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Nickolas Grace (born 21 November 1947) is a British actor, best known for his roles on television, most notably Anthony Blanche in the acclaimed ITV adaptation of Brideshead Revisited and the Sheriff of Nottingham in the iconic 1980s series Robin of Sherwood.

Early life

Grace was educated at Forest School,Walthamstowmarker.

Early Stage Work

Grace made his theatrical debut in weekly rep in Frinton-on-Seamarker in 1969, and appeared in Trevor Peacock's Erb later that year, which transferred to the Strand Theatremarker in Spring 1970, his first appearance in the West Endmarker. He joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1972, and in 1973 played Aumerle there in the Ian Richardson/Richard Pasco Richard II (which transferred to Broadway). He then played Hamlet for the opening of Derby Playhouse in 1975. Back at the RSC from 1976-8 he appeared as Dromio of Ephesus in Trevor Nunn's first ever musical, The Comedy of Errors (with Judi Dench, Michael Williams and Roger Rees), Hitler in Schweik and Witwoud in The Way of the World, directed by John Barton.

Following the success of Brideshead Revisited on television, Grace played Richard II at the Young Vicmarker in 1981, and Mozart in Amadeus with Frank Finlay at Her Majesty's Theatremarker in 1982. He then began working in operetta, playing Koko in The Mikado and Joseph Porter in HMS Pinafore for Sadler's Wellsmarker Opera in repertoire from 1982-1986.

Later Stage Work

Other theatre includes Jenkins' Ear by Dusty Hughes at the Royal Court in 1986, Bernstein's Candide (Old Vic/Scottish Opera/BBC) in 1988/9 and The Mystery of Irma Vep at the Leicester Haymarketmarker (1990), which transferred to the Ambassadors Theatremarker. He played Cole Porter in A Swell Party at the Vaudevillemarker in 1991/2 and appeared in Ken Russell's production of Princess Ida for ENO at the Coliseum in 1992.

Most recently he played Underling the Butler in The Drowsy Chaperone with Elaine Paige at the Novello Theatremarker, which ended its run on 4 August 2007.

Film and TV

Grace's feature film debut came in 1978 with Bruges-La-Morte directed by Ronald Chase. After this, Grace secured a part in Brideshead Revisited from 1979 to 1981, and the film Heat and Dust followed in 1983. It was around this time that Grace found fame in the role of Robert de Rainault, the Sherfiif of Nottingham, in ITV's Robin of Sherwood.

Personal Life

In the "official biography" of the actor Alan Bates, Otherwise Engaged, by Donald Spoto (published on 7 June 2007), Spoto quotes Grace describing his "intense affair" with Bates, who was "terrified of exposure": "I told him labels didn't matter, but that we must be who we are. But he just could not accept that. Alan was at ease as long as he pretended - and he insisted on pretending - that our relationship was not what it was, and was not disclosed to or evident to others."

Recent appearances

Grace has appeared twice in the BBC Sitcom My Family. On the 29th July 2009 he appeared on the UK version on Dragons Den as the proposed director of a new touring musical based around the life of Dusty Springfield. Sadly, the dragons declined to back the venture.

He has a recurring role in some Doctor Who audio plays, produced by Big Finish as a Time Lord ally of the Eighth Doctor and Lucie Miller, (Paul McGann and Sheridan Smith) in the plays Human Resources, Sisters of the Flame and Vengeance of Morbius.


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