Nicholas Amer


29 Sep 1923


Birkenhead, Cheshire, England, UK


Nicholas Amer was born Thomas Harold Amer in Birkenhead, Merseyside, England. At the age of 18, he enlisted in the Royal Navy and served as a wireless officer for four years during World War II. He saw plenty of action, serving mainly on Motor Torpedo Boats, at first in North Africa. He was wounded in action during the Allied Invasion of Sicily in 1943.

Following demobilisation in 1945 he became an actor, studying at the Webber-Douglas Academy Drama School from 1946 to 1948 and winning, in his final year, their Best Actor Award, presented to him by Sir Donald Wolfit.

Thereafter he determined to devote himself, as much as possible, to the plays of William Shakespeare, and has succeeded in this so well that he can now claim to have performed with various companies (The Old Vic Company, Oxford Playhouse Company etc.) all around the world, in nearly 40 countries, and winning The Best Foreign Actors Award in Argentina.

Amer's big break came in 1953 when John Gielgud asked him to play 'Green' in his production of Richard II, starring 'Paul Scofield'. After the London run he made his first overseas tour by going with Sir John and the Company to Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). His most recent tour overseas was to the USA with the Old Vic Company in 1996, playing Duncan in Macbeth. In between he played many of Shakespeare's juveniles, including Romeo, Laertes (three times), Ferdinand in The Tempest (twice) and finally, in 1958, Hamlet at the Wimbledon Theatre. Other West End appearances include The Wolf with Judi Dench and Leo McKern, Captain Brassbound's Conversion with Penelope Keith, and A Man for All Seasons with Charlton Heston.

In 1960, with The Oxford Playhouse Company, he toured India, Pakistan and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) playing Andrew Aguecheek in Twelfth Night. Three years later, in 1963, he formed, along with fellow actors Harold Lang and Greville Hallam, their own company, Voyage Theatre. They produced the play Macbeth in Camera, which they wrote themselves to demonstrate the various techniques that actors use to bring Shakespeare's printed words to life. This they offered to the British Council who liked it so much that they sent them, eventually, on three long world tours.

Nicholas Amer's TV career began in the early days of television with the first medical soap, Emergency-Ward 10 (1957). Among many appearances since then are Messalina's lover Mnester in I, Claudius (1976), The Aedile in The Tragedy of Coriolanus (1984) (part of the BBC's complete TV cycle) and Fortunes of War (1987) with Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thomson. In 2011 he appeared in an episode of Borgia (2011), filmed in Prague, playing the rich and evil Prospero Santacroce on his death bed trying desperately to persuade Cesare Borgia to grant him absolution, so that, free of his wicked life, he might enter Paradise.

The following year he travelled to Thailand to play the role of returning veteran Jack Jennings in Heroes Return (2012), a TV short directed by John Hillcoat that was part of Camelot UK's campaign to provide Lottery funding to help World War II veterans take part in commemorative visits to mark the anniversary of events that led to the end of the war.

His first film role was a servant in The Mudlark (1950) (uncredited) with Irene Dunne and Alec Guinness. Other films include The Message (1976) with Anthony Quinn, The Prince and the Pauper (1976) with Rex Harrison, Nelson's Touch (1979), in which he played the great Admiral himself, Peter Greenaway's The Draughtsman's Contract (1982), The Whipping Boy (1994) for Disney studios, a remake of A Man for All Seasons (1988) with Charlton Heston and Vanessa Redgrave, Treasure Island (1990), in which he played Ben Gunn, also with Charlton Heston, and, in 2011, The Awakening (2011) with Rebecca Hall and Terence Davies's The Deep Blue Sea (2011).

Nicholas Amer has been a teacher at many of the London drama schools, including the Central School in Swiss Cottage, the Webber-Douglas School in South Kensington and also the Rose Bruford School and Drama Centre. In Australia, the Drama Academy N.I.D.A. in Sydney asked him to give classes to their students, and in Egypt too he was asked to do the same. While filming The Message (1976) in Libya, he was delighted when a fellow actor, appearing in a leading part in the Arabic version of the film, surprised him by reminding him that he been taught by Nicholas in Cairo.

