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Stephen Greif

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Date of Birth:
26 August 1944 Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire, England, UK
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British character actor Stephen Greif was born 26th of August 1944 in a nursing home in Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire, a residence originally given to Anne Boleyn by Henry VIII.Stephen's parents originated from Budapest and Lithuania, his father Francis having been born in Barnebitten Gasse, Vienna whilst his mother Pauline was born in Beaumont Square, London. Pauline's's father had been a bespoke tailor whilst her mother was a Russian factory worker, and she herself later worked in Prashkes Fashion House in the East End as a Fashion model.Stephen Greif attended Hordle House Preparatory School for two years, but when his father's partnership was defrauded and the family endured severe financial hardship, he and his younger brother Peter were enrolled at St James Norland Primary School. Stephen then went on to Sloanne Grammar School in Chelsea. He excelled in sport, becoming the school's athletics and swimming champion, breaking numerous records and representing the school and the county in various championships - at the famous White City Stadium amongst others.Greif had played Captain Hook at primary school, and his love of acting was rekindled during a brief spell at Regent Polytechnic. After brief times working for an electronics manufacturer (where he nearly electrocuted himself) and a junior negotiator in a West End Estate Agency, he finally elected to become an actor.Having also been offered a place at LAMDA, Stephen chose to attend RADA where he won an Honours Diploma, as well as receiving 5 other awards including the Prestigious Kendal Award judged and presented by Sir John Gielgud.Stephen has appeared in many seasons with the National Theatre in both of Sir Laurence Olivier's companies at the Old Vic and in the West End. Whilst performing in 'Saturday, Sunday, Monday', directed by Franco Zeffirelli and Olivier, he won a best actor nomination from the Critics Circle. He won a Laurence Olivier Award nomination for his performance in 'Death of a Salesman' for Peter Hall's company also at The National Theatre.Further to these notable engagements, Stephen was contracted for a year for Nicholas Hytner's inaugural season at the National Theatre, where he played productions such as 'His Girl Friday' directed by the multi award winning Broadway veteran Jack O'Brien, 'Edmond' directed by Edward Hall, and starring Kenneth Branagh, and 'His Dark Materials', the 2 part Christmas Show directed by Nicholas Hytner. He most recently appeared in the West End in 'Epitaph for George Dillon' with Joseph Fiennes, directed by Peter Gill and in Bill Kenwright's smash hit 'Fallen Angels' working with Felicity Kendal and Frances de la Tour.Stephen has played opposite such luminaries as Elaine Stritch, Denholm Elliot, Joan Plowright, Anthony Hopkins, Frank Langella, Ian Mackellan and Albert Finney.Aside from a continuing presence in the theatre, Stephen has also garnered a long list of television and film work. Early television roles included parts in 'Edward II' and Richard 11, 'The Persuaders', 'Thriller', 'The New Avengers' Killers, Armchair Thriller, Dirty Money (with Ian Macshane) and Lives and loves of a She-Devil.Stephen was cast in his most recognizable role - the villainous Travis in the BBC science fiction series 'Blake's 7'. The character would appear throughout the first series. He also took notable roles in 'Dick Turpin', 'Return of the Saint' and 3 series of 'Citizen Smith'. With Robert LindsayStephen has continued to build up a remarkable number of television appearances to the present, acting in productions such as Mistresses, 'Spooks', 'Space Race', 'Holby City', Midnight Movie (Denis Potter), 'EastEnders' and 'The Bill'.Recent film roles include Boogie Woogie (2009), Shoot on Sight (2008), "Eichmann" (2008),Back in Business (2007), Sixty Six (2006), Casanova (2006), The Upside of Anger (2005), Fakers (2004) and Spartan (2004).Stephen has narrated countless talking books including The Match King, He Kills Coppers, Seeking Robinson Crusoe, The Boy with the Magic Numbers (for which he won the prestigious Earphones Award from BBC Audiobooks America), The Pianist, The Darkness of Wallis Simpson, and His Dark Materials. His radio work includes, Tinker tailor soldier spy, "Peter Lorre V Peter Lorre" (playing Lorre), "The Grand Hotel Babylon", "The Babbington Plot", The Devil was here Yesterday, The Iceman, Witness, Take-away, Down and Out in London and Paris, Captain Corelli's Mandolin, and Hooligan Nights. He has also voiced hundreds of Radio and Television commercials as well as thousands of cinema and television promos and trailers, corporate presentations, Narratives and scores of voices for numerous computer games. He invented "VoiceQuality", a system for describing voices and being utilised by the famous actors' directory "The Spotlight".Stephen is a keen golfer and Movie buff.
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