John Neville, the British actor who became a legend of the Canadian stage, died Saturday, November 19, 2011 in Toronto, his family announced. He was 86. Neville was born in London in 1925, and after a distinguished acting career in Britain, he made his way to Canada in the early 1970s. While he never stopped acting, he was also a widely respected theatre-company administrator, serving as artistic director of the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton, the Neptune Theatre in Halifax and the Stratford Festival in Stratford, Ontario. As a young man, Neville served with the Royal Navy, before making his way to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art for formal acting training. He was a mainstay of London's storied Old Vic Company in the 1950s, filling some of William Shakespeare's most famous roles, including Romeo in "Romeo and Juliet," Richard in "Richard II," and both Othello and Iago in "Othello." He also appeared on Broadway in "Romeo and Juliet" and "Saint Joan." After moving to Canada in 1972, he continued acting in theatre, television and film. Neville reached a broader audience when he played the lead role in Terry Gilliam's 1988 film "The Adventures of Baron Munchhausen," and later when he played the Well-Manicured Man on "The X-Files" from 1995 to 1998. Neville received the Order of the British Empire in 1965, and was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2006. He is survived by his wife and six children. Neville appeared in two TV Euro-westerns; "By Way of the Stars" (1992) as Professor Bilby and "The Adventures of Smoke Bellew" (1995) as Dwight Sanderson.
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