Kenneth Griffith

A profile of the actor and filmmaker Kenneth Griffith

Kenneth Reginald Griffith was born in Tenby, Pembrokeshire on October 12 1921. During World War 2 he served in the Royal Air Force. Kenneth's acting career began in the 1940s, initially in repertory and with the Old Vic, his film debut came in 1941. Kenneth went on to make at least 80 feature films and regularly made films for the Boulting Brothers in the 1950s & 1960s.

Kenneth's films include: Love On the Dole (1941), The Shop at Sly Corner (1947), A Night to Remember (1958) a film about the events leading up to the sinking of the Titanic, I'm All Right Jack (1959), Only Two Can Play (1962), Payroll (1962), S.P.Y.S. (1964), The Whisperers (1967), The Wild Geese (1978) and Who Dares Wins (1982).

Kenneth Griffith was also a prolific television actor, appearing in series such as, Fabian of the Yard (BBC-1954-1956), Martin Kane: Private Investigator (ITV-1958-1959) and Danger Man (ITV-1960-1961-1964-1967). He also appears in the serials, Paris 1900 (ITV-1964) and Clochmerle (BBC-1972).

Perhaps Kenneth's most famous television work as an actor is in the iconic series The Prisoner 1967-1968) made by Everyman Films Limited for Lew Grade's Incorporated Television Company (ITC) starring Patrick McGoohan. In this series Kenneth co-stars in two episodes as three different characters. In the episode entitled, The Girl Who Was Death, he plays two characters - Number Two & Dr Schnipps. He also co-stars in the final episode entitled, Fallout, as The President. In Fallout, Kenneth, as The President delivers a speech which he wrote himself and told Graham Hayes of Cherished that he had written it in "about an evening".

Kenneth in his Dr.Schnipps uniform , with Patrick McGoohan

Kenneth also made two films alongside Hugh Grant in the 1990s: Kenneth plays a character billed as Mad Old Man in Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), a brief, but memorable role. In The Englishman Who Went up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain (1995), Griffth plays the Reverend Robert Jones.

Kenneth Griffith was also a world-renowned documentary film-maker, he was an authority on the Boer War and made a film for the BBC in 1967 about the siege of Ladysmith. He also made documentaries about Cecil Rhodes, the conflict between the British and the Zulu and a film about Zola Budd, the South African athlete. BBC Wales ran a season of five of Griffith's documentaries in 1993.

Kenneth died on June 25 2006. As with many of his contemporaries, Kenneth Griffith made numerous films in his long career, consequently, if you are watching an old movie, probably on a Sunday afternoon, there is a good chance Kenneth will be in it!