Salt and Pepper
Place of Death
Cause of Death
Claim to Fame
Blow Up; Gangs of New York
Guildford, Surrey, England
Profile Bio Text
David Hemmings (18 November 1941 – 3 December 2003) was an English film actor and director, whose most famous role was the photographer in Blowup. In his later acting career, he was known for his distinctive eyebrows and gravelly voice. Hemmings then moved on to acting and directing in the cinema. He made his first film appearance in The Rainbow Jacket (1954), but it was in the mid-sixties that he first became well known as a pin-up and film star. Antonioni, who detested the "Method" way of acting, sought to find a fresh young face for the lead in his next production, Blowup. It was then that he found Hemmings, at the time acting in small stage theatre in London. Following Blowup, Hemmings appeared in a string of major British films, including Camelot (1967), The Charge of the Light Brigade (1968) and Alfred the Great (1969) (in which he played the title role). His short stature, sleepy eyes and undershot jaw made him an unconventional leading man, but unconventional was right for the times, and he became one of the princes of the `swinging London` scene. In keeping with his standing as a 1960s icon, he also appeared in Barbarella (1968). Around 1967, Hemmings was also briefly considered for the role of Alex in a planned film version of Anthony Burgess` controversial novel A Clockwork Orange which was to be based on a screen treatment by satirist Terry Southern and British photographer Michael Cooper. Cooper and The Rolling Stones were reportedly upset by the move and it was decided to return to the original plan in which Mick Jagger would play Alex, with the rest of The Rolling Stones as his droog gang, but the production was shelved after Britain`s chief censor, the Lord Chamberlain, indicated that he would not permit it to be made. An (Italian) cult movie in which Hemmings appeared was the 1975 thriller Profondo Rosso (also known as Deep Red or The Hatchet Murders) directed by Dario Argento.
Hemmings played a vindictive cop in the 1980 movie Beyond Reasonable Doubt about Arthur Allan Thomas, a New Zealand farmer jailed for the murder of Harvey and Jeanette Crewe but later pardoned. In 1992, he directed Dark Horse and as an actor returned to the voyeuristic preoccupations of his Blowup character with a plum part as the Big Brother-esque villain in the season three opener for Tales From the Crypt. In later years, he had roles in the blockbuster movie Gladiator (2000), playing Cassius, with Russell Crowe, Last Orders and "Spy Game", directed by Tony Scott (2001). In 2002 he played Mr. Schemerhorn in Gangs of New York. One of his final film appearances was a cameo role in the cult hit, Equilibrium (2002), shortly before his death.
Hemmings married four times, the most famous of his wives being the Fort Worth, Texas-born actress and long-term British resident, Gayle Hunnicutt, mother of his son, Nolan Hemmings. In December 2003, Hemmings died of a heart attack, in Romania, on the film set of Blessed, (working title Samantha`s Child) after playing his scenes for the day. He was 62. His funeral was held in Calne, Wiltshire, where he had made his home for several years.
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Full Name at Birth
David Leslie Edward Hemmings
Actor/Actress, Director, Producer
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David Edward Leslie Hemmings (18 November 1941 – 3 December 2003) was an English film, theatre and television actor as well as a film and television director and producer. He and his manager created the Hemdale Film Corporation in 1967.
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Music Profile Complete
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