MCM: Charles Dance

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To many, Charles Dance IS evil dad Tywin Lannister from Game of Thrones. But this English actor has been around for a LOOOOONG time, and used to be considered quite the hottie — and is still considered quite the thespian! Okay, so he does specialize in glowering these days. But let’s go back to 1975 and watch Dance’s progression through historical movies and TV series:

 

Edward the King (1975)

A bio-series about British King Edward VII; Dance plays Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale.

1975 Edward the King

Neckwear. Mmmm.

 

The Jewel in the Crown (1984)

Brits in India; Dance plays hottie Sgt Guy Perron.

The Jewel in the Crown 1984

Blondes having more fun?

The Jewel in the Crown (1984) 1984 The Jewel in the Crown

 

Plenty (1985)

During World War II, Meryl Streep‘s character works as a resistance fighter in France; after the war, she struggles to come to terms with post-war life. Dance plays the husband she marries after the war.

Plenty 1985

And looks damn good in a tux | © 20th Century Fox Film Corp.

1985 Plenty

Tracey Ullman is in this? And the couple moves to Jordan.

 

White Mischief (1987)

Real-life hedonistic British aristocrats live it up in 1941 Kenya, until someone gets murdered. Dance plays Josslyn Hay, 22nd Earl of Erroll.

1987 White Mischief

HE CAN SMILE!!! Non-creepily!

1987 White Mischief

 

Good Morning Babylon (1987)

Two Italian set designers work on director D.W. Griffith’s (played by Dance) epic film, Intolerance (1916).

1987 Good morning Babylon

Dang! That’s some swagger! (Photo by Micheline PELLETIER/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

 

Pascali’s Island (1988)

Set in 1908 on a fictional Ottoman-ruled Greek island. Dance plays an archaeologist, the plot seems complicated.

Pascali's Island 1988

Dapper!

Pascali's Island 1988

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN

 

The Phantom of the Opera (1990)

As the Phantom. Sorry, Andrew Lloyd Webber ruined this story for me!

1990 The Phantom of the Opera

The PHAAAAAAAANTOM OF THE OPERA!

1990 The Phantom of the Opera

No, this one isn’t a musical. Still skipping it.

 

Century (1993)

A 19th-century Jewish doctor discovers that an authoritative doctor (Dance) is sterilizing innocent women.

1993 Century

This seems like the beginning of the Tywin Lannister prototype.

 

Rebecca (1997)

A TV adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s mystery novel. Dance plays husband Maxim de Winter.

1997 Rebecca 1997 Rebecca

 

Murder Rooms: Mysteries of the Real Sherlock Holmes (2000)

As “Sir Henry Carlyle” in yet another Sherlock Holmes TV series.

2000 Murder Rooms- Mysteries of the Real Sherlock Holmes

 

Gosford Park (2001)

On the one hand, pretty much any British actor of note was in this faaaaabulous 1930s murder mystery! On the other hand, no really, Charles Dance is in this! He plays Lord Stockbridge, husband of Lady Stockbridge (Geraldine Somerville), sister to Lady Sylvia (Kristin Scott Thomas). Phew!

2001 Gosford Park

Literally the only image I can find of him in the film!

 

Dark Blue World (2001)

A Czech film about Czech pilots who flew for the British air force during World War II. Dance plays a British officer.

2001 Dark Blue World

 

The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (2001)

As Big Meanie uncle Ralph Nickleby in this TV adaptation of the Dickens novel.

2001 The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby

 

Foyle’s War (2002)

As a British fascist in one episode of this World War II murder mystery series.

2002 Foyle's War 2002 Foyle's War

 

Henry VIII (2003)

As Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham in this TV miniseries.

2003 Henry VIII

I have zero memory of Dance in this series.

 

Don Bosco (2004)

A TV biopic about real-life saint John Bosco (1815-88); Dance plays “Marquis Clementi.”

2004 Don Bosco

 

Bleak House (2005)

Another Dickens adaptation; Dance plays Mr. Tulkinghorn.

2005 Bleak House

 

Fingersmith (2005)

As the creepy Uncle Lilly, who is far too interested in his niece’s gloves in 1862 England.

2005 Fingersmith

 

To the Ends of the Earth (2005)

As “Sir Henry Somerset” in this TV miniseries about Regency-era British naval explorers.

2005 To the Ends of the Earth

Daw, I like this! Gold braid and shiny buttons!

 

Merlin (2009)

As “a freelance sorcerer hunter.” No idea!

2009 Merlin

 

Ironclad (2011)

The siege of Rochester Castle by King John in 1215. Dance plays Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury.

