(Bruce Weber’s article appeared in The New York Times, 1/13; via Patricia N. Saffran.)

Brian Bedford, the British-born actor, reared in working-class misery, who became a stellar portrayer of the princes, kings, fops and faded aristocrats of Shakespeare, Molière and Chekhov, died on Wednesday in Santa Barbara, Calif. He was 80. The cause was cancer, said one of his agents, Richard Schmenner.

A dapper, handsome man with a comfortingly resonant speaking voice, Mr. Bedford was an understated and perhaps undersung star. He was a protégé of John Gielgud and a theater-school classmate of Alan Bates, Albert Finney and Peter O’Toole, sharing their elaborate gifts but not their celebrity, probably because he performed only occasionally in movies and on television.


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