Robert Stephens

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12 November 1931 Bristol, England, UK
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Sir Robert Stephens, knighted in 1995, was a leading actor in the formative years of Britain's National Theater and won fresh acclaim as a major Shakespearean performer late in his career. His career fell into two distinct parts. In the 1960's, he was regarded as the heir of Sir Laurence Olivier. After his departure from the company in 1970, he suffered a slump that was made worse by heavy drinking. Not until the 1990's, when the Royal Shakespeare Company invited him first to play Falstaff in "Henry IV" and then the title role in "King Lear" did he re-establish himself at the forefront of his profession. 'Maggie Smith' was his third wife, the couple having performed together since at least 1965.