Actor ( 50 credits )

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (2016) Oggy
ABCs of Death 2 (2014) Grandfather
Heroes Return (2012) Jack Jennings
The Awakening (2011) Edgar Hirsthwit
The Deep Blue Sea (2011) Mr. Elton (as Nicolas Amer)
Lost Hearts (2011) Mr. Abney (as Nicolas Amer)
Borgia (2011)  Prospero Santacroce (1 episode, 2011)
Waiting for Gorgo (2009) Mr Archibald (as Nicolas Amer)
Benjamin's Struggle (2005) Mr. Heinrichson (as Nicolas Amer)
My Dad's the Prime Minister (2003)  Old Bloke 2 (1 episode, 2003)
tlc (2002)  Patient in Corridor (1 episode, 2002)
Midsomer Murders (1997)  Arthur Leggott (1 episode, 2005)
Jonathan Creek (1997)  Bill (1 episode, 1999)
Streets Apart (1988)  Harold Pinner (1 episode, 1989)
ChuckleVision (1987)  Mr. Naza (1 episode, 2004)
Bust (1987)  Philippe (1 episode, 1987)
Artist's and Models (1986) (1 episode, 1986)
Love and Marriage (1984)  Guido (1 episode, 1986)
Jemima Shore Investigates (1983)  Carlo (1 episode, 1983)
The Draughtsman's Contract (1982) Mr Parkes (as Nicolas Amer)
Whoops Apocalypse (1982)  French Agent (1 episode, 1982)
Pig in the Middle (1980)  Second Waiter (2 episodes, 1981-1983)
The Greeks: A Journey in Space and Time (1980)  Second Chorus (1 episode, 1980)
Lady Oscar (1979) M. De Chantilly, the pistol duelist
The Bitch (1979) Restaurant Maître D' (uncredited)
Nelson's Touch (1979) Lord Nelson
The Professionals (1977)  Khadi (1 episode, 1979)
The Message (1976) Suheil (as Nicolas Amer)
The Message (1976) Suheil (as Nicolas Amer)
I, Claudius (1976)  Mnester (1 episode, 1976)
Rogue's Rock (1974)  Uncle Achmed (3 episodes, 1976)
Henry VIII and His Six Wives (1972) Chapuys
Disciple of Death (1972) Melchisidech, the Cabalist (as Nick Amer)
Crime of Passion (1970)  Victor Suse (1 episode, 1972)
The Root of All Evil? (1968)  Partner (1 episode, 1969)
For Whom the Bell Tolls (1965)  Corporal (1 episode, 1965)
Thirty-Minute Theatre (1965)  Universo Sanchez (1 episode, 1970)
Parbottle Speaking (1962)  Dr. Leighton
The Avengers (1961)  Luis Alvarez (1 episode, 1961)
The Pursuers (1961)  Pinky (1 episode, 1961)
Hamlet (1961)  Rosencrantz (3 episodes, 1961)
The Return of the Old Pull 'n Push (1961)  Signor Perelli (1 episode, 1961)
Armchair Mystery Theatre (1960)  Customer (1 episode, 1960)
The Old Pull 'n Push (1960)  Signor Perelli (2 episodes, 1960)
The Roving Reasons (1960) (1 episode, 1960)
BBC Sunday-Night Play (1960)  Lieut Cristenek (1 episode, 1962)
Nom-de-Plume (1956)  Aurelien de Seze / ... (3 episodes, 1956)
ITV Play of the Week (1955)  Miguel (1 episode, 1957)
The Mudlark (1950) Servant (uncredited)
BBC Sunday-Night Theatre (1950)  Sebastian (1 episode, 1957)