Who Will We Never See?

Thinking about Orson Welles as Falstaff got me thinking about our great Shakespearean actors.  Specifically, those who are no longer with us. 

For the moment let’s talk about film, because for what I’m about to ask only film, not stage, makes any sense.

Orson Welles was Falstaff, Macbeth, Othello, Lear, Shylock.

Sir Laurence Olivier was Orlando, Henry V, Hamlet, Lear, Richard III, Othello, Shylock.

How about Richard Burton? Not only was he Hamlet and Petruchio, he was Caliban as well.

…so, here’s my question.  What actor (or actress), who is no longer with us, makes you wish “If only he’d played ________” and now we’ll never know.

See what I’m getting at?  This is why I said film.  Because even though Olivier and Gielgud were decades before my time, I can at least go to film and get a glimpse of what they were capable of.  But if Olivier never put a Macbeth on film, well then I’ll never get to see Olivier’s Macbeth.  Dig?

Who do you wish we had?

7 thoughts on “Who Will We Never See?

  1. Anonymous says:

    the older Marlon Brando doing Falstaff

    Johan Devos, Belgium

  2. Because I'm a little weirs like that, I admit I would be extremely intrigued by seeing something of the Booth brothers (Edwin, or more intriguingly, John.) Or, if there was a full production video of Peter Brook's Midsummer. As a recent theatre student, many of us have been educated on stories from that, and it's quickly become theatre folklore. Everyone knows someone who knows someone who saw the production. It would just be extremely nice to be able to see it ourselves.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Sir Alec Guiness as Prospero.

  4. I wish someone somewhere would release some bootleg tape of Kevin Kline's Falstaff from afew years ago.

    I'm sure that Lincoln Center has one in its archives, but it's a shame this was never filmed for PBS, as the Helen Hunt Twelfth Night was.

    (As good as parts of that were, I'd trade it in a second for the Henry IV featuring Kline.

  5. Alexi! Where ya been? There used to be a really prolific commenter who hung out here named Alexi, maybe you've seen him 🙂

    Welcome back. I think Heath Ledger is on a lot of people's "I wish I'd had a chance to see him play ______" lists.

  6. Hi Duane,

    Thanks for the welcome back. I have a good excuse. I'm currently at the American Shakespeare Center's Theatre Camp, and have minimal computer access.

    In case you're curious, I'm playing Ulysses in Troilus and Cressida.

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