Kenneth Fortescue (Kenneth John Fortescue)
BiographyKew, London, England, UK
Born in leafy Kew in the English Home Counties, Kenneth Fortescue was a pupil at the prestigious, fee-paying boys' school Dulwich College in London, leaving in 1949 to attend the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. Whilst a student there he won the BBC Special Prize, enabling him to act in radio plays. On graduation he made his stage debut in 'The Tempest' at the old Mermaid Theatre directed by actor Bernard Miles and played in repertory companies throughout England, making his film debut as the youngest son in the remake of 'The Barrets of Wimpole Street'. Read more... Mice' was being cast he went to audition with the producers, stuck his head round their door and said 'Hello' and was told 'You're just what we wanted' and throughout the late 1950s and early 1960s he appeared in several light comedy films as 'silly-ass' young British twits though he was somewhat in the shadow of the more established and slightly older Ian Carmichael who had made such roles his own. The demand for rougher, more down-to-earth young leading men in the British cinema of the 1960s effectively relegated him to character parts and cameos as junior officers, as in 'Lawrence of Arabia', and petty officials, though he did have a good role as the effete, discarded boyfriend, Cecil, in a 1970s television version of 'A Room With A View', and it is a little ironic that his last screen role before his early death was as a cast member of the film-within-a-film in 'The Mirror Crack'd', a throwback to the British cinema of the 1950s when he began his cinema career.