Tom Bell - Rotten Tomatoes

Tom Bell



With his lean, tough, chiseled face, sallow complexion, and dark brow, Liverpudlian character actor Tom Bell consistently found himself at the mercy of producers eager to cast him as shady, sinister types - an image he never quite outgrew. Born August 2, 1933 in one of the seedier outlying areas of London, and shuttled north to Morecambe during World War II, Bell participated in drama during secondary school, then received his formal training as a thesp at the Bradford Civic Theatre, alongside Billie Whitelaw (The Omen) and Robert Stephens (The Bonfire of the Vanities). He performed in regional repertory stage productions for a term, then took his initial television bow in 1959, in episodes of Armchair Theatre and on an episode of the popular American series The Virginian.



Bell then fell in with the 'kitchen sink' school of filmmakers, such as Bryan Forbes, Tony Richardson and Karel Reisz, who at the time were single-handedly defining the British New Wave with the 'Angry Young Man' movement. Bell appeared in several of the more noteworthy cinematic productions during this time, including The Kitchen (1960), The Concrete Jungle (1960), and The L-Shaped Room (1962). He left a particularly memorable impression in the latter, as Toby, the prospective suitor of Leslie Caron's Jane Fosset -- a man who turns from a sympathetic emotional anchor into a complete bastard when he discovers that Caron's character is pregnant with another fellow's baby. Bell appeared in well over forty-five additional films throughout the sixties, seventies, and eighties. After The L-Shaped Room, his two highest-profiled turns were probably the role of Adolf Eichmann in the 1978 TV miniseries Holocaust, and the Eric in David Leland's Wish You Were Here, a sleazy suitor who gleefully defiles Emily Lloyd's flirtatious sixteen-year-old Lynda.



Bell teamed up with former schoolmate Whitelaw in Peter Medak's The Krays (1990), as a low-level gangster knifed to death at the hands of thug Reginald Kray (Ronald Kemp). A year later, he portrayed Antonio in Peter Greenaway's revisionist Shakespeare outing Prospero's Books. He played Henry Harding, an MP of Parliament who hires a computer hacker to break into London's S&M underground, in Stuart Urban's Preaching to the Perverted (1997).



Tom Bell died on October 5, 2006, in Brighton, East Sussex, England, of unspecified causes, just two months after his seventy-third birthday. His ex-wife was actress Lois Dane, with whom he had a son.

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
0% The Leisure Class
  • Leonard
2015
No Score Yet Love Me Still
  • Actor
2014
No Score Yet Convenience
  • Actor
2013
No Score Yet Dead Man's Cards
  • Billy the Cowboy
2006
No Score Yet Prime Suspect 7: The Final Act
  • Bill Otley
2006
No Score Yet Devil's Gate
  • Actor
2004
18% Long Time Dead
  • Becker
2003
No Score Yet The Last Minute
  • Grimshanks
2003
35% Mi Reino
  • Quick
2002
0% All I Want (Try Seventeen)
  • Bartender
2002
No Score Yet Pollyanna
  • Actor
2002
43% Swing
  • Sid
2000
No Score Yet The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: The Phantom Train of Doom
  • Actor
2000
No Score Yet Tube Tales
  • Old Gent
1999
No Score Yet Preaching to the Perverted
  • Henry Harding
1998
28% Swept from the Sea
  • Isaac Foster
1998
67% Feast of July
  • Ben Wainwright
1995
No Score Yet The Cinder Path
  • Edward MacFell
1995
51% In the Mouth of Madness
  • Farmer
1995
No Score Yet Taking The Heat
  • Crazed Cabbie
1993
67% Prospero's Books
  • Antonio
1991
81% Let Him Have It
  • Fairfax
1991
85% The Krays
  • Jack `The Hat' McVitie
1990
No Score Yet Red King, White Knight
  • Tulayev
1989
71% The Rainbow
  • Actor
1989
No Score Yet Resurrected
  • Mr. Deakin
1988
82% Wish You Were Here (Too Much)
  • Eric
1987
No Score Yet Reilly: The Ace of Spies - Set
  • Actor
1983
No Score Yet Royal Flash
  • De Gautet
1975
No Score Yet Straight on Till Morning (Dressed for Death) (The Victim) (Til Dawn Do Us Part)
  • Jimmy Lindsay
1972
No Score Yet All the Right Noises
  • Len
1971
No Score Yet Quest for Love
  • Colin Trafford
1971
No Score Yet He Who Rides A Tiger
  • Actor
1968
No Score Yet In Enemy Country
  • Capt. Ian Peyton-Reid
1968
No Score Yet Ballad in Blue
  • Steve Collings
1964
No Score Yet The L-Shaped Room
  • Toby
1963
100% Damn the Defiant!
  • Evans
1962
No Score Yet The Criminal (Concrete Jungle)
  • Flynn
1961
No Score Yet Payroll (I Promised to Pay)
  • Blackie
1961

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT
No Score Yet Masterpiece
1971-2015
  • Old Tom Otley Bill Otley

Quotes from Tom Bell's Characters