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Eric Portman
Born Eric Harrison Portman
13 July 1901(1901-07-13)
Halifax, Yorkshire
Died 7 December 1969 (aged 68)
St Veep, Cornwall

Eric Portman (born Halifax, West Riding of Yorkshire on 13 July 1901 and died St Veep, Cornwall on 7 December 1969) was a distinguished English stage and film actor. He is probably best remembered for his roles in several films for Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger during the 1940s.



He started work in 1922 as a salesman in the menswear department at Marshall and Snelgrove's department store in Leeds and acted in the amateur Halifax Light Opera Society. He made his professional stage debut in 1924, before he was engaged by Lilian Baylis for the Old Vic Company. In 1928 he starred as Romeo in the rebuilt Old Vic and he forged a reputation as a noted Shakespearian actor.

In the 1930s, he began appearing in films - in 1935, he appeared in four films, including Maria Marten or Murder in the Red Barn.

Portman was homosexual, although he avoided public identification as such during the mid-1950s.[1]

In 1967, he played Number Two in the TV series The Prisoner, appearing in the episode "Free For All".

He died at the age of 68 at his home in St Veep, Cornwall.

A public house, Portman & Pickles, in Market Street Halifax is named after him and fellow Halifax native Wilfred Pickles.

Partial filmography


He was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actor (Dramatic) for his Broadway performance as the bogus Major, in Terence Rattigan's play Separate Tables in 1957.


  1. ^ Rattigan, Terence (1999). Separate Tables. Nick Hern Books. p. xxx. ISBN 9781854594242.  

External links

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