Aubrey Morris, an English character actor with an extensive list of film and TV credits, died last week—Wednesday, July 15—after a brief illness. He was 89 years old.
Morris was born on June 1, 1926; one of nine children, Morris’ siblings include Wolfe Morris, a fellow actor and member of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Morris’ decades-long career began with his stage debut in a Regent Park Open Air Theatre production of The Winter’s Tale. He appeared in several Broadway shows before moving on to appear in multiple BBC TV movies and series. He soon had a recurring spot on the Danger Man reboot Secret Agent, starring Patrick McGoohan. Morris and McGoohan worked together again on the “Dance Of The Dead” episode of The Prisoner, in which Morris established his eccentric, onscreen persona as he trilled his way through a kangaroo court:
Morris also appeared on such British classic shows as The Saint and The Avengers. His flexibility in his choice of film and TV roles saw him work with several of his co-stars on different projects throughout the years. One of his first movie roles was in the travelogue romp, If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium, where he played Harry Dix opposite Ian McShane’s Charlie Cartwright. Morris and McShane would later work together on the HBO drama Deadwood.
In 1971, he was cast in what’s arguably his most memorable role, that of P.R. Deltoid A Clockwork Orange. Morris played a “post-corrective officer” who tries to keep Alex, the juvenile delinquent played by Malcolm McDowell, on the straight and narrow. Deltoid was all good intentions and borderline-inappropriate touches in this scene in Alex’s bedroom:
Morris was just as earnestly weird in 1973’s The Wicker Man, playing the old gravedigger who buried umbilical cords on the Scottish island where Christopher Lee’s Lord Summerisle reigned supreme. He switched gears a bit in the second half of his career, taking on several “eccentric and/or reclusive professor” roles, including one in 1994’s My Girl 2 and an appearance on CBS’ Pearl, in which he was reunited with McDowell:
Morris appeared in more than fifty films, and on more than a dozen American and English TV shows through his career. His many credits include Woody Allen’s Love And Death and Gene Wilder’s The Adventure Of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother. Morris’ last role was in an episode of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.