THOMAS BAPTISTE - Barney in The Ipcress File

THOMAS BAPTISTE - Barney in The Ipcress File

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This is a 10 x 8 photo which has been hand signed by  the late Thomas Baptiste at Autographica in silver sharpie.

Thomas Baptiste (17 March 1929 – 6 December 2018) was a Guyanese-born British actor and opera singer.

Baptiste was born in British Guiana (now Guyana) as the son of a wealthy landowner. He moved to Britain in the late 1940s. His one contact was the Labour MP Tom Driberg, who helped him gain factory employment, and Baptiste enrolled at Morley College in Lambeth to study music followed by scholarships to the National School of Opera and Royal Academy of Music. Baptiste joined Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop early in its existence.

Baptiste appeared in a production of Noël Coward's Nude with Violin for two years from 1956 with John Gielgud, Patience Collier and Kathleen Harrison, first in Dublin and then the West End.[2][3] In 1960, he played Riley in the first professional production of Harold Pinter's The Room and in a production directed by Pinter himself who had wanted to cast Baptiste in the role. It became an episode of ITV's Television Playhouse broadcast in October 1961. In 1963, Baptiste played the first Black character to appear in Coronation Street, a bus conductor who was falsely sacked as a result of a racist altercation with Len Fairclough. Fable (1965) was an episode of The Wednesday Play written by John Hopkins which imagined Britain as a mirror apartheid society with Barbara Assoon playing his wife as she had done in Coronation Street.[8] Alun Owen's drama Pal (Play for Today, 1971), of which no recording survives, was the first British television play to feature a black gay character. Meanwhile on stage during the 1960s, he played Doolittle in Pygmalion and George in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. Later, he played Paul Robeson, who he admired greatly, in Are You Now or Have You Ever Been? at the Birmingham Rep in 1978, a production which transferred to Mayfair.

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