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|Robert Flemyng OBE|
Robert Flemyng in The Constant Wife (1953)
3 January 1912|
Liverpool, Lancashire, England
22 May 1995 (aged 83)|
|Cause of death||Pneumonia|
|Alma mater||Haileybury and Imperial Service College|
|Spouse(s)||Carmen Martha Sugars (?-1994) (her death) 1 child|
He began his career as a medical student before abandoning medicine to become an actor. Flemyng made his stage debut in the early 1930s, and worked in both London and Broadway. His first film appearance was in 1937, but he didn't appear steadily in films until after he served in the Second World War.
During the war he was commissioned into the Royal Army Medical Corps, reaching the rank of colonel at the age of 33. He was awarded the Military Cross in 1941, mentioned in despatches and was appointed OBE (military) in 1944.
Flemyng was married to Carmen Sugars, who died in 1994, and they had one daughter. According to Alec Guinness: The Authorised Biography, a biography of Alec Guinness by Piers Paul Read, Flemyng "[fell] in love with a younger man in [his] middle age." He could not act upon his repressed feelings because male homosexuality was illegal in the United Kingdom (until 1967) and because he was married. Therefore, "he had a nervous breakdown and then a stroke and had a really terrible time."
Flemyng is probably best known today for his appearance in the cult Italian horror movie The Horrible Dr. Hichcock (1962), in which he played a necrophiliac. He later appeared in the low budget British horrors The Blood Beast Terror (1967), in which he was a last-minute replacement for Basil Rathbone, and The Body Stealers (1969).
Flemyng’s other movie roles include the idealistic schoolmaster in the 1948 Roy Boulting film, The Guinea Pig, starring Richard Attenborough, and the role of Detective Sergeant Roberts in the 1950 film The Blue Lamp. He played a more senior policeman in the 1959 Joseph Losey drama Blind Date opposite Stanley Baker, and the sardonic British Secret Intelligence Service chief in the 1966 thriller The Quiller Memorandum opposite George Sanders. As a character actor he worked in cinema and television until his death in 1995, and some of his later films include Kafka (1991) and Shadowlands (1993).
Flemyng died from complications of pneumonia, following a disabling stroke.