President of LAMDA
Timothy West was born in Bradford in 1934, the son of actor Lockwood West. He worked as an office furniture salesman and as a recording engineer, before becoming Assistant Stage Manager at the Wimbledon Theatre in 1956. Subsequent seasons in repertory in Newquay, Hull, Northampton, Worthing and Salisbury followed, before Timothy came to the Piccadilly Theatre in the farce Caught Napping in 1959.
Since then his performances on the London stage have included Gentle Jack, The Trigon, The Italian Girl, Abelard and Heloise, Exiles, The Constant Couple, Laughter, The Homecoming, Beecham, Master Class, The War At Home, When We Are Married, The Sneeze, Long Day's Journey Into Night, It's Ralph, Twelve Angry Men and The Birthday Party.
Timothy first performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1962, appearing in Nil Carborundum and Afore Night Come at the Arts Theatre. He went on to appear in RSC seasons at the Aldwych and Stratford until 1966; then, in 1975, in their production of Hedda Gabler (also touring Australia, Canada and the USA).
For the Prospect Theatre Company, in the UK and abroad, he has played King Lear, Prospero, Holofernes, Claudius, Enobarbus, Shylock, Bolingbroke in Richard II and Mortimer in Edward II, as well as Shpigelsky in A Month In The Country, Emerson in A Room With A View and Samuel Johnson in two plays about the great man. For the Bristol Old Vic company: the musical Trelawny, Falstaff in both parts of Henry IV, Sartorius in Widowers' Houses, Solness in The Master Builder, Lord Ogleby in The Clandestine Marriage and Vanya in Uncle Vanya.
More recently, he has played King Lear in Dublin, Death Of A Salesman and Macbeth for Theatr Clwyd, Brian Phelan's Himself on tour for the Nuffield Theatre, Southampton, The Rivals at the Chichester Festival, Mail Order Bride and Getting On at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Falstaff again for English Touring Theatre, Gloucester in King Lear at the National Theatre, Falstaff and Solness again for the English Touring Theatre, The External by Rodney Clarke on tour, Luther at the National Theatre and King Lear on tour and at the Old Vic.
Among his many television appearances are Edward VII, Hard Times, Crime And Punishment, Churchill And The Generals, Brass, The Monocled Mutineer, A Very Peculiar Practice, The Good Doctor Bodkin Adams, What The Butler Saw, When We Are Married, Breakthrough At Reykjavik, Strife, A Shadow On The Sun, The Contractor, Blore MP, Beecham, Survival Of The Fittest, Why Lockerbie?, Framed, Smokescreen, Eleven Men Against Eleven, The Place Of The Dead, Cuts, King Lear, Midsomer Murders, Station Jim, Murder In Mind, The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, Bedtime, Colditz, New Tricks and Bleak House.
Films include Nicholas And Alexandra, The Day Of The Jackal, Oliver Twist, Hedda, Joseph Andrews, Agatha, Masada, The Thirty Nine Steps, Rough Cut, Cry Freedom, Ever After, Luc Besson's Joan Of Arc, Villa Of Roses, The Fourth Angel, Iris and Beyond Borders.
Concert performances with LPO, RPO, Orchestre National de France, Sinfonia 21, The Britten Ensemble & co.
Work as a Director has recently included HMS Pinafore for Carl Rosa Opera.
He has taken part in over 500 radio broadcasts and recorded many Talking Books. His own book I'm Here I Think, Where Are You? is published by Coronet, and his autobiography A Moment Towards The End Of The Play is published by Nick Hern Books.
Timothy is President of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and of the Society for Theatre Research.
He holds Honorary Doctorates at six British Universities and was made CBE in 1984. He is married to the actress Prunella Scales. They live in South London and, occasionally, on a narrow-boat on the British canals.