Scots actor James Donald made his first professional stage appearance sometime between 1935 and 1938, but would not achieve theatrical stardom until 1943's Present Laughter. Donald began making films in 1941, hitting his stride with his portrayal of Theo Van Gogh in Lust for Life (1956). He is most fondly remembered for his incisive performances in a trio of POW dramas: Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), The Great Escape (1963), and King Rat (1965). He also made a handful of memorable TV appearances, the last of which was the role of Murdstone in the 1970 all-star adaptation of David Copperfield. After a long period of inactivity, James Donald died of stomach cancer at the age of 75.