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Charles Kay
Born Charles Piff
31 August 1930 (1930-08-31) (age 79)
Coventry, West Midlands, England
Occupation Actor
Years active 1958–present

Charles Kay (born Charles Piff, 31 August 1930) is an English actor.

Kay was born in Coventry, West Midlands, the son of Frances (née Petty) and Charles Beckingham Piff.[1]

Originally educated at Warwick School, Kay went on to study medicine, then decided to train for the stage. He went to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and after graduation, joined the English Stage Company at the Royal Court Theatre. He created the roles of Jimmy in Arnold Wesker's Roots (1959) and Charles V in John Osborne's Luther (1961). He was also in Wesker's The Kitchen, The Changeling (1961), and Twelfth Night (1962).

He joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1963 and appeared in Stratford and at the Aldwych, London. He remained until 1966, during which time he played a wide variety of roles, including Octavius Caesar in Julius Caesar, Clarence in The Wars of the Roses, Launcelot Gobbo in The Merchant of Venice, Antipholus of Ephesus in The Comedy of Errors, Osric in the David Warner Hamlet, Dobchinsky in The Government Inspector and Moloch in Robert Bolt's The Thwarting of Baron Bolligrew. He then joined the National Theatre where he played Celia in the all-male production of As You Like It (1967) and appeared in Peter Nichols's The National Health (1969).

In film, his highest profile role was in the Academy Award winning film Amadeus as Count Orsini-Rosenberg. He also appeared in Kenneth Branagh's Henry V, and the 2002 version of The Importance of Being Earnest.

His numerous appearances on television include Fall of Eagles where he played Tsar Nicholas II, I, Claudius, By the Sword Divided, Fortunes of War, Rumpole of the Bailey, The Citadel, Edge of Darkness, The Darling Buds of May, Jonathan Creek, Hetty Wainthropp Investigates, Holby City, Midsomer Murders and The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes: The Creeping Man. One of his best-remembered television roles is that of Alcock in the BBC's 1980 adaptation of To Serve Them All My Days.

In 2002, he guest starred in the Doctor Who audio drama Excelis Rising.


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