On this day in 1947

Posted by Tenby Museum on Dec 5, 2017 Blog No Comments

On 5 December 1947 the Tenby Observer featured a short article on its front page.  It was headlined ‘A Critic’s tribute to Ken Griffith’ and was subtitled ‘So brilliant – you hate and admire him”

The article stated:

“Film actor Ken Griffith, whose first stage appearance was in the Tenby Greenhill Grammar School’s production of ‘Richard of Bordeaux’, received a fine bouquet from the pen of one of London’s leading entertainment writers last weekend.  In his ‘Daily Express’ column, David Lewin wrote: ‘British films have found a Dan Duryea.  After seeing 26 year old Ken Griffith at work in Bond Street, I nominate him as quite the nastiest thing on the screen today.  he plays a blustering weakling so brilliantly you will hate and admire him at the same time.  Griffith, whose acting background is so similar to Ellyn William’, got his training with the Stratford Memorial Company.”

Kenneth Griffith was born in Tenby in 1921.   After being praised for a performance in a Greenhill Grammar School play, he decided to pursue a theatrical career. Griffith made his debut as a professional actor in 1937. He made his first screen performance in Love on the Dole (1941). Over the next fifty years he was to appear in over 100 film and television roles, including I’m Alright Jack (1959), The Lion in Winter (1968), The Wild Geese (1978) and Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994). A friend of cult actor Patrick McGoohan, Griffith was the only other actor to appear in the final episodes of Danger Man and The Prisoner, both 1968.

In the mid 1960s he began to move towards documentary film making. He concentrated on subjects in which he strongly believed.   He made documentaries on South Africa, the actor Edmund Kean, who had performed at Tenby in 1828, and the Republican position in Northern Ireland where he challenged the British government’s involvement in Ireland.

Kenneth Griffith died on 25 June 2006.

There is a wonderful display on Kenneth in the museum which includes original film posters, lobby cards and personal memorabilia.  The museum also has a fine archive collection, donated to us by Kenneth’s friend Bryan Hewitt.