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Submitted by: Tipu
Whatever became of ... Marius Goring
From: Whatever became of ...
All new, tenth series
By: Richard Lamparski, 1986
The English character actor was born on the Isle of Wight. His birth date is May 23, 1912. Marius is the son of Charles Goring, the doctor & statistician who in his 1913 book, The English Convict, dispelled the widely held belief that there was a 'criminal type'. His work within English prisons had been dramatized in the late sixties on BBC-TV in the series The Expert, which starred his son. Marius was six years old when his father died.
Years before Marius Goring became known to U.S. moviegoers for such roles as the composer in The Red Shoes (1948) and the sensitive German General in So Little Time (1953), he played romantic leads in west End plays. Emlyn Williams seriously considered him for the role of the young miner in the original production of The Corn Is Green
Before he was old enough to go to School Mrs. Goring introduced her son to the theatre. She was a professional pianist and never discouraged the boy when he claimed he wanted to be an actor. "But," adds Goring, "she was adamant that I get a decent education, first that only strengthened my resolve, because I never seriously considered another profession for an instant" After being paid his first salary, $1 a week, for appearing in a play at Christmastime, he considered himself professional. He was then fifteen years old.
While at Cambridge Goring acted in plays, as he did while studying at two German universities and at the Sorbonne. He returned to England as an apprentice at the Old Vic. When the actor scheduled to play "Macbeth" broke his ankle and the understudy, who was Alastair Sim, lost his voice, Marius acted the leading role for three performances at age twenty.
He was seen in Rembrandt (1936), The Spy in Black (1939), and Pastor Hall (1940) with Nova Pilbeam before making his reputation with English movie audiences in The Case of the Frightened Lady (1940), which had been a hit for him on stage.
Despite the success he had achieved at a relatively early age and the high expectations his colleagues had for him, Marius Goring was devastated when impresario Binky Beaumont replaced him during tryouts of a play that starred Diana Wynyard. "I got the sack while we were playing in Manchester," he remembers. "I came very close to jumping out of my hotel window. When I got back to London Larry Olivier asked if I'd like to take over for him in a part he was tiring of. Like an idiot, I refused, thinking my career was over. To a serious young actor, one's career is one's life."
His proficiency in "high German" was put to good use as a member of British Intelligence playing Adolf Hitler on a popular radio series heard throughout the British Isles.
Even after the international acclaim he received for his work in the picture The Red Shoes (1948), Goring has continued to consider himself essentially a stage actor. The exceptionally versatile actor has since then appeared in Take My Life (1947) with Greta Gynt, Mr. Perrin and Mr. Traill (1948) with David Farrar, Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (1951), The Magic Box (1951), The Barefoot Contessa (1954), Son of Robin Hood (1958) with Jack Lambert, The Treasure of San Teresa (1959) with Dawn Addams, Exodus (1960), First Love (1970), Holocaust (1977), and La Petite Fille en Velours Bleu (1978).
In 1941 he married Lucie Mannheim, the German-born actress who was seen in The Thirty-Nine Steps (1935), So Little Time (1953), and Bunny Lake Is Missing (1965). Marius considers their appearances on stage together, playing in both English and German, to be the high points of his career. She died in 1976.
Marius Goring was for a time a vice-president of British Equity and is still one of the union's trustees. He is also a member of London's venerable Garrick Club where this photograph was taken by the authot (Richard Lamparski)
Goring met his present wife, producer Prudence FitzGerald, when she chose him from his photo in a casting directory for a part on a television show. They share a seventeenth-century house in London's Hampton Court that looks out onto a royal park.
He is seen frequently on British television and works almost constantly on the stage in England. The Winslow Boy, starring Marius Goring, was very well received throughout the tour of the United Kingdom in 1984. But his recent work is almost unknown in the United States, where he never became the name that he is in the United Kingdom. He played Germans so frequently and convincingly, many American moviegoers were confused as to his nationality. Since he has made only a few Broadway appearances and has never made a picture in Hollywood, he has not had the personal publicity a foreign character actor of his standing would receive in the American press.
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