2011 Ironclad

 

Neverland (2011)

A prequel to Peter Pan. Dance plays “Dr. Richard Fludd.”

2011 Neverland

 

Your Highness (2011)

A stoner comedy film set in the medieval era. Dance plays “King Tallious.”

2011 Your Highness

That’s QUITE THE MULLET

There Be Dragons (2011)

An “epic historical war drama” set during the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s. Dance plays “Monsignor Solano.”

2011 There Be Dragons

 

Viy (2014)

A Russian fantasy film set in the eighteenth century. Dance plays “Lord Dudley.” Don’t ask me.

2014 Viy

Dance pulls off full-bottomed wigs very well!

2014 Viy

Not sure what died on the other guy’s head tho.

 

Dracula Untold (2014)

A rebooted origin story for Dracula focused on Vlad the Impaler (1428/31 – 1476/77). Dance plays the Master Vampire, who turns Vlad into a vampire.

 

The Great Fire (2014)

As Charles II’s fictional spymaster in this story of the Great Fire of London (1666).

2014 The Great Fire

See? Rocking that full-bottomed wig!

 

The Imitation Game (2014)

Real-life cryptanalyst Alan Turing decrypts German messages during World War II. Dance plays real-life Commander Alastair Denniston, who is pessimistic about the British chances of decryption.

THE IMITATION GAME 2014

 

 

 

And Then There Were None (2015)

As an elderly judge stuck on an island with a bunch of dubious people in this 1930s Agatha Christie adaptation.

2015 And Then There Were None

That’s a dapper suit.

2015 And Then There Were None

 

Victor Frankenstein (2015)

The Frankenstein story told from Igor’s perspective. Dance plays Baron Frankenstein, who I think must be Victor’s father?

2015 Victor Frankenstein

 

The Admiral (2015)

A film about famed seventeenth-century Dutch admiral Michiel de Ruyter. Dance plays English king Charles II??

2015 The Admiral

This just SO doesn’t feel Charles II to me! I think it’s the blonde hair.

2015 The Admiral

Better!

 

Child 44 (2015)

Murders, Soviet Russia, 1950s, based on a novel. Dance plays “Major Grachev.”

2015 Child 44

 

Deadline Gallipoli (2015)

An Australian production, telling the story of the Gallipoli Campaign during World War I from the perspective of journalists. Dance plays General Hamilton, commander of the British forces.

2015 Deadline Gallipoli

 

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016)

As Mr. Bennet in the zombie version of Jane Austen’s classic.

2016 Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

 

The Woman in White (2018)

An adaptation of the 1860 ghost story, with Dance as “Frederick Fairlie.”

2018 The Woman in White

Such a different look for Dance! I love it.

2018 The Woman in White

(C) Origin Pictures – Photographer: Steffan Hill

 

Iron Mask (2019)

The sequel to Viy.

2019 Iron Mask

 

The Delivered (2019)

Aka Fanny Lye Deliver’d, Dance plays a very religious man during the English Civil War.

2019 The Delivered

 

The Crown (2019-20)

As Lord Mountbatten, uncle to Prince Philip, in the Queen Elizabeth II bio-series.

2019-20 The Crown

 

Mank (2020)

A biopic about screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz and his development of the screenplay for Citizen Kane (1941). Dance plays real-life newspaper owner William Randolph Hearst, who is the inspiration for Citizen Kane‘s main character.

2020 Mank 2020 Mank

 

The Singapore Grip (2020)

A love affair set during World War II Singapore.

2020 The Singapore Grip

He’s still got the dapper!

2020 The Singapore Grip

 

The King’s Man (coming in 2021)

As Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener, a senior British army officer known for his “scorched earth” policy during the Boer Wars, in this period spy film.

2021 The King's Man

I am so seeing this movie when it comes out!

 

Which is your favorite of Charles Dance’s many frock flick roles?

29 Responses

  1. Katie

    His version of Phantom is actually not bad. They even filmed it in the actual Paris opera house which made it cool I though

    Reply
  2. Roxana

    So very wrong as Buckingham! Dance was obviously born to play that Wiley survivor the Duke of Norfolk!

    Reply
  3. Mistress Leoba of Lecelade

    I love Charles Dance, and even though he often plays complete bastards he is apparently an absolutely lovely person, with Miriam Margolyes describing him as “cuddly.” But I have to confess… my absolute favourite role of his is where he reads an excerpt from 50 Shades of Grey for a comedy quiz show, and says “kinkyfuckery” a lot.

