10 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘Alan Howard’

Alan Howard is a name that resonates powerfully in the acting industry. He was an epitome of talent and art, gracing the stage with indelible performances. This post lifts the curtain on ten facts about Alan Howard you might not be familiar with. Expand your knowledge about this theatrical icon as we venture beneath the glare of the spotlights and into the life of a legend.

1. Alan Howard – A Royal Shakespeare Company Stalwart

Alan Howard’s name is synonymous with The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC). A defining feature of his career was his extended connection with the theatre company. Here, he played an extensive repertoire of roles, gliding seemingly effortlessly from tragedy to comedy.

His ability to recount the plethoric tragedies and triumphs of the human condition with a captivating truthfulness was something truly remarkable. His masterful interpretation of numerous much-loved and iconic characters embedded him within theatre folk-lore.

2. The Howard Family – A Legacy of Acting

Alan didn’t step into acting out of happenstance. He is a member of the reputable Howard family, a well-established acting dynasty in the UK. Howard followed a legacy that he bore with pride and perpetuated with profound skill in a career that spanned over four decades.

His grand-uncle, Leslie Howard, was a celebrated actor and his father, Arthur Howard, and uncle, Trevor Howard, were also accomplished performers. The stage was in his blood and his contribution to this rich heritage remains timelessly poignant.

3. Alan Howard’s Voice – A Symphony of tones

A fundamental aspect of Alan Howard’s masterfulness lied in his voice. His vocal delivery was as incomparable as it was memorable. Alan was hailed for his irreplaceable voice that tantalized the auditory senses with it’s resonance and range.

From its silk-like smoothness to guttural roars, Alan’s voice was an instrument, echoing the many facets of the human existence. It was a symphony of tones that left an indelible mark on his audience´s hearts and minds.

4. An Award-Winning Actor

Alan’s talent and dedication did not go unnoticed or unrewarded. He was a multi-award-winning actor. His riveting performances earned him accolades such as the Laurence Olivier Theatre Award, the Society of London Theatre Special Award, and the Moscow Art Theatre Golden Seagull.

These awards are testament to the remarkable body of work he produced as well as his captivating on-stage presence. They also provide evidence of the enduring legacy that he has left in world theatre.

5. His Role in ‘The Lord of the Rings’

Movie fans may not be aware of this, but Alan Howard’s voice plays the iconic, ‘One ring to rule them all’ in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. Although not seen on screen, his voice gave life to the malevolent One Ring.

His vocal expertise was utilised once again in ‘The Hobbit’ film series. Alan Howard’s menacing tone hauntingly captured the dreadfulness of the ring, creating an atmospheric backdrop that was both captivating and chilling.

6. Alan Howard’s Stage Debut

‘French without Tears’ by Terence Rattigan marked Alan Howard’s stage debut. This debut took place at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry in 1958. His climbing journey from here, onto stages of global acclaim, unveiled depth and versatility of craft.

From Sir Peter Hall’s Wars of The Roses to his role in Henry VIII, Howard consistently delivered mesmerising performances, lending spectral depth to his characters and creating a huge impact on his audience’s imagination.

7. Alan Howards’s Wife – Another Jewel in the Theatre Crown

Alan Howard’s wife, Sally Beauman, was a renowned novelist, journalist, and theatre critic. They fell in love while she was researching for a book on The Royal Shakespeare Company. Their shared artistry fostered a bond that was a testament to their shared passion for the performing arts.

Together they collaborated and made significant contributions to the world of theatre and literature. Beauman´s support and insights were imperative in the growth and success of Howard’s acting career.

8. Classical Theatre Lover

Despite the increasing popularity of television and film during his career, Alan Howard preferred the stage. He had an abiding love for classical theatre, relishing the layers of interpretation and the intimate audience connection made possible through this visceral medium.

The plays of Shakespeare and Tolstoy were particular favourites. Howard held, throughout his career, a true devotion to the classical tradition of stage acting, which he embodied through his performances time and again.

9. A Private Man

Despite the applause and acclaim he was showered with, Alan Howard was profoundly private. He adroitly avoided the trappings of fame and sheltered his personal life from the glare of the public eye. He was a man who believed the stage was his platform for self-expression and left his personal life distanced.

This deeply grounded sense of self fed into the depth of character that he laid bare on the stage. It also meant that despite his fame, there remained a tantalising enigma about him.

10. Honored for his Contribution

Alan Howard was recognized for his extraordinary contributions to theatre arts. In 1998, he was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Kent, one of the leading academic institutions in the UK.

This recognition paid tribute to a life devoted to the sanctity of the stage and the pursuit of dramatic excellence. It remains a fitting homage to a man whose artistic legacy will continue to reverberate within the realm of theatre arts.

In conclusion, the acting world will forever remember the extraordinary talent that Alan Howard possessed. His riveting performances, unmatched vocal abilties, and the life he led richly embellished the world of drama and theatre.

Hyperlinks to references:

Guardian Obituary
Royal Shakespeare Company Tribute
Alan Howard Archive