Timothy West was most recently seen in The Donmar Warehouse production, The Vote, alongside Judi Dench, Mark Gatiss and Catherine Tate. He also played Stan Carter, head of the Carter family, in Eastenders on BBC1, and appeared with his wife, Prunella Scales, in Spun Gold’s documentary series, Great Canal Journeys on More 4.
Timothy was born in Bradford in 1934, the son of actor Lockwood West. After seasons in repertory in Wimbledon, Newquay, Hull, Northampton, Worthing and Salisbury, he came to the Piccadilly Theatre in the farce Caught Napping in 1959.
Since then his performances on the London stage have included Gentle Jack, The Italian Girl, Abelard and Heloise, The Homecoming, Beecham, Master Class, When we are Married, The Sneeze, It’s Ralph, Twelve Angry Men and The Birthday Party, The Old Country and The Collection. Most recently he starred in A Number at the Menier Chocolate Factory, which subsequently transferred to South Africa.
Other performances include Long Day’s Journey into Night, King Lear and Luther all for the National Theatre, and Laughter (The Royal Court); Falstaff in both parts of Henry IV (English Touring Theatre); Solness in Ibsen’s The Master Builder and King Lear on tour and in London; Caryl Churchill’s A Number (Sheffield Crucible); The Winslow Boy (Rose Theatre, Kingston, and UK Tour) and Quartet (UK Tour). In 2012 he played Professor Serebryakov in Uncle Vanya at Chichester Festival Theatre and Romka in The Handyman UK tour. He recently starred as Lear in the Bristol Old Vic production of King Lear.
Television includes Edward VII, Churchill and the Generals, Brass, The Monocled Mutineer, The Good Doctor Bodkin Adams, What the Butler Saw, The Contractor, Blore, M.P., Beecham, Framed, Eleven Men Against Eleven, Murder in Mind, Bedtime, Bleak House, A Room with a View, Going Postal, Lewis, Exile, Titanic, Coronation Street and Last Tango in Halifax (series 2).
Recent films: Ever After, Joan of Arc, Villa des Roses, Iris, The Fourth Angel, Beyond Borders and Endgame.
Work as Director has included HMS Pinafore for Carl Rosa Opera.
He has taken part in over 500 radio broadcasts, and recorded many Talking Books. His autobiographies, A Moment Towards the End of the Play, and So You Want to be an Actor (co-written with his wife Prunella Scales), are published by Nick Hern Books.
He was made CBE in 1984, and is currently President of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, and of the Society for Theatre Research.