Alan Bates Biography

Alan Bates was a famous English Actor. Read on to know more about Alan Bates’s profile, childhood, life and timeline in this biography.

Alan Bates

Quick Facts

Also known as: Arthur
Gender: Male
Birthday: 17 February 1934
Died: 27 December 2003
Nationality: British
Famous: Actors
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Spouse/Ex-: Victoria Ward
Children: Benedick Bates
Education: Royal Academy of Dramatic Art
Awards: Commander of the Order of the British Empire, Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play, Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play

Alan Bates was prominent during 1960s in British cinema and he appeared in movies that range from children’s story, ‘Whistle Down the Wind’ to the ones like ‘kitchen sink’ and drama like ‘A Kind of Loving’. He was known for his outstanding performances in his roles in ‘Zorba the Greek, King of Hearts, The Fixer and the Far From the Madding Crowd’. This even bagged him the’ Academy Award for Best Actor’ nomination.

Early Life & Career

Sir Alain Arthur Bates was born on 17 February in the Queen Mary Nursing Home in England. Alan Bates was the eldest of the three sons of Florence Mary and Harold Arthur Bates. Over this period of time, his family moved to Mickleover and then to Allestree. His parents were amateur musicians and so they encouraged Alan Bates to pursue music. When Bates turned 11, he was determined to become an actor and so his parents stood by him and sent him for drama classes instead. Bates also came across the productions at Derby’s Little Theatre and saw the performances held there. Alan went to Herbert Strutt Grammar School and also acquired a scholarship to go to Royal Academy of Dramatic Art located in London. Here, Bates studied with Albert Finney and Peter OToole after which he joined at ‘RAF Newton’ for National Service. Alan Bates debut on stage happened in 1955 in ‘You and Your Wife’ and towards late 1950s, he did several plays for television as well. Bates was married to Victoria Ward in 1970 and had twin sons. They had been separated much earlier before his wife’s death. Bates continued his work in television and films and also worked in international films such as ‘An Unmarried Woman, Nijinsky, The Rose, etc’. During the later years of Bates life, he had a relationship with the actress Angharad Rees. He had undergone a hip replacement surgery during which he was diagnosed in January, 2003 with incurable pancreatic cancer. Bates had stroke suddenly one day and was in coma. He died on 27 December 2003.

Awards And Achievements

Best Actor Tony and Drama Desk, for ‘Fortune's Fool,’ (2002)
Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel Award for ‘Unexpected Man’ (2000)
Variety Club Award for ‘A Patriot for Me’ (1983)
Variety Club Award for ‘Otherwise Engaged’ (1975)
Evening Standard Best Actor Award for Butley (1971)
Best Actor Tony for Butley (1972)
Clarence Derwent Award for ‘A Long Day's Journey Into Night’ (1959)

Famous Works

Hollywood North (2003)
Spartacus (2004)
Gosford Park (2001)
Bertie and Elizabeth (2002)
The Mothman Prophecies (2002)
Shuttlecock (1991)
Losing Track (1992)
The Grotesque (1995)
Nicholas' Gift (1998)
The Cherry Orchard (1999)
The Wicked Lady (1983)
Duet for One (1986)
We Think the World of You (1988)
The Dog It Was That Died (1989)
Mister Frost (1990)
Quartet (1981)
The Return of the Soldier (1982)
A Voyage Round My Father (1982)
An Englishman Abroad (1983)
A Voyage Round My Father (1982)
Quartet (1981)
The Shout (1978)
The Rose (1979)
Story of a Love Story (1973)

Legacy And Contributions

One of his sons, Tristan passed away at a very young age of nineteen. The ‘Tristan Bates Theatre’ was setup in his memory in Covent Garden at Actor’s Centre by Bates and his family.

Personal Life

Bates was thought to be involved with various homosexual relationships including Peter Wyngarde, Nickolas Grace and also John Curry. Towards the end of his life, he was in a relationship with the actress, Joanna Pettet.


1934: Alan Bates was born.
1945: Made up his mind to become an actor.
1955: Debut on stage in 'You and Your Wife'.
1970: Married to Victoria Ward.
2003: January, diagonised with pancreatic cancer.
2003: 27 December, Bates passed away.

Citation Information

Article Title

Alan Bates Biography

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Last Updated

June 25, 2019

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