Scofield, Paul

Scofield, Paul,

1922–2008, English actor, b. Hurstpierpoint, Sussex. Scofield joined the Birmingham Repertory Theatre in 1945, and had his first major success in King John. At the Stratford Memorial Theatre he won wide acclaim for his Hamlet and King Lear. His portrayal of Sir Thomas More in the stage (1960–62) and film (1966) versions of A Man for All Seasons gained him international renown along with a Tony and an Academy Award. He also appeared in such other stage productions as Uncle Vanya (1970), Volpone (1977), Amadeus (1979, 1982), Othello (1980), Heartbreak House (1992), and John Gabriel Borkman (1996). Noted for his strong, sculptured face and unusual rumbling voice, Scofield made several films, including The Train (1964), King Lear (1971), A Delicate Balance (1973), Henry V (1989), Quiz Show (1994), and The Crucible (1996).


See biography by G. O'Connor (2002).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Scofield, Paul


Born Jan. 21, 1922, in Hurstpierpoint, Sussex. English actor.

Scofield trained in the drama schools of the Croydon Repertory Theatre (1939) and the London Mask Theatre (1940–41). He later performed with the Traveling Repertory Theatre (1942–44) and with the Birmingham Repertory Theatre (1944–46), where he first collaborated with the director P. Brook. From 1946 to 1948 he worked at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford-on-Avon. Beginning in 1949 he acted at various theaters in London.

Scofield’s roles include the priest in The Power and the Glory, after the novel by G. Greene, Thomas More in Bolt’s A Man for All Seasons, and the title roles in Shakespeare’s King Lear, Macbeth, and Hamlet, his best role. His roles in the Russian repertoire include Treplev and Voinitskii in Chekhov’s The Sea Gull and Uncle Vanya and Khlestakov in Gogol’s The Inspector-General. Scofield has toured the USSR in the roles of Hamlet (1955), Lear (1964), and Macbeth (1968). A film actor since 1954, he won the award for best actor at the Fourth International Film Festival in Moscow for his performance in A Man for All Seasons. Scofield’s interpretations of his roles are often noted for their moral justness and love for humanity.


Kovalev, Iu. V. PolSkofild. Leningrad, 1970.
Trewin, J. C. Paul Scofield. London [1956].


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.