigan's The Winslow Boy (1948) and The Browning Version (1951), and Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest (1952). All three were remade in subsequent years.

Asquith, a charming, gentle man and a closeted homosexual[1] who never married, died from lymphoma at the age of 65.

At the height of the Profumo scandal, Asquith is widely believed to have been the 'man in the mask' at an orgy attended by Stephen Ward, Christine Keeler, Mandy Rice-Davies and a host of top establishment figures. This person's theatrical display of masochism was regarded as symptomatic of the British establishment in decline and decay.



Feature films

Short films


  1. ^ Bourne, Stephen, "Behind the masks: Anthony Asquith and Brian Desmond Hurst" in Griffiths, Robin (ed.), British Queer Cinema, p. 37. Routledge, Oxford, 2006.

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