Patrick Magee

Patrick Magee

60 (passed away Aug. 14th, 1982)
Mar. 31st, 1922
Born in
Armagh, Northern Ireland, UK

Patrick Magee's Main TV Roles

Show Character(s)
Play for Today (UK) TV Show
Play for Today (UK)
Who Pays the Ferryman? (UK) TV Show
Who Pays the Ferryman? (UK)

Main Movie Roles

Guest TV Roles

[none found]


Patrick Magee (31 March 1922 – 14 August 1982) was a Northern Irish actor best known for his collaborations with Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter, as well as his appearances in horror films and in Stanley Kubrick's films A Clockwork Orange and Barry Lyndon.
Early life He was born Patrick McGee in Armagh, County Armagh, Northern Ireland. He was educated at the Roman Catholic St. Patrick's College in Armagh.
Stage career McGee changed his name to Magee for the stage. His first stage experience in Ireland was with Anew McMaster's touring company, performing the works of Shakespeare. It was here that he first worked with Pinter.
He was then brought to London by Tyrone Guthrie for a series of Irish plays. In 1957 he met Beckett and recorded some of his prose for BBC radio. Beckett was so excited with his voice that he wrote Krapp's Last Tape especially for him (it was recorded by the BBC in 1972). Beckett's biographer Anthony Cronin wrote that "there was a sense in which, as an actor, he had been waiting for Beckett as Beckett had been waiting for him."
In 1964, he joined the Royal Shakespeare Company, after Pinter, directing his own play The Birthday Party, specifically requested him for the role of McCann, and stated he was the strongest in the cast. In 1965 he appeared in Marat/Sade, and when the play transferred to Broadway it won him a Tony Award. He also appeared in the 1966 RSC production of Staircase opposite Paul Scofield. Mephistopheles in Dr Faustus at the Fortune and in Glenda Jackson's company at the Old Vic in 'The White Devil'.
Film career Early film roles for the 5`8" 175-pound Magee included Joseph Losey's The Criminal (1960) and The Servant (1963), the latter an adaptation scripted by Pinter. He also appeared as Surgeon-Major Reynolds in Zulu (1964), Séance on a Wet Afternoon (1964), Anzio (1968), and the film versions of Marat/Sade (1967) and The Birthday Party (1968). But he is perhaps best known for his role as the victimised writer Frank Alexander, who tortures Alex DeLarge with Beethoven's music, in Stanley Kubrick's film A Clockwork Orange (1971).

Personal life Magee married Belle Sherry, also a native of County Armagh; they had two children, twins Mark and Caroline (born February 1961, London).
Death Magee died of a heart attack on 14 August 1982, aged 60.

  • Appeared in many TV, radio and stage productions of the works of Samuel Beckett.
  • When beginning his stage career, Patrick McGee chose to alter his surname to Magee. It's unclear why he chose to do this, although there have been reports that there was another actor named Patrick McGee, and that Magee wanted to avoid confusion.
  • He and his wife Belle (who, like Magee, was also from Armagh, Northern Island), had twins in London in February 1961. Their son was named Mark and their daughter Caroline.
  • Magee had a reputation as a heavy drinker, which may have caused his premature death from a heart attack at 60.
  • Attended St. Patrick's Roman Catholic College in County Armagh, Northern Ireland.
  • Won Broadway's 1966 Tony Award as Best Supporting or Featured Actor (Dramatic) for playing the Marquis de Sade in 'Peter Weiss (I)' (qv)' "Marat/Sade," a performance recreated in the film version of the same title, _Marat/Sade (1967)_ (qv).

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