Brian Blessed and Stephen Calcutt
is first well-known role was that of PC 'Fancy' Smith in the BBC police drama Z Cars from 1962 to 1965. In 1966 Mr Blessed appeared in "Incident at Vichy" at the Phoenix Theatre in London. Blessed had small roles in such cult shows as The Avengers (1967, 1969) and the original Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) (1969). He portrayed Caesar Augustus in the BBC series I, Claudius, for which performance he won the New York Critics Award He portrayed the father of Robin Hood, Lord Locksley, in the 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. He has appeared in a number of Shakespearean roles on both stage and screen, including four of the five Shakespeare films directed by Kenneth Branagh: as The Duke of Exeter in Henry V (1989), Antonio in Much Ado About Nothing (1993), The Ghost of Hamlet's Father in Hamlet (1996) and the dual role of Duke Frederick and Duke Senior in As You Like It (2006).
Other roles have emphasised his comedic abilities: notably Prince Vultan in Flash Gordon (1980) - for which he is frequently remembered for the famous line "Gordon's Alive"; the mad, comic figure of Richard IV in the first series of The Black Adder (1983); and Spiro in the BBC adaptation of My Family and Other Animals (1987).He also played the role of General Yevlenko in the 1988 miniseriesWar and Remembrance. Blessed jokes he almost starred in Blackadder II (1986) as Queen Elizabeth but he wasn't available at the time of filming
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