Hywel Bennett

Active - 1965 - 2002  |   Born - Apr 8, 1944 in Garnant, South Wales  |   Genres - Comedy, Drama, Thriller

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Yes, it's true that Welsh actor Hywel Bennett, a bonafide male, made his London stage debut as Ophelia in Hamlet. It's important to note, however, that the production was staged by the Youth Theatre, that it was traditional for men to play female roles in Shakespeare's time, and that, at 15, Bennett's voice hadn't broken yet. Thereafter, he trafficked in "angry young men" parts on stage, and as crafty characters posing as naifs in films. One of his most famous film roles was his first--in 1966's The Family Way, he played the briefly impotent husband of Hayley Mills. He went on to star in the anti-war The Virgin Soldiers (1970) and Percy (1973), in which he played the first recipient of a penis transplant. On British television, Bennett was seen in such weeklies as Where the Buffalo Roams (1967) and Shelley (1985). Incidentally, Hywel Bennett finally got to play the male lead in Hamlet in a 1974 South African production.

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