John Dexter

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John Dexter (2 August 1925 - 23 March 1990) was an English theatre, opera, and film director.

Theatre

Born in Derby, England, Dexter left school at the age of fourteen to serve in the British army during World War II. Following the war, he began working as a stage actor before turning to producing and directing shows for repertory companies. In 1957, he was appointed Associate Director of the English Stage Company.

Dexter's first great success was his production of Roots, in 1959, which brought Dame Joan Plowright to prominence. He went on to direct Toys in the Attic (with Dame Wendy Hiller, 1960), and Saint Joan (1963). In 1964, he was named Associate Director of the National Theatre of Great Britain, and he produced The Royal Hunt of the Sun (1964).

That year, he also directed Othello, with Sir Laurence Olivier (in one of his greatest roles), Dame Maggie Smith, and Frank Finlay. It was considered a tremendous success. RCA recorded an audio version, and, the following year, Stuart Burge made a film of the production (now available on DVD) for BHE Films.

Dexter continued with Hamlet (with music by Conrad Susa, 1969), Equus (one of his triumphs, 1973), The Party (Lord Olivier's final stage appearance, 1973), Phaedra Britannica (with his friend, Dame Diana Rigg, 1975), The Merchant (1977), As You Like It (with music by Harrison Birtwistle, 1979), Life of Galileo (with Sir Michael Gambon, 1980), The Glass Menagerie (with Jessica Tandy, 1983), and Julius C├Žsar (1988). His...
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