Alan Howard was born in 1937 into a theatrical dynasty. His mother’s
family had been acting for five generations begun by his great-great
grandfather Henry MacKenzie who defected from the family tradition of
Scottish Ministry to escape to London and become Henry Compton playing,
amongst many other roles, the gravedigger to Irving’s Hamlet. Others in the clan have included Compton MacKenzie and Leslie Howard.
career began, as family tradition demanded as an Assistant Stage
Manager sweeping the stage at The Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, but
fairly swiftly rose to a prominence in the English theatre enjoyed by
very few actors.
Amongst his many film roles have been Cromwell in The Return of the Musketeers (1989), Michael in The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover (1989), Tom French in The Secret Rapture (1993) and the voice of the ring in the recent Lord of the Rings Trilogy.