Lyn Harding (David Llewellyn Harding)
Photos with Lyn Harding
BiographySt Brides Wentlooge, Wales, UK
Born in St Brides Wentlooge (now in Gwent), Wales, UK, where he was brought up as a strict Congregationalist and a Welsh speaker. He started his working life as an apprentice draper in Newport, Wales, and was drawn to an acting career after seeing "It's Never Too Late to Mend" at the Old Victoria Hall, Newport. Started career as a stage actor in South Wales. His first engagement was at a chapel in Cardiff, giving readings from Shakespeare. Read more... professional engagement. He opened on 28 August 1890 in "The Grip Of Iron" at the Theatre Royal, Bristol, gaining experience in the provinces. He made his London debut at the Shakespeare Theatre Clapham on 19 July 1897. Changed his name to Lyn when working in London, as the English could not spell or pronounce his real Christian name, Llewellyn. He starred in stage, screen and radio productions, and he toured in the U.S., India, Burma, and Japan, sharing stages with John Gielgud, Ralph Richardson, and Anthony Quayle. He specialised in playing villains: The sinister hypnotist Svengali, Conan Doyle's Prof. Moriarty, and Bill Sikes in "Oliver Twist" were some of his roles. His last stage appearance was as Abu Hassan in "Chu Chin Chow" in the West End in 1941 when he was 74 years old, and when he was nearly 80 he played Owain Glyndwr in Shakespeare's Henry VII for the BBC 3rd Programme. He died in 1952 after a long illness. There is a memorial to him in the Chapel House Inn (a public house) in his home town of St Brides Wentlooge (the inn was owned by his uncle), the plaque having been moved from its original place in his old school when the school closed.