    Reply
      • eldalorien

        You can find all of the big fat quizzes on YouTube. Worth it just for Charles Dance’s dramatic readings, but newscaster Jon Snow’s pop song reports are also a highlight.

        Reply
  4. Heather Ripley

    He was such a hottie in his youth and continues to smoulder as he has aged, Dance has always delivered a good and intense performance. My faves? White Mischief and Rebecca. He seems to do well with that slightly sinister yet exudes charm kind of roles. And now I must see The Singapore Grip and a few others I have missed! Thanks Kendra.

    Reply
  5. MsNomi

    Fell in love with him in Jewel in the Crown and have remained faithful ever since!

    Reply
    • susan l eiffert

      Msnomi, you took the words o/o my mouth. Kendra, thank you for posting that beefcake pic. Never seen him without a shirt – woah mamma!

      Reply
  6. Frances Germeshausen

    Jewel in the Crown was so wonderful. That’s the image of him I carry in my head, so I’m still always surprised when he’s older, and usually bad. But he’s so good at being bad.

    Reply
  7. M.E. Lawrence

    A truly elegant performer, and such range! My millennial girl has a thing for C.D.

    Reply
  8. Boxermom

    Thanks for including Child 44! I thought it was well done, but for some reason it flew under people’s radars. :)

    Reply
    • Lily Lotus Rose

      It was well done, Boxermom. I think it flew under the radar in part because it was a dark, slow-burn type movie with no major box office stars. Several of the actors ARE well known, but you know what I mean. Also, it felt to me like an 80’s noir thriller, but set in the past in Russia. That just doesn’t seem to get a lot of people excited.

      Reply
  9. Lily Lotus Rose

    Charles Dance has been man candy since BIRTH! My only quibble with this MCM is the use of past tense in the intro, “…used to be considered quite the hottie.” He IS STILL a hottie! A mature hottie. Amen. Other than that, it’s impossible to answer your question about my favorite of his FrockFlick roles because I love him in EVERYTHING and thus I would name all his roles that I’ve seen so far. On top of looking good, he is a VERY good actor who ELEVATES anything he’s in. Plus, in my opinion, he has excellent taste in the projects he chooses. As a longtime fan of Charles Dance, I was disappointed that they made him look grotesque in Dracula Untold. I was like, “Why do that to his beautiful face?” And, yes, in Victor Frankenstein, he is Victor’s father. Thanks for this post including, as someone else mentioned, the shirtless pic. There’s a lot of his filmography I have yet to watch. This is an excellent list to work from.

    I also feel compelled to mention his association with another FrockFlick. He directed one of my favorite FrockFlicks–Ladies in Lavender–starring Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, and a myriad other wonderful actors.

    Reply
  10. Colleen

    I was finally able to see the 1997 version of Rebecca (thank you, local library streaming site!), and my lord, his Maxim is horrid. I am sure it is more faithful to the book than the Hitchcock version from 1940, though Olivier did play the role well. I also found myself weirded out by his sleeping with Emilia Fox, but he really does well in every role he plays.

    Reply
  11. Popka Superstar

    Bless you for including that shirtless picture.

    I do think full-bottomed wigs suit him the best, some people look silly or self-conscious in them but he always looks great and also natural.

    Reply
  12. Gill

    I saw him do Coriolanus on stage back in (I think) the late 80s/early 90s. He was very good.

    Loved Jewel in the Crown, though a young Art Malik was the real heart-throb. (And Tim Piggot-Smith gloriously nasty.)

    As he’s matured he’s looked to me more and more like Ian Richardson (see the original BBC House of Cards) – I think he’d make a superb Lord Vetinari.

    Reply
    • Charity

      “I think he’d make a superg Lord Vetinari.” If you’re talking about Prachett, he WAS Lord Vetinari — in Going Postal with Claire Foy.

      Reply
  13. Charity

    I love him in Rebecca. I think that’s the first time I really, really adored his performance, and since then my appreciation has only grown. He’s brilliant in the Agatha Christie (a morbid miniseries I watch at least every six months) and in many other roles, but the one thing I noticed while sewing one time, and having Bleak House on in the background is… when you aren’t watching him interact with Lady Dedlock, and are just listening to it, the creepy factor goes up by a LOT.

    Reply
  14. Sarah Thomas

    If they ever do Grand Admiral Thrawn in a live action Star Wars thingy, he is 100% my choice.

    Reply
  15. Roxana

    Not many men can look that good in a full bottomed wig. And as fore that shirtless image – Yowza!

    Reply
  16. Jane

    I think he is STILL a hottie. He has such presence in every role he does. When he is on the screen, he is the one you are watching.

    Reply

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