Clive Revill


Personal Info

  • Birth Name: Clive Selsby Revill
  • Height: 5' 7" (1.7 m)


A grand, well-respected actor of stage, film and television, most people think New Zealander Clive Revill is British. Although most people think of the curly, red-haired gent as a comic eccentric best known for his sterling work on the musical stage, he has been highly regarded for his formidable dramatic work in Shakespearean roles. A man of many skills, Clive Selsby Revill was born on April 18, 1930, in Wellington, New Zealand, and educated at Rongotai College and Victoria University (Wellington). Once trained for a career as an accountant, he abruptly switched gears and made his stage debut in Auckland, New Zealand playing Sebastian in “Twelfth Night” in 1950. He then moved to England to study with the Old Vic School in London. While there he appeared at Stratford-on-Avon in mid-1950s presentations of “Hamlet”, “Love’s Labour’s Lost”, “The Merchant of Venice”, “Julius Caesar” and “The Tempest”, among others. Having made his Broadway debut back in 1952 with “Mr. Pickwick”, he took a juicy chunk out of the Big Apple upon returning to New York in the 1960s with his critically lauded, Tony Award-nominated work in “Irma La Douce” and as “Fagin” in “Oliver!” He has delighted audiences for years with his larger-than-life musical roles, particularly in the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas “The Mikado” and “The Pirates of Penzance”. Other have included “Sherry”, “Lolita” and “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” — replacing the late George Rose in the last mentioned after the actor’s untimely death in 1988. Most adept at ethnic roles (he has played everything from Chinese to Russian), he has become legendary for his acute sense of comic timing and uncanny use of body language. Revill has reveled over the years playing delightfully pompous, hissable gents to the hilt. Making an inauspicious debut in an unbilled role in 1956, his more pronounced movie work includes Kaleidoscope (1966), The Assassination Bureau (1969), The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970), Avanti! (1972), for which he received a Golden Globe nomination, The Legend of Hell House (1973), Mack the Knife (1989) and Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993). Twice divorced, Revill has one daughter, Kate Selsby (aka Kate Selsby Revill), by his second marriage to Suzi Schor-Revill, and makes his home in Los Angeles.