The Clive Francis Files

A tribute to Clive Francis

The Biography File

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Clive Francis was born in Eastbourne, Sussex on June 26, 1946, and trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and thereafter at a number of provincial repertory theatres companies including Worthing, Eastbourne, Derby and Leicester.

Raymond Francis (L) in No Hiding Place
His father, Raymond Francis, was one of England’s most famous detectives during the 50s and 60s when he appeared as Inspector Lockhart in the long running television series, No Hiding Place.

His mother Margaret, well into her 80s, is still performing. She appeared in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. Billed as Margaret Towner, she played Jira.

Margaret Towner as Jira.


Donald Sinden, Clive and Belinda Farrell, There's A Girl in My Soup
Clive first engagement on the London stage was in 1966 at the Globe Theatre in There’s a Girl in my Soup. He has since appeared in over 20 West End productions including: The Servant of Two Masters, The Mating Game, Bloomsbury, The Returned of A.J.Raffles, Dangerous Corner, The Rear Column, The School of Scandal, The Importance of Being Earnest, Benefactors, What the Butler Saw, Single Spies, An Absolute Turkey, Gross Indecency, and most recently, Entertaining Mr Sloane, at the Arts Theatre.

Clive has appeared in a number of productions at Chichester including: An Ideal Husband, The Circle, and Look After Lulu, the last two transferring to the Theatre Royal, Haymarket.

In 1987 Clive Francis joined the Royal National company, appearing in ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore and A Small Family Business (for which he won the Clarence Derwent award) Recent stage work includes two seasons for the R.S.C: Three Hours after Marriage, Troilus and Cressida, A Christmas Carol, and a seven-month tour of the UK, Israel and the States in the The Shakespeare Revue. Recently he toured as Aunt Augusta in Graham Greene’s Travels With My Aunt, (nominated Best Actor in the Manchester Evening News Drama Awards.)

For a chronological listing of his theater credits, see the Theatre Files on Francis.

His numerous television appearances include: David Copperfield, Entertaining My Sloane, Poldark, The Critic, The Far Pavilions, Yes, Prime Minster, Oedipus at Colonus, The Rear Column, Quartermaine’s Terms, The Piglet Files, Lipstick on Your Collar, The 10%ers, Longitude etc.

For a chronological listing of his television credits see the Television Files on Francis.

Clive Francis is also a caricaturist and book illustrator and has designed the covers for a number of theatrical autobiographies including those for John Gielgud and Alec Guinness. His first book of theatrical portraiture, Laugh Lines, was published in 1989. This was followed by his tribute to honour Gielgud’s 90th birthday, Sir John: The Many Faces of Gielgud. Two years ago saw the publication of There’s Nothing Like a Dane! (the lighter side of Hamlet)followed last year by There’s Nothing Like a Thane! Clive has had three exhibitions at the Royal National Theatre and is currently (2006) on show at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Association’s art gallery and the foyers of the Gielgud Theatres. (They used to hang in the foyer of the Vaudeville, as well.)

For a chronological listing of his artwork and book collections, see the Caricatures Files on Francis.

Clive began adapting for the stage in 2000 when he created a one-man show of A Christmas Carol. (Once a year he blows the snow off it and tours around it the country.) This marked the first time he worked with Tim Bird, who created the rear projection design for the show.

In 2002, Clive was commissioned, along with Paul Minett and Brian Leveson, to adapt the old Ealing film comedy, The Lavender Hill Mob, for the stage. Clive not only performed the Alec Guinness role, Henry Holland, but directed the play as well. Again Tim Bird designed an ingenious set.

In 2004 Clive was commissioned by the Nottingham Playhouse to adapt The Hound of the Baskervilles, a co-production with Salisbury, in which he worked again with Tim Bird, who created the projection design.

In 2006, theatre producer Ian Fricker presented Clive's adaptation of Three Men in a Boat, followed by a new production of The Hound of the Baskervilles, both of which toured successfully during 2007 and 2008. Clive is also preparing to stage his new adaptation of Our Man in Havana during the Spring of 2009.

Clive and his son Harry, in New York, 2006
At present (2006) his adaptation of Three Men in a Boat is touring the UK and early in 2007 his version of The Hound of the Baskervilles will go into production, followed by Our Man in Havana.

Clive is married to the actress Natalie Ogle and they have two children, Harry (who has appeared in The King & I and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium) and Lucinda. They live near Hampton Court, west London.

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